Actually, make that four minutes and thiry-two seconds.
I was surprised a few days ago when my daughter-in-law told me that a video we made in the spring of 2013 had been posted to Facebook by Military Family Services. I had completely forgotten about it. Suddenly, there it was out in the public eye. Not that it wasn’t before, since it was released on YouTube two years ago, but attention hadn’t been called to it or the series of videos made for the same project. And I wasn’t exactly sure how I felt about it.
Early in 2013, I received an email from the director of the Military Family Support Unit for Europe asking if we would be interested in participating in a special project. A collaboration between the Directorate of Quality of Life and Military Family Services and the Vanier Institute of the Family, this project aimed to educate professionals as to the unique challenges faced by military families in the areas of health care, mental health, education, community and social services. The project is ongoing until 2018. A selection of families from across Canada would be interviewed and filmed to bring real faces and stories to the forefront. Of course, we agreed to participate. How could we not? It touches our lives in so many ways. A few weeks later, I was interviewed by telephone about our experiences as a military family of long duration and we pinpointed a few topics that were of interest to the production team, namely the isolation of a remote posting and the issues we had faced with respect to family over the course of my husband’s career. Shortly after that, the producer/photographer and his assistant arrived in Budapest to film and interview us, to follow us around over the course of several days.
The filming itself was fun. We were asked questions by a crew member who doesn’t appear on camera, nor does her voice make its way into the final video. You hear only our answers. Filming took place at our home, on a walk around the neighbourhood, on the tram, at our gym, at the Central Market of Budapest, and at a local restaurant where we arranged to have a friend join us for lunch. Fortunately, we were blessed with gorgeous warm spring weather, which made it easy for filming. The crew had planned to interview one of our adult sons with respect to the impact of the military lifestyle on his life, but unfortunately, a mutually convenient time was unable to be arranged. Consequently, a good deal of the things we spoke about on film were edited out of the final video. Nonetheless, I feel that we were able to discuss some issues that affect families who serve their country abroad in isolating situations.