Hello and thank you for calling in...

My name is Helen and I am a Photographer living in England. I started this Blog on the day that my Grandma died, three months after my Father died and several weeks before a third funeral. Initially it was a very personal way to stay connected to the people I'd lost and it helped, it really did. But writing and taking pictures everyday has opened back up a creative side that I had lost during the everyday. A big thank you to my followers, to those who take the time to comment and to new visitors, I hope we will become Blog friends too...

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

four Chinooks and a camera

Four Chinook helicopters just flew over our house, I get excited about helicopters running to the windows when I hear them coming. A little odd I know but Dad used to take me to airshows and displays where he worked and it was always the helicopters I loved. Once, I don't remember where, I watched a group of helicopters 'dance' in the sky, it was mesmerising. So here I am this morning yelling upstairs to my son (who is about to leave school to join the Army) to look out of the window and taking pictures to show him incase he doesn't see them when he stopped me in my tracks with "if theres four then theres dead bodies in them"

He knows a great deal about planes and Army goings on but surely that can't be right? it shocked me. Thankfully or maybe it was fate, there was no memory card in my camera, what a disrespectful thing to take a picture of, if it was the case. I had a look on the Internet but couldn't find anything about it. I suppose its struck me so much because although you hear about wars on the TV and my son is about to join which is a worry in its self, the actual reality of war is a very long way away from here.

We had the Falklands War when i was a child, a vivid memory of friends being off school when HMS Sheffield was bombed, waiting to hear if their brothers were coming home. They did thank goodness. And we watched the start of the Gulf War on TV late one night with the talk on The News of conscriptions, that was scary. But on the whole its all happening somewhere else to someone else, someone else's sons and husbands.

I firmly believe that i don't have the right to try and dissuade my son from doing something that he has been interested in for years. He has a rosy view of it all of course and I know that there will be a few coming down to earth with a plop moments, a few phone calls home but its 'in him' I can see that.

Its the fear of death again, the emotional pain of it and I suppose if those helicopters did contain sons and husbands of other women it seems so hard to balance what we've just been through with three painful deaths in our family and the fact that these boys are making the choice to walk towards it.

Thank goodness they are brave enough to do so and how they do that I will never know. I'm sure that if someone was threatening my children I wouldn't hesitate but its a different thing entirely to make it your job, your way of life with that risk of death every present.

It has to be done, I know that from conversations with my father, as he worked for the Ministry of Defence, so I understand war and understand the need for Army's to protect us. As children we looked proudly at photographs of my great uncles in the Second World War in smart uniforms doing their duty. My grandmas wedding dress was made out of parachute silk taken from a German pilots parachute who ejected and landed in the field behind their house. War and war stories, planes and military equipment have been a part of my life in an ebbing and flowing kind of way for years but with the cloud of deaths still lingering over me and my sons impending departure to the Army those helicopters didn't half give me a shock this morning.

No comments:

Post a Comment