During times of great trouble and crisis, people need to find hope and comfort wherever they can, however they can. Dame Vera Lynn sang a message of hope and perseverence with her renowned song. The times were a major crisis and her song inspired and motivated many people.

These pandemic times today are another era of trouble and crisis. We need to find our own hope and motivation to inspire us to persevere. We will get throught it and “We’ll Meet Again,”

Don’t know where, don’t know when
But I know We’ll Meet Again
Some sunny day © Hughie Charles, Ross Parker

Sharing an article with my 55+ Communications Sub-Committee members started a conversation with one member who also wrote an article about surviving COVID. We discussed how our grandparents’ generation went through the Great Depression and then a World War. They lost jobs, went to soup lines, and separated families to find work. How strong they must have been. During the war years, their social isolation was seeing their husbands, sons, daughters, fathers, and brothers going off to War, wondering if they would return. It must have taken months or longer to receive a letter from a loved one.  During the London bombings, many young children were separated from their parents and sent to safer countries. Forced upon them was the rationing of food, gas, and clothes

Now 76 years later, we have COVID 19. Many have lost loved ones, some have lost income, and social isolation is the most significant preoccupation on the minds of 55+. We want to see our children, grandchildren, and friends. However, unlike our grandparents, we have Skype, Zoom, email, and smartphones to stay in touch.  Our only shortage – a run-on toilet paper, Lysol, and frozen french fries. And, of course, there is Amazon.

One thing our grandparents had during those trying times was the voice of the war years, Vera Lynn. Dame Vera sang songs that resonated emotionally with people. Her positive lyrics and songs of hope helped many people suffering during the blackouts, rationing, and bombings. She said simple acts of bravery and sacrifice can define a nation. In May 2020, at the height of the virus six weeks ahead of VE Day’s 75th anniversary, the UK once again turned to Dame Vera as her Best Hits album entered Britain’s Top 40 Chat. On June 18, 2020, Dame Vera passed away at age 103.

I think her song We’ll Meet Again, applies to this COVID virus. We will meet again, but for the moment, we can draw on the memories of pre COVID19.  The vaccines have shown a remarkable drop in the number of Covid cases. The light at the end of this tunnel is getting larger. Soon we will be back in the malls, restaurants and hopefully socializing with friends. So will things be the same soon? Not if we learned our lessons. Like our grandparents, we will adapt.

Science tells us memory plays a huge part in how we make sense of the world — how we organize our past experiences and how we should act in the future. According to the American Psychological Association, reminiscing can have many positive effects on an aging adult. Reminiscing can preserve family history. Eliminate boredom. Reduce symptoms of depression. Maybe help work through unresolved conflicts. Science has shown Music has the power to awaken those with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Consider some of the following to help us to the end of COVID 19.

  • Flip through yearbook to reminisce about events that brought some joy in the past.
  • Look at photos from a family vacation which you enjoyed.
  • Think about movies you enjoyed with family or one that made an impact upon you.
  • Relive your holiday traditions that will re-start soon. 
  • Play songs that bring back those good memories.

Remember Dame Vera’s song and her positive lyrics:

Keep smiling through, just like you always do
Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away
____________________________We’ll meet again©

 Source: Michael McFarland

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