Marking *ANZAC Day beside my husband this year was an almost forgotten indulgence. On being asked why this ANZAC Day was meaningful to us, we paused, breathed in the sweet tropical morning and reflected. We took time to literally pause before speaking our hearts depth on this day.
My husband's thoughts focussed on an unnamed family who laid a wreath. The Mum held the hand of a child able to walk while Dad wedged a purple-shirted, toddler-twin beneath each arm, Mum placing the wreath with her free hand. They paused, then into dawn's quiet crowd they dissolved. Fitting.
Over my shoulder I watched a Navy uniformed colleague put a hand on the knee of a serving friend moved by the Chaplain's respectful mention of Indigenous service - the only mention.
What was most meaningful? The question refocussed and constricted a spotlight over all the feelings that surround more than 30 years of supporting a serving Defence Force member, 30 years of ANZAC Days, and one area became clear.
While we reverently remember those who died on a day such as ANZAC Day, what of the many more who lived? The thousands upon thousands whose names do not appear on any wall, but who go on to live with courage and hard found purpose after experiencing world-altering conflict.
Beside them are families: women, children, friends, colleagues who remain stoically in the background of pictures that paint the future of nations, regardless of the side you find yourself on. Today I stood for more than a hundred years of women who help those who survive remember how to really live.
My poem Two Rules, the answer to Hold Off the Rain, speaks to the soul-restoring process that keeps 'home-fires burning' ready to spark necessary light wherever it may be needed on both sides of a family's service - home and away.
*ANZAC Day might be described as a combination of Remembrance Day, Memorial Day, or VE Day, combined with Thanksgiving. We recognise that through the sacrifice of past Australian's we can be grateful for a future which encourages forgiveness and gratitude.