Today, I was proud to wear my CamSAR uniform and attend a service of Remembrance at March’s parish church. I was there to remember those who gave their lives in both world wars in their roles as search and rescue personnel.
Each year, I attend a battlefield trip to The Somme. These services have, therefore, become very personnel as I remember my great grandfathers who served (and in one case died) there.
But what struck me today was something completely unrelated to war, though the sermon retold a wartime story. It spoke to me of the support and care people give to each other, without even knowing the difference that they make.
The story was of a nurse who comforted an injured WW2 soldier who was about to have a leg amputated. As she washed the mud and blood off the soldier’s face, she saw eyes filled with fear looking back. He begged the nurse to stay with him until his operation. Taking his hand in her own, he clung to it tightly.
After the operation, he was returned home to recuperate. She never saw him again, but sometime later, she did receive a letter.
It told how he had often thought of the care he received during his darkest hours. Though he was still frightened, he would think back to the comfort she gave him. This helped him not to be so frightened.
This story reminded me of my own dark times a few years before. How one person had got me through, without ever knowing what he had done.
Never under-estimate the power of a smile, a kind word, or a hug. It may be a small gesture to you. But it could be the guiding light that shines in the darkness of another’s world.