Friday, October 07, 2005

Hey, Thanks.

I've been deathly ill all week. It was so bad that I ended up taking two and a half days off work this week. Today I was running at about 75%, and was fortunate that I did not have to put in a regular, full day of work.

This afternoon I cleaned the carpets in the home of an elderly gentleman. It wasn't the first time I had been there, but it was the first time I noticed the pictures on his kitchen wall. One was a letter of recognition from the British government, dated 1946, thanking the man for his efforts defending England during WW2. Another one was an official RAF document with the insignia of his company (and gosh darnit if I can remember the name... curse this poor memory of mine). Two other pictures each contained a large group of people standing in front of what appeared to be large bomber aircraft, and another smaller company in front of another bomber. He noticed me looking at them, and so I asked him about them.

He told me that he was a radar engineer during the war. He was trained in Vancouver (UBC, actually), spent some time in Ontario, two months in Texas, and it was overseas for him. He spent most of the war either on Iceland, or in the northern part of Ireland. His job was to monitor and repair radar stations, as well as the radar on allied aircraft. The bombers I saw in the photos were Lancaster bombers. They were huge. In fact, that is probably the most apt term to describe them: huge. Huge in everyway, not only their size, but also their effectiveness and durability. The Avro Lancasters dropped two-thirds of all RAF bombs from 1941-1945. Pretty impressive stuff.

And this elderly man, who now cannot walk without assistance from a wheeled device, helped defend England and her allies from destruction at the hands of Hitler's Germany.

After every job I do at a customer's home, I say a hearty "thank you". I do not think I have ever meant it more than when I said it today.

Hey, thanks. Thanks a lot.