I know that Halloween is all that anyone is really focused on at the moment, but another event looms on the horizon that is much more significant, for me at least.
I refer to 11 November 2012. Remembrance Day. The chance to take a moment to think and thank.
I think of those whose lives have been directly affected by: the people who have to carry on with their loves whilst war rages around them, who have to give up their homes, lose their loved ones, suffer permanent injury. Those who raise children amongst rubble whilst guns fire overhead. Who survive rather than live.
I think of those who fight: they may have been drafted against their will, they may not know why they fight, they may fight because they or their families have been threatened.
I think of those serving service personnel who go to work every day in a war zone, who stare death in the face, who live in trenches and tents and make-shift camps instead of sleeping in their homes with their families. I think of them returning to a war zone that they left behind, bearing old scars, to do again what they did before. Those who do their job, their duty, and who lose limb and life carrying it out. Those who go where they are sent and do not question.
I think of the families at home: mothers, wives, husbands, children, pets. Those who stay strong every day without their precious soldier, who live in fear of steps on the path to the front door followed by a firm knock and a man in uniform. They have to carry on life with one person missing, maybe temporarily, maybe permanently. They give their most precious person up to a war in another land and patiently wait until they return home.
I think of those whose journey home involves a flag and a slow-moving car which weaves, laden with floral tributes, to a quiet spot in a cemetery.
And I am thankful to them, thankful for them, thankful that I am not them.
It is so important that we take a moment to remember that they do this, if not every day, then at least for one day.
I recently bought a frame in a charity shop. I removed the dried flowers that were in it.
I cut a piece from an old shirt of DHs, onto which I traced a poppy design I found online.
Once traced, I started glueing on my red buttons. In the centre of the poppy I used black buttons.
I added a second layer for depth and detail, then I left to dry. ONCE I had blow-dried the whole thing with a hair-dryer to get rid of the glue strands, I dug out needle and thread.
Using the stripe of the shirt as a guide, the words We Will Remember Them were then hand-stitched under the poppy.
Once I was happy with the design, I glued the fabric onto the rear board of the frame, and fixed it in place.
And them I put it where it would be seen.
Think and Thank.