Well, I know “some” things. I know things about chia seeds and, because I love it so much, I know things about my family. But first, chia seeds…
I confess, it took me a very long time to eat chia seeds. Have you ever really looked at them? They don’t look like much, but evidently they are good for you. They’re packed with all kinds of good stuff like protein, calcium, iron, and magnesium. They lower your bad cholesterol and keep your brain healthy. They even help prevent osteoporosis. Of course, if you get them wet they turn into something that looks a lot like frog’s eggs. But people call it “chia pudding” and eat it anyway, so how bad can it be? Knowing all of the benefits, I was still hesitant to eat them and there was a very good reason. Chia Pets.
Remember Chia Pets? I was a teenager in the 70’s when Chia pets first made their appearance. Little clay heads or animals that would grow chia “hair” or “fur” when you wet them. They were kind of weird, but they were fun and became a kind of a “thing”. Of course, I killed mine because I really do have the black thumb of death. Back then the thought of eating my Chia Pet would have been barbaric. Now, I’ve consumed so many chia seeds I’m sure my gut resembles a sod farm. Times change.
I remember significant, historic changes in my lifetime. I remember life before color television, before the internet, and before everyone carried a cellphone. I sometimes wonder how we survived without these things, but somehow, we did. But there is a generation beyond my own that I sometimes need to stop and think about and lately that’s what I’ve been doing.
Recently, I’ve been thinking about my grandparents. I only really knew one of them, but all of them would have lived through most of the same things. My Grandma Moon lived with us for as long as I can remember. She outlived all of my other grandparents. She was born in the early 1900’s and died in the late 1900’s. She experienced much in those years. She had polio as a child and for one year of her early life she was unable to walk and had to be carried piggyback by her older sister. She lived through WWI, the Spanish Flu, and all of the deadly diseases before penicillin. She was a mother with three young girls through the Great Depression. She remembered Pearl Harbor, WWII, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt very clearly. She remembered all of those things, but she was not devastated by any of them. As my youngest daughter put it, “people were more resilient back then” and she’s right. Attitudes were also different. People didn’t have much so they didn’t have much to lose and they were grateful for what little they did have. They worked together through the hard times doing what they could for those around them because they were in whatever they were going through together.
We are all in this together. We have freedoms and technologies that previous generations knew nothing about. We have much to be grateful for and we have an opportunity now to live through these times with the resilience and attitude that carried that Greatest Generation through far worse. One day this will all be a part of history. One day our lives will all get back to normal. It may be a new normal, but eventually it will all be our normal. It may take time, but it will happen. And, hopefully, when it does we will look back at our time in our homes and realize it was really not that big a deal.
My grandparents were born in the late 1800s (!) and I loved to ask them about life and family back then. Then in speaking with my Great Uncle, born in 1900, he gave me contradicting stories. And we’ve been discovering that my mom told my much older siblings one version of our family history and she told me a completely different version.
The first version of both were the cleaned up versions, the second versions were the dirty… not sure if was truth or amplification, but it had the juicy details.
My paternal grandfather was born in 1885, the other three the early 1900’s. I only ever met my maternal grandparents. My maternal grandparents were divorced, which was unheard of in those days. Even worse, my grandmother raised her girls in an Irish catholic neighborhood, they were Irish protestants. That was also a big thing. And then, probably just to kind of spit in everyone’s eye, my grandma died her hair…red. (For shame!)
Thank you for this reminder that people have the ability to be strong and resilient. We do …. most of us just do t know it yet! I will be sharing this with my kids because they actually got to know some of their great grandparents, and may need to be reminded that faith, strength, and resilience are a part of their rich heritage.
It’s as much a reminder for myself as for anyone else. We can learn a lot from those that have gone before us.
I miss you!