My grandparents have been gone for quite a long time now, two of my parents have now been gone for over two years. Yes, that sounds strange, but I had two sets of parents. I am very fortunate I had two sets of parents, but that is another story for another time. I miss all of them, and there is a reason my grandparents were part of the greatest generation, they had real struggles and real sacrifice. My father-in-law fought in that war and he is still alive, very few are left. My parents were born during those times. If you have not read the book “The Greatest Generation” by Tom Brokaw, I strongly recommend you do. If, for nothing else, perspective.
I wish I talked more with my grandparents about living through the depression or World War II. I now realize why my grandfather went to the grocery store every day and bought just a few things, not hoarding, just basics. At one point, I had a year’s supply of coffee. He knew I liked coffee, so he had a hidden message, be prepared, and he thought of me. My grandmother always cooked stuff like pasta or sauce, she knew it was food that can be used for several days. She always had a hankey in her sleeve for an emergency sneeze, kind of odd saying that in the current situation.
My parents are very similar, they would do things they were capable of before paying somebody to do it for them. My dad prides himself on being cheap. My wife says the same about me. The apple does not fall far from the tree. They saved extra money and did without unless necessary. Amazingly, I never went without. I don’t recall any of them ever taking a sick day. Vacations were something local, by car, no plane trips, and fancy hotels. They read books, went fishing and did not complain about a thing, at least not anything I saw.
We try to instill these in our kids and they are very adaptable. They don’t bitch or complain when things are not perfect. One son is on the verge of missing his high school graduation due to the current pandemic. He is missing the last few months of his high school experience. A daughter works in what is now a dangerous area, a hospital, as a dietician working with babies. Our other son is going on the front lines as an EMT. All sacrificing, and all pulling the rope-like good responsible adults.
Today, we are faced with a minor challenge in comparison to what my grandparents went through and what our parents were born into. Some of us are acting like assholes. First, nobody could have predicted this so the nonsense that it is Trump’s fault, or the republicans don’t care, or the democrats are promoting the nanny state and taking down the government must stop. We are Americans, we lead the world, and we need to start that, or this will be much worse. The government works for us and now is the time to put party politics aside. I think they are starting to do that. Every country looks at how we react. If we acted like this in 1941 trust me we would be speaking German now.
The youth need to suck it up and stop complaining that spring break was ruined, they had to leave the college campus, the beach, or not being able to do your thing. Not much is asked of you! Stay home, do your schoolwork, be grateful you have plenty of food and a health system that will work fine if we just listen. Nobody is asking you to fight a war, do without basic supplies or sacrifice like your grandparents. Stop disrespecting them. There was a time all gave some and some gave all for you to do nothing more than sit on the couch and stream videos.