Last week my grandmother, Regina would have celebrated her 106th birthday! After studying her life while writing my recent memoir, Regina’s Closet: Finding My Grandmother’s Secret Journal, I realized that even though there were many aspects of our personalities which were similar—our lives and times cannot to be compared.
My grandmother lived through two world wars, and although there were already two wars in my own lifetime—The Vietnam War and The Gulf War—their physical proximity only were only as close to me as my television screen. What must life have been like in 1903 without radio and television? Imagine only knowing of the beginning war from the soldiers marching through the streets of your hometown or some distant newspaper finally making it to your doorstep? Surely, life was tougher when technology was not an integral part of society, but in many ways it was much less complicated—priorities were family and survival and the wondrance if the daily bread would appear on the kitchen table, or even be delivered to the corner grocer because of war-torn districts. Now we worry about whether the newspapers will survive the technological advancement and stressful economical times or if our environment will survive our waste.
In the end, we must always have our lives in the proper perspective.