Remembering

Remembrance Day July 15 2045

A man about 70 years old is sitting in a backyard chatting with his eight year old granddaughter as their family is preparing for other family members to arrive.

Grandpa, did we celebrate Remembrance Day when you were my age?

No, not when I was your age. I was closer to your mom and dad’s age. This day has only been a national holiday for a little over twenty years, w,ell before you were born.

Mom and Dad say we get together because of a bad virus that spread all over the world and we remember so we don’t forget. Why do we want to remember a virus that got lots of people sick?

Well, it’s not so much the virus we remember but those who were most affected by it. We remember the people who didn’t get better and the people who helped us get through that time.

You mean like doctors and nurses?

Yes, like doctors and nurses but so many more who risked their own health so that others would remain safe. People like first responders, police officers, firefighters, and those in the military. There were so many.

They’re always the heroes, right?

Yes, they are, but there were many other people who put their own health at risk so the rest of us could live our lives safely at home. Before that time, we never gave much thought to truck drivers or people who worked in food stores as heroes, but those drivers transported food to the stores, even though it was risky. And the people who worked at those stores showed up everyday so that the rest of us were able to purchase food.
Teachers made sure their students continued to learn, people who worked in pharmacies made sure people continued to get their medicine,  restaurants stayed open so that some people could order food if they couldn’t get to the grocery stores. Maintenance people made sure the hospitals stayed clean and those who worked in banks kept coming in so people could get money if they needed it. I’ve probably not mentioned nearly as many heroes as there were during that time.

So that’s what today is about?

Partly, yes. We want to remember all those who lost someone and we want to give thanks to those who helped us get through that period of time.  We don’t ever want to forget any of them.

Do all countries celebrate this day?

Well, a few other countries remember this pandemic in their own way, but they don’t call it Remembrance Day since that name means something different for other countries.

Mom and Dad said things changed after the virus. Did they change a lot?

For many, yes. Others just went back to the same routine and the life they lived before this happened.

What kind of things changed?

Well, you know we lost our way of life for a while; our freedom to go where we wanted when we wanted. To see and hug  the people we love the most. You really don’t know how much you miss something until it’s been taken away from you. Then you realize you miss it even more than you could have imagined.
People used to live very busy lives. Many families never had dinner together, were pulled in different directions and missed family celebrations or birthdays, because of commitments they thought were important.

People really missed birthday parties and celebrations?

Sadly, yes. But a strange thing happened after this was over. Some people came to understand what was really important in life. That you can’t get some days back. There’s only one of them and when you miss it, it’s gone forever. Just like people. Unfortunately, some people learned that the hard way.

So people changed?

Like I said ,some did. But not all. You see, during that time you really couldn’t go anywhere and families were forced to spend a lot of time together. So instead of rushing around with other commitments, they went for walks, played games, ate together, talked a lot more, went for bike rides, read books, watched movies, cooked meals together and just hung out. They had time to make time for each other. Sometimes they got on each others nerves, but when it was over and they were able to do the things they did before, some realized they would miss what they had during the time they were forced to stay home. They decided they wanted more of their down time and less of the craziness they had before. So they changed the way they lived their lives. They made compromises and adjustments so they could have the best of both worlds. They realized it was easy to do if they just focused on what was most important to them.
But like I said, not everyone felt them same way.

Did our family change?

Eventually yes, but it took a little time, which was probably true of most people.

Mom and Dad said people who used to work in offices had to go in everyday. That must have been weird for kids. I couldn’t imagine not having mom or dad home almost everyday.

Well, it wasn’t weird before the virus. In fact, that was pretty standard. But two things happened. People realized they could work just as efficiently from home and be able to spend more time with their families. And companies realized if they allowed that to happen without it affecting their business their employees would be happier and they could cut down on the amount of office space they needed and save some money on rent in the process. So there was a compromise of sorts. Some people began working in the office one to three days a week on rotating shifts. Not all jobs could do that, of course, but quite a bit more than people realized just a few months earlier.

So the virus wasn’t all bad?

Well, for some it was terrible. Many people lost family members and some nurses and doctors had a tough time healing after what they experienced. But people also became kinder to one another. If you went for a walk during that time, people who were strangers would wave to you and ask if everyone was okay. If someone needed help, they received it. People sang, and danced, told jokes, made crazy videos and raised money for those who were less fortunate and needed support.
So to answer your question,  there was some good that came out of something that was bad.

That happens a lot doesn’t it.

Yes, that happens a lot, if we pay attention and just look hard enough.

For several minutes, the little girl said nothing, looking past the people who started to arrive. Finally, she asked her grandfather if he thought  a virus like that could ever happen again.

He hesitated before answering, putting his arm around her and holding her close.

It’s possible, I suppose, though we’re much better prepared in case it ever happens again. But if that period of time taught us anything, it was to live in the moment and not worry so much about tomorrow. And our moment is coming through the door as we speak. Your cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents are all here. How about we go remember and celebrate this day with them.

