|The grandfather of someone I worked with attended the coronation of Tsar Nicholas II. He kept a diary, which mentioned the event and then, across five pages, described the kinds of beer and vodka that were served.My mother lived through the second world war. When I asked what she remembered, she told me about taking a shopping bag each week to White Castle, whose hamburgers didn’t contain enough meat to count against her family’s rations.
My father served in the Korean War, and the only story I remember him telling us was of being seasick for six weeks on the ship that carried him to his post in Europe.
It’s harder to remember the sweep of history we’re part of than the thing that made it real. The personal connection.
So when this is over, what will I remember?
• The lilac bush that I’m watching from my living room window. The sadness of passing time as this virus rages on. The memory of promises I’ve made to myself that, someday, I would take the time to enjoy watching winter turn into spring.
But the memory that I think will stay with me the longest is this. Looking out my back window in the direction of my mother, whose assisted living facility is just two miles from me, and wondering whether I will ever see her again.