Darleen Aguiar recalled an incident a few years ago. Her boss came into her office carrying a small container of shoe polish. She couldn’t open it and asked for help.
Aguiar managed to get it open, but she cried the whole time. The smell, she said, reminded her or her father who kept his boots and shoes shining at all times.
Then she laughed, recalling the words of her boss: “Relax Darleen. It’s just f…… shoe polish.”
The sound of cannon fire during this year’s Remembrance Day observance at Queen’s Park was no less forgiving. The blasts reminded her of the funeral of her father, Pte. Thomas Joseph Buckley. He had received a veteran’s funeral service from the Royal Canadian Legion in 2008.
During that service, veterans stepped up to pin their poppies on the casket. The only other veteran of the Korean War placed his poppy on her father’s lapel. Recalling the moment brought tears to Darleen Aguiar’s eyes again.
“That’s why Remembrance Day kills me,” she said “It’s basically the whole reminder of it. I know that the first year that I went to city hall after he died, I cried through the whole thing.”
Aguiar said she tries to focus on his character rather than his passing. His sense of humour sticks in her mind the most.
“I remember he was out with my husband for the day,” she said “When they got home, my husband said he’s never going anywhere with my dad again. They were at the mall and Dad thought it would be funny to trip Santa Claus! … Even after his second heart attack, he kept the nurses laughing all day.”