Ladies Camera Club

9 Mar 2012

Putting it into perspective

Tonight, Belles and I went on a coffee date after school. We have discovered the sheer delight of Sainsbury's own cafe which has these great views of the A49 and people coming to shop, fill up with fuel, having their car washed and visiting McDonalds. Ellie simply loves coming; she just enjoys observing the commotion. We were quietly minding our own business when a young lad and his girlfriend came to sit near us.

Then I heard him comment "Is she in year 11?"
I was a bit taken aback by this strange voice and with him saying "She". I looked him over and thought he looked like "an alright lad" and so I said "Yes"
He replied "She was in year 7 when I was in year 11"
A-Ha! So they were in school together. Ok......I'll accept your questions.
I said "You must be about 20 now, then - yes?"
He confirmed. He then asked "Is she still using her electric wheelchair?"
and I said "Yes".

He was quite a pleasant lad and asking so many questions about Ellie (there was no way Ellie was talking to him; strangers get the "hold on to my arm kind of treatment"). He kept looking at her and me and smiling. The conversation then got onto him. I asked what he did now and he said "Im in the Army, in the Coldstream Guards".

My heart just flumped. This young lad, this incredibly young looking lad was in the Army? I was floored. I mean, I joined the Royal Air Force when I was 16 but back then there was no hideous wars going on and looking back then, I think I looked older than him at 16 than what he does at 20.

My mind was racing after yesterdays devastating news of those 6 YOUNG men who all lost their lives in Afghanistan. And I kept looking at this lad and I was worried for him. This young man who was polite and inquisitive and talkative. Most 20 years olds don't give a damn about anyone. Hell, even Ellie's school friends don't even talk to her when we see them in the supermarkets or shops. They don't even acknowledge her. But he was such a breath of fresh air to be around even though it felt like the strangest thing. Ellie and I can go about our business for week's on end without anyone talking to us. And by chance, this lovely lad paid attention and made Ellie feel like a normal girl and "involving" her.

I asked how he liked the Army and did he come home much. His girlfriend was so young and so pretty. I just know how Army life is with a relationship and I could see these two were in love. He then mentioned he was transferring to The Duke of Lancs Regiment which, after yesterdays tragic news, brought it all home for me. One of those 6 came from the Duke of Lancs Regt. This was too close for comfort for me. But then I started to get a grip. This lad wasn't forced to join the Army and by the looks, he was pretty proud of the fact. And I commend that. I kept looking at him and then Ellie and found it hard to relate that they were once in school together. And now he is the man and about to take his first tour in Afghanistan next year. And whilst my heart aches for these amazing men and women who consign themselves to such bravery/danger, I also admire them for signing that dotted line in the first place. THEY REALLY ARE HEROES - war or not.

As they got up to leave, I ceased the opportunity to ask if he would mind having a photo taken with Ellie. She does not remember him from school at all but I want her to remember this moment forever as testament to this young man's thoughtfulness, courage and bravery. It was only at the time of this photo did I ask his name. His name is Jordan. It means "one who descends". Pretty ironic, right?

Isn't he sweet? Oh, ahem... I mean butch ;)

Jordan, if you are reading this, I just want you to know that I/WE think you are amazing. I know nobody tells you that, especially your Commanding Officers. You only get an appraisal if something has happened to you and I'm afraid that isn't how it should be. Know how much that people like me, just the general joe public, think you do the most courageous things. And we are very grateful for it.

Kirsty x
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Anonymous said...

We all know someone who does a job - paid for it and their choice dont we. Police killed , paramedics assulted with life chaning injuries, firement rescuing others and killed or injured, lifeboat men who are volunteers rescuing those who have ignored safety advice and so on and are lost at sea because of these people, the list goes on and the Armed Services is another part of what others do , paid and with choice to sign up or not. No not good, no possibly whatever politics you choose to believe not or maybe is required and yet today in the UK because of someone taking drugs, too much alcohol, not bothering to adhere to speed limits etc others will be put at risk too and they are never ever remembered , have loved ones, girl/boy friends husbands wifes, parents...and they get no mention, no charity, no support because they are doing their job like this lad is too.

