Jul 21, 2009 at 11:37:28
“This is a generation raised “rough,” in the maelstrom that was the first half of the 20th Century; left to their own devices by adults struggling with incomprehensible and rapid change. As a generation, they were all in it together and they were left pretty much alone, fending for themselves inside large, careworn families and feisty neighborhoods. They stuck together, and stayed close to each other all their lives. Early on they had to become independent, then almost as quickly had to evolve into steel-spined fighters and survivors.
It made them possibly the toughest -- and most stubborn -- of any American generation ever born. Their impact will ripple through world history for decades, even centuries.
Nothing prepared them, could have prepared them, for the increasing helplessness and slipping control that characterize old age. While hard on everyone who lives to dotage, I can’t think of a generation that would find it more terrifying, infuriating and foreign than the generation that outlived and overpowered every major crisis and foe in their path – but now face an enemy over which they have no chance of survival, let alone victory.
Helping the WWIIs through this, the hardest time of their lives, may be the most important task their children can undertake – now that our own child-raising years are over.
Just my take on the stubborn people who have become my elderly parents.”