Monday, November 11, 2013

A Letter From a Grandchild

Dear Grandparents,

Today is Remembrance Day, so I wanted to write this letter to join all Canadians in thanking you for your contributions.  In World War II you fought to create freedom and opportunity for Canada and the rest of the world. In your families you created the freedom and opportunities that have granted so many possibilities to your children and grandchildren. This day is a celebration of your contributions to the war effort, but I also want to thank you for all that you have done in enriching our lives.

Flight Officer Wilfrid Laurier McCallum, aka "Mac", aka Grandpa. You were a decorated war hero and Spitfire pilot, but to me you will always be the guy with a creampuff on his head. Mom talks about you often, how you were an amazing father and grandfather. How you used to parade my brother and I around and brag about us to everyone you could when we were little.

Granny, a strong woman who worked in administration through the war. I didn't get a chance to know you well, but I know my life wouldn't have been the same without you. You were largely responsible for promoting Highland Dancing in our family and in Ottawa, which became one of the most important parts of my life.  It helped keep me off the couch, but more importantly it built a confidence in me that I wouldn't have otherwise had.

Grandpa McNaule, without your support I never would have achieved what I did.  Your contributions to my dancing earned me countless awards, but I don't think that is what you cared most about.  So thank you for enabling me to understand and appreciate my heritage through dance, and for supporting my trips to compete at the World Championships.  I'm very lucky to have been your "princess".

Grandma, watching the end of Boogie Nights with you was one of the best experiences of my entire life :)  But more importantly, thanks for your encouragement with my writing and for being my first and biggest fan.  I wouldn't let you read that much of it because of all the swearing and stuff, but I know just the fact that I did it meant a lot to you.

Thank-you to all four of you for being proud of all your amazing grandchildren no matter what.  I can only hope that we continue to make you proud.

As a final note, this Remembrance Day I want to thank all the people who put themselves second to promoting freedom and liberty for everyone. To the development workers who help uphold human security throughout the world, and to relief workers who help people through disasters in their greatest times of need.  To the journalists who put themselves on the front lines to keep people accountable for their actions, and enable people who would otherwise be silenced to have a voice. To police and firefighters for their dedication to keeping cities safe. To teachers who enable a society of learning and progress. To doctors and community leaders and anyone else I'm missing whose efforts go toward upholding peace.