Monday, November 11, 2013

Day 11 - Remembrance Day

Chester's grave
On this 11th day of the 11th month, I am remembering my Grandmother's brother. We never met. He died 24 years before I was born (somebody will need to check my math on this.)

Here's a picture of his grave, and below, one of the cemetery where he is buried in Germany.

While I was an au-pair for a family in Munich in 1988-1989, I was lucky enough to be the one person in my family to ever make the journey to this site. To this day, there is not a year that goes by that I don't remember this visit.

The pictures were taken for my Grandmother as she had never had the chance to visit herself. Can you imagine how hard that must be, to never see your brother's final resting place? Hurts to think about. I would like to ask Grandma just how she feels about not visiting herself. Does she feel regret? Loss? What?

I would also like her to tell me the story that she told me once, many years ago. Here's how I remember it. For the record, it's entirely possible I'm making some up this up, but it's what I think I remember:  At the end summer of 1945, she was up at the cottage (I think) and she'd gotten up in the middle of the night. As she gazed at the night sky, she saw a shooting star and thought to herself, that's Chester, he's gone now. When the news came to the family that her brother had been killed in the war, she told me it wasn't really a surprise because she'd known, the instant she'd seen that shooting star, that he'd fallen.

Grandma is not a fanciful woman. She's thrifty, practical and honest. It wouldn't be like her to make up a story like that (at least for me.) Still, whenever I think of this story, it gives me chills.

Rest in peace, Great Uncle Chester.

Durnbach British and Canadian Military Cemetery


raluca said...

I like reading your daily posts, Stef!

Stephanie Titcombe said...

Thanks, Luka!