The little girl looked up at her grandfather and smiled.  I think I’m going to give them all big hugs so they know how much I love them.

The grandfather pulled the little girl close, hugged her tightly and whispered softly in her ear.

I think that’s a great idea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

55 thoughts on “Remembering

  1. Sorryless

    This is beautiful, George.

    The idea that we will remember, that we will look back on this time and give thanks to all those bright lights who helped us through this storm. Things have changed, whether we want to admit it or not, and you’re right, some won’t. But for those of us who acknowledge that things will be different- in piecemeal if not wholesale ways- a day of remembrance is important. For more reasons than the one.

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    1. George Post author

      Thank you. It really would be nice. So many who don’t even get mentioned have done so much and there are so many lost souls we need to remember. It would be disappointing if this doesn’t change us, even in small ways.

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  2. Dale

    This is so beautiful George! A wonderful post that could be a reality one day, couldn’t it? Sure, there will definitely be those who will be in a rush to return to the before times. I do like to think many of us will choose a new way of doing things. Wonderful post.

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    1. George Post author

      Thank you so much, Dale. It would be special if this became a reality. And I feel the way you do. I think most people will do the right thing when it’s time to begin walking back to where we were.

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  3. oldmainer

    Wonderful story George. I would welcome a Remembrance Day if I thought people would indeed remember. Seems history becomes just, that without a lot of thought given to it. Maybe this time, it will make a change. Eternal optimist.

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    1. George Post author

      Thank you, Bob. Like you, I’m optimistic but I understand human nature. Shame on us, if this doesn’t change our attitudes and behavior, even a little.

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  4. Svet Pavlovsky

    Nice! The things we took for granted before the virus. I do hope that in 25 years from now, earth would be a better place, with more consideration to the environment, nature and animals.

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  5. Anthony Kovatch

    Very touching story, George!! There seems to be a consensus that much good will follow the crisis and that will be the legacy of those whose lives were sacrificed. The outcome will be marked by the “change of heart” you described so well!

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    1. George Post author

      Thanks, Tony. I’m hopeful. The consensus is certain there but I’m very curious how we handle it all when we return to our lives. I hope it’s not business as usual. Stay well.

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  6. Anne Mehrling

    That was a most enjoyable post. We’ve heard lots of people mention the pandemic of 1918, but it was just history. I wish I had asked my grandparents about what happened to them at that time to get a personal view.

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  7. Al

    Unique and interesting perspective on the future. I remember talking to my grandmother about her early life. She lived through WWl, the Spanish Flu, the Great Depression and WWll and Vietnam. She was alive during the shooting of four Presidents McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, Kennedy and Reagan. Imagine the conversations I had with her.

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    1. George Post author

      I wish I would have known you grandmother, John. Those conversations must have been so interesting. I wonder what she would have said about today and how we are handling these times. My guess is her calmness would have been settling to those around her.

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    1. George Post author

      I understand. There are too many examples of that. I guess I’m just hoping the time away gives us a different perspective. We can only hope.

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  8. Ann Coleman

    I always enjoy your posts, George…you know that. But seriously, this one was one of your best. Thank you so much for helping put this whole thing into perspective. I hope many families are able to have this conversation, and that there really is a Remembrance Day.

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    1. George Post author

      That’s very kind of you to say, Ann. I really do hope the focus of families change from “where do we have to be” to “where we are” is the best choice. And I really do hope we find a way, in the future, to honor so many lives.

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  9. Book Club Mom

    I love this, George. I think that a lot of these things are going to happen. And it’s so important to remember the people who are keeping our food and other supplies available. About a month ago, when I was bringing my son up from college in Virginia, I was for once glad to see all the truckers on the route we take because it meant that we would be able to get the things we need at the stores. There are so many examples of jobs and workers who are risking getting sick. I’m also heartened by the friendly waves and smiles my fellow walkers exchange with each other. It feels very genuine.

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    1. George Post author

      I love your optimism🙂 like you, I hope some of these things happen and you’re right about the trucks. They were always a bother on the highways but viewed very differently today. Thank you.

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      1. Book Club Mom

        So true. Though I will say that the truckers on Route 81 (the main drag up from VA to here) have always been very civil on the road and don’t drive 90 mph. Of course, Route 78 into NJ and 287, that’s a different group. But if I saw them these days, I would be okay with them. Take care, George 🙂

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  10. Kim Gorman

    What a beautiful, creative post. I agree that there literally no reason for people who have been able to successfully telecommute from home to have to go back to long, miserable commutes if their jobs don’t need in-person contact. Think of how this would help the planet.

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  11. rochellewisoff

    Dear George,

    Beautifully imagined and well written. I’m looking forward to being able to hug friends. Meanwhile I take long walks and wave to others as they wave back with understanding smiles. May we learn from this experience and come out of it changed for the better.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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  12. lagoodwi

    This is a beautiful story and one that I can imagine happening. Hopefully when it does, the story will be told just like this. And more importantly we will have the made the positive changes you mentioned. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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