346 Years

That’s how many collective years of history were in the room for lunch the other day. We were celebrating a couple of birthdays; my mom turns 83 today and my uncle turned 89 on Monday. Adding my dad and aunts 87’s in there that’s a lot. So much life lived. The thought that most of your life span is in the rear view mirror is jolting.

My parents were born in the 1930’s. We know from history classes that the dirty thirties were a hard time. The Great Depression. An entire world in economic crisis. On the heels of the worst depression comes a world war. Total devastation of their country. Starvation and refugees. Then in the 1950’s new adventures in a Canadian frontier. In the 1960’s starting a family. Three kids later …

Major changes throughout their lives yet, in many ways, old fashioned. Technology for example eluded them. There’s many times where they are baffled by the digital advances.

But I’m always in awe of their resilience and the survival instinct of humans in general. You take the hand you were dealt and work with it. Put your trauma into a compartment and live your life.

My dad has a scar on his upper lip. I asked him how he got it. He was about 4 or 5 years old. His parents owned a business. A Wirtschaft. He and his brother were fooling around. One chased the other and the glass pane in a door cracked. A jagged piece fell on my dad and cut his lip.

From some of the other stories it would appear that my dad was a bit wild and unruly but more often than not left his brother holding the bag and taking the blame. They both laugh at the memories.

Next year will be a collective 350 years … it’s awesome and too real. I wish they could live forever.

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