Blame Grandma: Part 2
SHE'S THE REASON I AM COMING OUT OF THIS ALIVE AND WELL
In all honesty credit for inspiring this post does not go to my grandmother, Marie Rose, but to my college roommate, Elaine. Since our 20th college reunion was cancelled (obviously and thankfully under the current circumstances) a zoom was organized to catch up a bit and chat. The conversation spanned all of the United States, from California to Washington DC and then crossed the Atlantic to my home in Switzerland. Our choice of beverages was obviously effected by the various time zones, cocktail hour in Europe means breakfast in California. But I digress, after our zoom Elaine and I chatted some more just the two of us, the impact of the Corona virus on all of us was obviously on our minds. Elaine has spent her career in education working in NY and Boston and I'm taking a moment to send her a special shout out as I'm so so proud of knowing someone who truly cares and has a positive impact on those around her. In other words, she's a rock star too, just like my Grandma ... see I'm getting there ...
During our chat Elaine brought up a point we had discussed in our group zoom. It was the manner in which I presented my view of our "home quarantine". As mentioned in the previous post, Marie Rose was in charge of a household of 5 children during WW II. Her husband Emile who was in the military at that time, had refused to join the Milice.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milice (cliff notes version: a French paramilitary organisation that fought together with the Nazis to combat the French Resistance https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Resistance ) and had regrouped with other Resistance fighters to wage war against the Nazis. This act of defiance was treacherous at the time and the strength it took my grandmother to survive is a true act of bravery and fortitude. When I think of the acts of courage I'm asked today, it truly pales in comparison. My home is safe, I do not fear that my family will be attacked or tortured for information. I do not fear for my life nor my children's. We stay safe, we self isolate, and I maintain a creative activity that allows me to keep a healthy mind set. This does not mean that I don't feel frustrated in my isolation (I'm a quite a social person so staying at home isn't great for my sanity level) but the greater good is something so ingrained in me, so tangible that it just feels normal to comply with the health regulations.
So thank you Elaine and Marie Rose for reminding me to pass on these stories of resilience, not only to my family but to others. It's a strong reminder of what good can be accomplished when we work together for a common goal.
Hugs and health. Jules