I’m not sure what my Baba would say about what’s going on in this world, but I know she’d say something.
My paternal grandma felt most comfortable in the active kitchen of the green coal company house she kept immaculately clean, located just down the road from her mother, mother in-law, several siblings and in-laws. Still, she loved to sip tea and opine about the world outside Colver, PA. How I’d love to sit there today, nibble on her walnut roll and pick her brain!
Her husband, our Pap, was far more reserved in the days we knew him but I imagine he’d have a thing or two to say about 2020 to his mine buddies at the club.
My Grandpa Fey used to get all the day’s news from behind the meat counter at Fey’s Supermarket in Cincinnati. But, he also read the newspapers and ended every day by watching the Al Schottelkotte news. (Sidenote: When I Googled Al to confirm the spelling of his last name, I discovered this gem of a story. “During a 1977 newscast, an intruder barged into the studio shouting as Schottelkotte began narrating a film report. He punched the prowler with one hand while muting his microphone with the other so viewers could not hear it. The intruder fled and Schottelkotte, unperturbed, continued with the newscast.” Come on! They really were the greatest generation!)
Though shy, Grandma Fey always seemed very sophisticated to me, and I wonder, too, how she would have viewed this world we’re living in.
I thought about all this yesterday, Grandparent’s Day here in the U.S., but also a day in which I watched the Packers play in an empty stadium, enjoyed a quick socially distant street visit with my sister and niece, checked in on my son and daughter in-law, who are currently safe but pinned by West Coast wildfires, Zoom-chatted with family members from all corners of this great country, and worried a lot about the state of the world.
My grandparents would all be over a 100 years old today, which means they lived through two world wars, a Great Depression, the Korean Conflict, McCarthyism, the Vietnam War, the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy.
On a more personal level, they also lived through mine closures, home fires, robberies, major illness and the death of a son.
I believe they each learned from every challenge and emerged stronger and more empathetic. I’m quite certain I wouldn’t agree with all of their opinions, nor they mine.
But, I sure would love to hear their perspective and participate in an opportunity for mutual growth.
If your grandparent is only a phone call away, treat yourself to a real conversation and maybe, together, we can start inching this challenging year forward.