Sunday, November 10, 2013


Tomorrow is Remembrance Day when we pause to reflect on the sacrifices made on our behalf.  Few of my known relatives fought in World War II, but like most Canadians I am aware that great sacrifices were made by our soldiers overseas.  Lately I have become conscious of another horrible loss from the wars.  The women who were left behind and never reunited with their loved one.

There was an opera, "Mary's Wedding" written in Canada that commemorates these women.  It was a Canadian opera commissioned by Andrew Paul MacDonald and Stephen Massicotte and first performed at the Pacific Opera company in Victoria, British Columbia on November of 2011 and has gone on to be well accepted across Canada.

I had one great aunt who when I knew her was sort of in the way and not just my way.  She was my Grandmother's sister, Florence Gibson.  She always seemed morose and standoffish.  My Grandmother Coakwell was widowed when she was in her forties and took on her sister as a live in companion. My Grandmother was very fond of her grandchildren and many of us spent time at her place.  For me I slept over from a young child to an unemployed university graduate looking for a job.  I had the occasional conversation with Aunt Flo, but never really warmed up to her.

It wasn't until after she died that someone mentioned that my Aunt Flo had had a boyfriend who went off to war.  I don't know if he was killed or like other soldiers came back too damaged.  The war destroyed a lot of potential relationships and deferred others.  We know a bit about the widows, but not so much about the girlfriends.  Many women never even met potential suitors lost in war.

A lot of good men lost their lives in wars and we rightly celebrate their sacrifices that were critical for us to enjoy our life.  They left a lot of women behind who adjusted in a variety of ways, some happy and many not so.

If you would like to learn more about "Mary's Wedding"  check out which includes information a short video clip.

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