Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Past is In the Present

We walked into the restaurant. Dark wood paneling, beautiful cloth napkins, vaulted ceilings.

Everyone looked so fancy.

The three of us plodded through the restaurant to our seats. Our table overlooked the whole restaurant.

Today, we talked about how my great great grandma Stella passed away at the young age of 42 after having 10 children and several miscarriages. Her father was a Swede--John Swanson. Her husband--Nelson Edward Parsons--carried her away from Ohio to Oklahoma. I don't remember if it was a state or not at the time. Their daughter, my great grandmother, Thelma, was a flapper girl turned nursing student who returned home to care for her younger siblings after her mother passed away. My grandmother spent her childhood traveling with her mother as she worked as a nurse or playing on the farm with her grandpa and her aunts and uncles.

She talked about living with her mother in a hospital in Wyoming.

Can you imagine being the only daughter to a single traveling nurse in the 1930s? What an adventurous life!

We splurged and enjoyed the bacon wrapped filet mignon and the creme brulee. It was delicious.

Now, I'm back at work, thinking about how good the food was and how I'm going to avoid eating again until tomorrow morning.

I'm listening to beautiful music, studying my lines, vacuuming, making lists, fixing things, taking care of customers, and feeling good.

The depression started in 1929 with the crash of the stock market--and the recession started in 2007 with the crash of the housing market. My grandmother, Joann,  was born in March 1932--just three years after the crash. My great grandmother Thelma Parsons Kirkpatrick, was born in 1909--before World War I and World War II.

Let's compare. Let's overlap time a little bit. Let's say Joann was born three years after the housing crash--in 2010. And her mother was born 23 years before in 1987. And during the time between 1994 and the birth of her daughter--there was a large war in a foreign land.

In the past, this mother and daughter faced a long economic recession together that ended with a World War--just 9 years after my grandmother was born.

I am not a doomsday prophet or a cynic, but I love to study the past. History repeats itself. If overlapping history shows us anything--we're in for some world shaking events.

So right now, in this quiet moment, as I enjoy lunch in a beautiful restaurant, as I listen to a little Punch Brothers on Spotify, I am going to be grateful for today.

I'll deal with the surprises of life with the grace and wit I inherited from my ancestors.

After the war, my great grandmother met and fell in love with a handsome soldier, Jack Kirkpatrick. That was in 1946. She was 37.  They lived happily ever after into their 80s.

I am 35. And since history generally repeats itself, I look forward to enjoying the company of a good man myself, in good time. 

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