Pol said...

Kirsty - thank you for posting this. You had me in tears - one of the young men lost this week is pretty local. There is a TA barracks across the road from us - the flag has been at half mast far too many times over the last few years.
Anonymous; the police, RNLI, paramedics, fire service etc are certainly recognised by the public as doing difficult, dangerous jobs. If someone in these services is killed it is national news. They are certainly remembered.
But in a week where 6 young men have been killed, I think we can all recognise that serving in Afghanistan has a whole different level of danger attached.

Dawn said...

Kirsty, fitting words for the young man! I've experienced the life 1st hand through my dad and I certainly wouldn't want to do it but am thankful for the armed services everyday!

Carole Z said...

Thanks for posting this Kirsty, I was getting very emotional reading it. My heart goes out to the families of those boys, most around the same age as this lad, it is all so very sad and they need our support, X

Kirsty Wiseman said...

Well put, pol xx
My anonymous offender is always willing to put a dampened on things, unfortch

Kirsty Wiseman said...

Bless you heart, dawn x

Kirsty Wiseman said...

They do! It's breaking my heart; they font know just how much we respect them. Appreciate them whilst we have them and glorify their sheer existence and commitment.

Judi said...

He is obviously a very caring and thoughtful young man, not to mention brave. What a lovely story. I wish him well and hope he keeps safe.

LindaB said...

I too was reading with tears rolling down my face, not just at this young man who recognised and spoke with you and your daughter but at a young man with his life in front of him doing a 'job' that has so much potential for things that we have no understanding of. My nephew was made redundant from the RAF - no job - recently, as a family a blessing. to him he felt let down as he was just doing his job.
What a funny old world we live in. These people are going out into the world to protect others then we have some at home who do nothing to protect themselves!!!!

Thanks Kirsky

Anita said...

Thank you for sharing this Kirsty. He sounds like a lovely young man and a brave one too. Hope he stays safe. xx

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post, Kirsty. My DH was army, back in the day! :-) They are the real heroes. It really, really annoys me when someone comes out with the name of some "star" and labels them a hero.... Footballers aren't heroes. Film stars are not heroes. Our emergency services can certainly be heroes, but these young men and women are the real heroes. To sign on the dotted line; knowing that they could be sent to a war zone to protect us all - even people like "Anon" - without question. To be prepared to lose their life or limbs or to watch their friends die. They are the heroes.
And what a lovely young man Jordan is. To remember Ellie from school! :-) He certainly is gorgeous. If only I were 20 years younger - I'd still be too old for him! LOL. x Total respect to him and his colleagues.
And Anon - hiding again - you do make me laugh; really laugh; you don't have a $%^^&* clue, do you? Check your facts about charities and help for emergency services personnel; and how many emergency service personnel have seen and experienced the real horrors that these young men and women have experienced?
Jordan - I think you are amazing too.

Sue said...

I hope Jordan is kept safe and returns to his loved ones.

Kirsty Wiseman said...

Me too x

Kirsty Wiseman said...

Aaaaaaw it wasn't meant to make you cry xxx

Kirsty Wiseman said...

Thanks, Anita x

Kirsty Wiseman said...

You are right, heroes are those who think they are just doing their job. Well, they just need reminding how fab they are xx

Kirsty Wiseman said...

Thanks Sue x. Hope you and poochy are well x

Carolyn Phillips said...

What an awesome lad. Not matter what his job to recognise Ellie and come and ask about her rather than just think 'I wonder if that is the kid who was in yr 7' is awesome enough in itself; but then to be willing to sit and chat with you is another level of awesomeness. Then on top of that to discover all you did about him, and on such a day and for him to be doing what he is and taking those! Jordan, Come home safe, the world needs people like you.

Sherrie said...

An amazing story - and what a truly lovely lad - what a breath of fresh air to meet such a grown up and sensitive young man. I have a son reaching his teenage years and I truly hope this young man is okay, especially for his mother's sake. On another note, how smart does your girl look in her snazzy uniform! x

veta said...

Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell.Talk to a man about himself and he will listen for hours Teaching English

Clare said...

What a wonderful post Kirsty - certainly makes you realize that not all young men are the same and Jordan must truly make his parents very proud.
Having come from a forces family and my Dad being away in Northern Ireland when I was younger I know how scary it is to have your loved ones away. But its a sacrifice they are willing to make for their country.
Jordan and all personnel are to be commended and I really do hope they know how much we owe them.

Sam Currie said...

Oh lord that is such a brilliant post, and doesn't Jordan look a lovely lad. I', filling up

Anonymous said...

I've got a lump in my throat! What a truly inspiring and heart warming blog entry. With his compassion, interpersonal skills and obvious bravery Jordan is going to go far and good luck to him I say. GO JORDAN x


Jaki Morris said...

I posted about this on your FB page and now I have read the full post.

This is a boy any woman would be proud to call her son. Let's hope he is kept safe along with everyone else who serves their country and therefore us, no matter what our views are.
Anonymous, I for one have had to call on our emergency services and I have the utmost respect for everyone of them.
You really need to come out from behind your cloak of anonimity

Anonymous said...

I think blogger just ate my comment and won't let me leave this page. I am so annoyed as I feel I had written a very good comment to anonymous.

Shazza said...

Oh you soo soo made me cry. I know he must be very very proud, but my heart aches for him and the other young boys off to war and bearly old enough to drink alchohol, etc. Please let him come home safe! All my love to him and his family when he goes off to war.

Ellie looking fabulous in her glasses. Love the coffee treats... you know how to relax x x x

Debo said...

What an amazing boy, I mean man! (but barely, surely)

I can only echo the comments made already (except for anon of course! Of course we have respect for these other professions but NONE of them have the same element of danger as the Armed Forces!)

I hope they can all come home soon, before we lose any more of these amazing men and women.

Redanne said...

What an amazing young man Jordan is, I hope that he keeps safe. I do try not to read 'anonymous's'comments but I cannot seem to help myself - oh dear....

Fiona said...

What a thought provoking post Kirsty.
I couldn't agree more with your views on our service personnel, we are so fortunate to have these courageous people willing to put their lives on the line for their country. Jordan is obviously a very kind and special lad, lets hope he keeps safe.
Anon, try proof-reading your comments before you post them.

Amy said...

He does indeed look so young, as did those boys killed last week. The news that five of them were younger than me and had already lived, and lost, a war hit me harder than it has in the past. I have loved ones out in Afghan at the moment and I am counting down the days until they are home safely, until everyone is home safely. What a lovely young boy, I've got my fingers crossed for him.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kirsty, not left you a message for a while but had to tonight.
What a wonderful young man ( Im biased perhaps because I have a Jordan too!) seriously though, it puts things into perspective. As for anonymous.....the fact that you dont have the b***s to even put your name says it all - you dont have to like what is said (but you must be deranged in this case if you dont) but you dont have to make caustic unecessary comments either. Grow up and if Kirstys blog 'offends' you so much then stop flippin reading it....and get some help too because Ive read it forever and not once found anything offensive in it. Rant over.
Sue Ramsay

Jordan said...

Hello people this is jordan thank you for the support its my job and its not about the money or the bravery or medals its just somthing i wanted to do and always have done since i was six years old i wish ellie good luck with collage and hope we meet again some time in the future and anonymous people are cowardly people thats why if u comment on somthing say it from your own mouth stand up and be counted or hide behind a curtain and keep yourself and opinions to yourself jelousy dont take you places courage does

Kirsty Wiseman said...

Hi Jordan. So glad you replied :).
If you need a change of scenery next time in leave, cone and see us in Ashton x. I have a website, our address is in there x

Rosie (Freycob) said...

Ok, now I've got tears in my eyes. A brave young lad serving his Queen and his Country with pride. Jordan; I wish you and your colleagues a safe journey.

Only hope my son will wear his RAF Uniform with pride when it's his time.


Julia said...

Made me cry - a beautiful story, thanks for sharing x