Today, October 22, is a day that Canada will never forget.
History was changed and made.
A man lost his life as he stood proudly in his uniform. It was a senseless act of terror such that our country has never experienced before.
Today a country was changed.
Much will be written about today, about this man, about what this means for us as a nation. Many tears will be, and already have been, shed as a reaction to what happened today. People are mourning the loss of life and the loss of a nation’s innocence.
Today changed me as a mom.
My son recently joined Air Cadets and I’ll admit that I was viewing it as a great opportunity for him to meet other kids, to learn new skills, to learn some discipline that comes from a source other than me! The implications for the future beyond the potential for him to get his pilots’ license hadn’t really occurred to me. Until today.
Today I realized that one day my son may choose a career in a branch of our military. At 13 he stands almost as tall as myself – maybe an inch
shorter. He can rest his chin on my shoulder when he hugs me. He is starting to look like the man he will grow up to be. And I realized that some day I could lose him simply because of his uniform. I was moved to hug him and as I did, the tears flowed as I grieved the events of the day and said goodbye, in my heart, to the little boy who has grown up.
Today my country was changed. A family was changed. This mother was changed. Will we ever be the same? No. Our country will always mourn the loss of our innocence and sense of security. A family will always mourn the loss of their father, son, friend. I will always miss the little boy who has grown into a man in front of my eyes and wonder at the speed of time.
Today has changed everything. It has changed how we see the world around us. It has changed how we see ourselves. It changes how I see my son. And now the hard work begins – working to make sure that those changes move us towards good, to make sure that we don’t lose ourselves, to make sure we don’t allow the enemy to win, to make sure that I don’t hold on too tightly allowing fear to win.
Thank you to the men and women who responded in this crisis. Thank you to those who put themselves in harm’s way to protect our nation. Thank you to Nathan Cirillo for your service. And thank you to my son who is teaching me to be a better mom simply by being himself.
“God keep our land, glorious and free…Oh Canada we stand on guard for thee.”