The school assembly I attended on Friday featured a video about the Highway of Heroes (the stretch of highway on which fallen Canadians travel upon their arrival back in Canada.) When a soldier is being transported the road side and overpasses are packed with people, waving flags and paying their respects. These people, mostly strangers, come out to honour the returning hero and they look genuinely sad at the loss of one of our soldiers.
It made me a bit teary. The images of these mourning crowds are pretty intense, and it all hits a little close to home these days. All I want is for my sailor to come home safely.
Later in the weekend, I obsessively googled Afghanistan Remembrance Day because my sailor told me journalists from a national news station were coming for the last Canadian Remembrance Day ceremony in Kabul. I started looking too early, and only found one photo–three Canadian soldiers reviewing a list of names for an upcoming medal ceremony. I squinted into the grainy screen. Could the one on left be my sailor? It’s hard to tell because they all look so, well, uniform in their matching uniforms.
I emailed him the story with a big fat question mark.
“Is this you???”
“No, I’m slimmer than that guy. My daily workouts in 40C are paying off.”
Clearly he’s been away far too long if I can no longer recognize him (or not him) in pictures.
My sailor was invited to lunch at the Canadian Embassy in Kabul last week.
He looked forward to getting away from the camp for an afternoon. I had mixed feelings. As always, I worry when there’s any alteration to his routine and off-base travel is a change that makes me especially anxious, but I wanted to hear all the details.
I’ve never visited an embassy for lunch or even just to say hi to a diplomat, but I’ve seen enough James Bond movies to have a good idea of what an embassy in a European city is like. The decor is formal, the people are all dressed like they work in a high-end department store and the food is fancy.
But an embassy in Afghanistan? There’s still kind of a war going on there. Surely corners have been cut and normal embassy conventions are not followed as strictly as in more stable areas. (By normal embassy conventions, I mean the ones I imagine.) I couldn’t wait to hear the nitty gritty when we Facebooked.
“They had bacon.”
“They had bacon?” I said. “You had lunch at an embassy, and that’s all you’ve got for me?”
“They haven’t served bacon at the camp since Ramadan, but they had it at the embassy.”
Like that explains it.
“It was good bacon.”
We’re so in tune that we often get a busy signal when we call each other because we’re both phoning at the exact same time.
We have near identical views on politics, financial planning and child-rearing, yet we’re so far apart in our bacon appreciation levels it’s scary.