When you think of your grandmother, how do you picture her? Is she gray haired and wrinkled, or can you picture the girl she once was? Most of us can only imagine our grandmothers as the age they were when we were able to have our first memory. That would put them in the vicinity of 40 to 50 years old, and of course, we are certain that they are ancient, mostly because when we are very young, anything over 20 is ancient. Rarely do we consider the idea that our grandmother could have been young once. We are sure she was born old…or at the very least, have not been young in such a long time that there is no way they remember it.
It can be so hard to picture as young, someone who we assume has always been old, but there was a time when our grandmother was a girl. She had to go through the same teenaged years, even though the times were different then. Could she possibly understand what kids go through today? I think she does, because even though she hasn’t gone through the exact things kids today have, she still had the same emotions and age related changes you did.
Bob’s grandmother grew to adulthood during the Roaring Twenties…a time of breaking with tradition. World War I was over, and everyone was in the mood to party and…well cut loose from the mundane. Jazz music became the “in thing” and I’m quite sure that the parents of that generation thought they were insane. And maybe to a degree, they were. Finally having the war over must have given them a feeling of euphoria. It’s like being under pressure for a long, long time, and finally the pressure is over, and you feel like you can fly.
That is the age when Bob’s grandmother grew up, and when I look at the pictures of her in those young years, she really looked the part, but of course, by the time she reached the age of 20, the Great Depression had hit. I can only imagine the emotions she must have gone through. The roller coaster ride from euphoria to depression within a matter of a few years. Now this generation of young people was going to have to really prove themselves. They were going to have to be the generation that would bring this country back from the brink. Imagine the emotions they must have gone through. Still, they did start our country on the road back from the brink to recovery. When you think about that, you are able to get beyond the idea that they couldn’t possibly have ever gone through the things you have gone through, to the point where you finally understand that it is you who have never gone the things they have gone through. It brings an appreciation of just how amazing that generation really was.