I was thinking about our parents this morning, Carolyn and mine. The two of us are now getting closer to their ages when they passed away. Thankfully, we are both still pretty healthy and we began self quarantining a week before the order was given.

Anyway, I got to thinking about what our folks might think about what this old world has come to. All four of them lived through almost all of the 20th century, births ranging from 1902 to 1911. One of them, Carolyn’s dad, even lived to see Y2K at age 92. They were part of what Tom Brokaw called “Our Greatest Generation.” Would they be looking down, shaking their heads in disgust, at the situation we find ourselves in today? I don’t think so. 

Our parents, maybe yours too, lived through some equally rough times — perhaps times that were more difficult than our own. They would understand that these are days for us all to come together.

The greatest generation survived the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, struggled through the First World War, found themselves hurting for jobs during the Great Depression, conquered tyranny in WWII, managed to defuse the threat of atomic annihilation during the Cold War, found a cure for the polio epidemic, fought the Korean Conflict to a stalemate, supported our soldiers in the Vietnam War, and provided for their families throughout it all.

I can almost hear them saying, “Y’all can make it through this if you pull together. We know you can come out on the other side of this crisis okay.” 

Things may be different than before, but that was true for us. Like they say, “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.” The greatest advice we can give you came from Jesus Christ: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. Right now, your neighbor can use all the love you can give.”

“Are you sure we will make it?” I might be tempted to ask. “Of course you will. You’ve got our DNA in you.”

Robert A. Francis


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