Why I Love Them and The Greatest Generation

“At every stage of their lives they were part of historic challenges and achievements of a magnitude the world had never before witnessed." Tom Brokaw commented regarding World War II’s generation.

I married into my husband’s family over 40 years ago and was immediately blessed with a new set of parents that exceeded my wildest dreams, Richard and Yvonne, card-carrying members of the Greatest Generation, now 95 and 87 years young.  Immediately I knew there was something distinctive about them.  Well, something in addition to their remarkable generosity, incredible capacity to love and infinite wisdom. 

I wish I could say that I always appreciated their unique perspective.  I’ve heard it said that their generation carried “invisible scars.”  My naïve, 20-year-old mind couldn’t begin to comprehend their lives growing up in the mayhem of severe economic depression, the terror of Hitler and the devastation of a world war. 

Mom and Dad’s exemplary character and bulldog perseverance is completely overshadowed by their remarkable humility and desire to help the generations following after them.  They’ve seen the worst of mankind, yet their faith remains stronger than ever. 

When I watch them with their great grandchildren, my heart explodes with thanksgiving and a joy that the world urgently seeks.  Mom and Dad have survived desperate times and dark days and yet give our family a stalwart anchor that no tragedy or travesty can shake.

As I enter my 6th decade of life, I pray that I too will be that shining light to the generations that follow me; never allowing the darkness and the hate of this world to extinguish hope, love and forgiveness.