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Today is Family Day in Canada. Well, in certain parts of Canada. OK, in 3 provinces of Canada. And I don’t live in any of them… but to celebrate I stayed in bed until 3:30 in the afternoon! Yup. That counts for something, right?
There has been a movement in recent years to push for a statutory holiday in February, because of the long period between New Years Day and Good Friday. Apparently most people polled seem to agree that there should be a paid day off in February to celebrate families. Really? Wow… that’s quite a shocker! I’m guessing that even people without families are saying yes to that question. Let’s be honest and call it what it really is… It’s Frickin’ Freezing Outside and I Don’t Want to Go to Work Day. Celebrate family? Yeah… ok.
So who are the lucky duckies who got to stay home today? (other than moi… but it’s a regular day off for me) Thankfully we have Wikipedia to answer that question! Seems that the good people of Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan appreciate their families more than the rest of the country. British Columbia is adding the holiday starting in 2013. The rest of us… not so much. Oh wait! Manitoba has Louis Riel Day. Not too shabby for a guy who was hanged for leading a rebellion! Prince Edward Island has Islander Day. Lame. Every day should be Islander Day! Then again, maybe every day should be Family Day too… But for the rest of us… we have to wait until April until we see a day off… except people in Newfoundland and Labrador.. apparently some of them get St Patrick’s Day off with pay. Hmm.. I wonder what they do to pass the time?
And if you’re in one of those provinces who dared to make people go to work today, and you’re thinking that you’re somehow missing out and having to work more than your counterparts in western Canada (and PEI)… you may be surprised to learn that there is quite a discrepancy from province to province as to what constitutes a statutory holiday, so the number varies quite a bit. Think that Boxing Day is a national holiday? Nope! Chances are you probably get it off… but it’s not mandatory in all provinces. How about Remembrance Day? Sadly, no. Not everywhere. Ontario doesn’t consider it to be a statutory holiday, which really surprises me. Family Day, yes. Remembrance Day, no. No offence to families everywhere, but I think that November 11 should be a mandatory day off for all Canadians (with obvious exceptions) to reflect on those who gave their lives to fight for our freedom. Why Remembrance Day is not a national statutory holiday, I do not understand.
Think you know everything there is to know about holidays in Canada, and which ones you are entitled to by law? You might be surprised. I was! Take a look at this list of Canadian public holidays.
And regardless of whether or not you had to go to work today… celebrate your family… not because you got paid to stay home… but because it’s the right thing to do.
I’m sitting here at work. It’s pouring outside. A typical miserable Remembrance Day, except that it’s quite a bit warmer than it probably should be. For 10 years I stood outside in the rain, wind, sleet and snow, as a member of 722 Communication Reserve. After I put that part of my life behind me, I started taking my Grandfather to the ceremony at his local legion. After he passed away I took my kids. Now that I’m separated… there’s no one left to take. I’m almost relieved to be working today because it removes any guilt I would have felt for not attending a ceremony. There’s always an excuse… “It’s cold out. It’s wet out. I don’t like the crowds. I have to work.” Most of those excuses are pretty lame. Except the one of having to work.
Things have been so busy at work today that I haven’t been able to write the kind of quality post that I had hoped to.
But no matter how bad of a day that I think I’m having at work, it pales in comparison to what our Vets endured.
Something to think about…
Lest We Forget
This is my grandfather. He was a proud Welshman. He fought in the Second World War as a member of the Royal Navy aboard a number of destroyers and submarines. I can not imagine what he, and so many others like him, must have gone through. He was a far better man than I will ever be.
This is the last picture that I have of my grandfather before he passed away a few years ago. For his last few Remembrance Days, Cecile and I would go to his house and take him to the Legion to observe the ceremonies. He was always dressed in his best and waiting for us. It was a bittersweet moment to see him talking to some of his old friends. They would comment that there were fewer of them every year. And even though he knew that he wasn’t supposed to, he would enjoy his rum and Coke with those friends.
It’s on a day like this that I am reminded of those simple pleasures. Taking my grandfather to observe Remembrance Day was our thing. I know how much he appreciated it. What I didn’t realize at the time was how much *I* appreciated it too. Remembrance Days haven’t been the same since he passed away.
To everyone who fought for Freedom… to those who came home… and those who paid the Ultimate Sacrifice… Thank you.
And to my grandfather… I miss you, Grampy.