Processing History

May 16, 2020

History is a funny thing. 

This is a picture of my grandma right after she was married.  The year?  1909.  This brings perspective for today.  It was right before the Spanish flu pandemic that killed millions.  She's smiling in the picture, but she was in for "a ride."

 

When I was a kid, I hated history.  At that age, I couldn't grasp the concepts of what happened a long long time ago.  i didn't have the experiential base.  World War 1 and World War 2 were columns of words on a page and it was a mystery to me how countries could fight each other and why it was so much of a blow up killing so many people.  I wondered to myself what kind of world I was growing up in.  It is still hard for me to understand how it was all kindled.

 

Even the good stuff, like Western expansion.  I had not been very far out of Indiana so all "the West" was, was on a colorful map.  I memorized it all like a good little girl, guessed on multiple choice questions and got C's.

 

Fast forward to full grown adult.  Now I have watched more of history happen, as I have heard stories along the way from the older generations.  This was the depth of understanding and learning I didn't have as a child.  I travelled all over and listened to more stories and gotten perspective.  Now I understand how far out west California is!  Flying on a plane doesn't really give me the "feel" of how far people went looking for gold, or forming new states.  It just doesn't do it justice.

 

I can tell my kids and grandkids as many stories as I can about my lifetime.  Some of it they won't understand until it is tempered with their own experiences.

 

The present Coronovirus epidemic is someday be history.  My grandson can talk about his 7 year old birthday all by himself with his stuffed animals.  Teens can talk about the new ways they found to celebrate graduation with no crowded stadium.

 

I wish I could talk to my grandma again.  She was about 20, when she went through the Spanish Flu epidemic.  She was a young mom during World War 1 when 22 million people were killed (who can conceive of that?).  She was raising 3 children during the Great Depression.  A few years later World War 2 starts and my grandma watches sons and  nephews go to war.  A few years after that, the Korean war takes millions.    

She watched her daughter (my om) get married a month before the Korean war took place, killing millions.  During their time of raising a family, there was the Vietnam war.  So much loss!  They made it through.  They had to.    I didn't mention that there were many many good times.  I am speaking of perspective when it comes to human loss.

 

Now, here I am in 2020.  Life is still turned upside down most of the time.  There are lots of good times, too.  We will make it.

 

 

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