Remembering particularly today, my grandfather, who spent the First World War serving in France, in the trenches and his two brothers, who both were fatally wounded there, my father's half brother and my husband's cousin, who were killed fighting in the Second World War. John, my dear friend throughout my teens, who died serving in the army in Northern Ireland in 1975. My father, who was proud to say that he had never aimed a gun at a person in his life, but served in the Medical Corps throughout the war and was prepared to die for his country.
Recalling the memorial tablet I saw in a church in France last month, to a man and his three sons who were all killed in the Napoleonic wars, and of his wife and their mother, who was left to outlive them.
Praying particularly today, that the leaders whose ambition, beliefs or self-justification lead to conflict will talk and listen instead.
Remembering, with affection, Kit, who died yesterday.
And thinking of my beloved mother, whose birthday is today. She died in March 03, and in our last six months together we put behind us the difficulties of the previous fifteen years. When we were told the diagnosis of untreatable cancer, that time fell away and we both felt the pure love and unity of my childhood years.