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Let’s take some time, right now, to learn from our ancestors.
I want to challenge families that are home right now “social distancing” to share stories with their kids about their childhood. Memories of their grandparents, people and events that shaped them into who they are today. Let’s take a few moments in the middle of all this chaos and uncertainty, to remember where we came from.
In the hustle and bustle of our modern day lives, more and more families are not sitting down to share meals or play board games or go for walks. We should use this time to connect with the family we live with, to show our children who we are and where they also came from. Pull out the photo albums and the mementos. Tell your kids funny stories of surviving riding the back of a pick up truck. Maybe your grandmother had a garden and you helped with that, but now you live in the city and that isn’t a part of your life now.
Where we came from and what we learned from our grandparents, might be the only thing that saves us and helps us build a new future after this pandemic is over. The economy will take a while to build back up and we need to come together as a country and as a world. Helping each other through this time and to build the world a little stronger, together, when it’s over.
Proud of where I come from
Many people that know me in life, know that I was named after my Grandfather, yep, I’m a girl and my name is Bunny and believe me, my 2 younger brothers are so glad I was born first! My grandfather’s name, for all that knew him, was Bunny Spates. When my mother was pregnant with me she made a deal with her dad that her first born would be named Bunny and here I am.
It took me many years to actually love having this name and to appreciate where it came from. My grandfather passed away when I was about 5 or 6 years old. I have vague memories of him, but most of the memories I have are the impressions he left on the lives of the people in his community. I spent a lot of time with my grandmothers when I was growing up and it was very normal to go to the bank or the store with my maternal grandmother and hear “Oh, this must be ‘little Bunny’, honey you have his smile” Or oh what a wonderful man your grandpa “Big Bunny” was. I know you’ll grow up to be just like him. This was imprinted on me from the time I could walk I think.
The few memories I have of time with my grandfather are wonderful. I helped him feed dolphins at their vacation home in the Florida Keys and he took me to feed the Key deer. I remember his smile and his laugh. I remember being able to get him to swim in their pool as much as I wanted. I also remember the last time I saw him, just before he passed away. In a nursing home and the hug he gave me.
Although my memories are more in pictures and stories from others, I do know that my grandfather was a generous, caring and loving man. A man that would do anything for anyone and enjoyed being a big part of his community.
He was well known for his cooking, his big BBQs especially! While going through a box of papers after my grandmother passed on, I learned where his love of cooking came from. He was a cook in WWII, he had letters of recognition and so many thank you cards from the troops. He may not have fought in war, but he was on the front lines, in a tent, keeping those troops fed that were in the fight. He was doing his part to help our nation, way back then in the 1940s.
A few days ago people started contacting me about needing handmade face masks for health care workers due to a shortage of supplies in our nation. I don’t sew, but I quickly assembled the troops. Reaching out to every person I know that sews or would drive to do pick up and deliveries. Within 24 hours we had a crew and a plan. I am cutting the fabric and elastic as well as being the contact person and logistics of deliveries and needs.
As I was getting the pattern figured out and my stash of donated fabric out, all I could think of was how ironic this was. 80 years later??? Here I am, “little” Bunny and while I have my own health issues and I am keeping my distance from people, I have assembled my own crew of friends and I am doing my part for the troops (health care and other workers) that are on the front lines.
This is a war, not of people or countries, but a war on a virus that has spread around the world! It puts a smile on my face, to know, all those stories and all those little comments and all the love that my grandparents poured into me, I am able to use and share! It’s time we learn from our ancestors. We need to pull together and dig out those memories and share with your children. Look back and remember, where you came from and what built you. So that our children know that they will be strong enough to move forward and build a better tomorrow for us all!!!!
We are in this together, one race, the human race!