To an unknown mother on ANZAC Day

To an unknown mother

I think of you today.

A century ago, you stared down an uncertain future for your child. The world was on the brink of a war that would change everything. You didn’t know – although I’m sure you could guess – that your son would travel across the seas to fight.

Many things change through the ages. A parent’s love for her children does not. My sons are still babies but I love them so fiercely. The thought of losing them causes me so much pain it makes me gasp.

Only one hundred years separate us. I look at my sons and try to imagine them as young men in uniform going off to war.

I can’t.

How did you do it? Were you proud of him? Did you cry as he sailed away? Or were you angry at the world for being so full of hate that it tore your baby from your grasp?

How did you sleep while he was away? How did you do anything other than pray for his safety every single moment?

How did you continue to exist when they brought the letter that shattered your heart? Was there ever any joy in your life after that moment? Was there any feeling at all, or were you simply numb?

No one asked you for your sacrifice. Many throughout the years have thanked you – but what good is that? Empty words from future generations did not pass back through time to heal your heart.

But I do thank you.

I weep for you – and all the mothers and fathers who have sent their babies to war.

I remember your son.

I remember you.

Lest we forget.

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6 thoughts on “To an unknown mother on ANZAC Day

  1. I enjoyed reading your post. I had to look up what ANZAC Day is, having never heard of it here in the US. I am the mother of 3 boys- mostly grown now and I can relate to the things you wrote. Looking back at the wars fought by the US and all of the sons of mothers who were there either by choice or not, I’ve always felt such a strong bond with those mothers.

  2. I came across your blog through the 101 Commons and thought to check it out. I am so glad I did. It has always been easier to forget that a uniform is also a person with a story, with someone who loves them, with family. Thank you for sharing.

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