He was only 31 years-old, his wife was a young 29. After eight years of marriage, they had three sons: 6, 2 and a newborn. That’s when the bombs started dropping. It was 1941 and the U.S. entered into World War II. What followed was fear of the unknown, confusion over how to survive and not knowing what the future will bring.
The family I describe above is mine: my parents and my three brothers. I never thought of it before, but the terror my parents faced must have been horrific. They never talked about it, and to tell you the truth, I never put two and two together until I faced our current pandemic. It was only recently that I realized the nightmare my parents survived.
You notice I use the word “survive” because that’s what it was. Somehow, they found a way to feed their family, have another child (me), and never show any bitterness or anger at what they faced. I wonder now if they ever stood in a food line, did they have enough money to pay their mortgage, did they find comfort in their family and friends.
My parents are both gone now and I will never know the answer to those questions, but one thing I do know for sure – they showed me how to be resilient. Before now, I have never seen empty shelves at the grocery store or people wearing masks, but our world sure has experienced this several times before. And each time it has survived and come back stronger than ever. Our world and our people refused to be beaten by war or disease or hunger. That is what keeps me going – that is what gives me hope. Knowing that we have been here before and have survived. Knowing that my parents have faced unsurmountable fear and would not give up.
So, as I face a world changed by COVID-19, I take the lessons I learned from my parents and refuse to let it break me. I refuse to be beaten down.