EDITOR’S NOTE: The COVID 19 situation has affected us all in different ways. This letter is one point of view expressed by a dad (the editor, Jimmy Brannon) to his daughter, a 2020 college graduate. We invite readers to share their own experiences.
I have looked forward with immense pride to your graduation from college this May. I’ve hung on every word about your progress and latest intentions as you enter the “next phase” of your life, whether its graduate school or any one of the other options you have told me about. I’ve hoped that I could be of assistance to you, given my own life experiences.
THEN CAME CORONAVIRUS! Graduation canceled; moving out of college early.
During this time of fear and uncertainty, I have often wished MY dad was here.
My dad, your grandfather, who you never met, was pretty well thought of by most people that knew him; he was an educated fellow. He grew up in the Great Depression and I was reminded of that fact frequently as a child. As you know, I still don’t eat bread or butter, or other such things which I often refer to as ‘depression’ food. I had to sit at a dinner table every night staring at it. Few mealtimes can I remember as a child when I wasn’t lectured by my dad and mother about how very happy they were…….to have…….bread and butter.
My dad also served in World War II. We didn’t talk a lot about the War; I got the sense he valued the experience, but was very happy to come back home…..alive……..and in one piece. I don’t remember him talking much about it. He didn’t like war.
I mention my dad so much because I just know that during these anxious times, he would have had so many words of comfort, wisdom and optimism.
Unlike my dad, I didn’t grow up in the Great Depression, I didn’t serve in World War II. I wasn’t a part of what they call “the Greatest Generation.”
Like you, I never knew what it was like to not know, if you would have enough food to eat. I was often told by my dad about lines of people standing in soup lines; I don’t think it was lobster bisque.
I guess words of comfort, wisdom, and optimism came pretty easy for my dad given the roads he had traveled. For me not so much.
Fortunately, you are one of the most well adjusted young adults I’ve ever seen. But the fear and uncertainty, the placing on hold for an indefinite period of time of your education, career and life is troubling to me.
I’m not sure what my dad would say, or what I should say to help make sense of these difficult times that will define who we are, possibly not unlike the times my dad faced as a child growing up in the 1930’s.
You know, I think my dad would have said something like this: “We will get through this. We will get through this, together.”
I love you, Sarah. And thank you, Governor.