Image courtesy of Ohio History Central
Edna: Margie, I've been thinking a lot lately about the girl that Mama used to have come watch us when we were little, when she'd go to to Bible study or to her lady's group. Her name was Sylvia, do you remember?
Margie: Yes, I remember. I haven't thought of her in years. What makes you ask?
Edna: Maybe it's because of the holiday season and all the talk of families and such. I remember that she was just out of high school when the Great Depression started, and although she'd been talking about going to college to get her teaching degree, she went to work in a factory instead to make money for her older brothers to continue their schooling. I've often thought about how selfless that sacrifice was. I wonder how many young people today would do that for their siblings?
Margie: Times were sure different then. People had manners and they were caring and gracious. Family was the most important thing in the world. There weren't a lot of women who made it to college. Women were expected to help the menfolk.
I'm not sure how many young women would do that today. People think about me, me, me nowadays.
Edna: Margie, I would like to think that if times got really tough again like they were back then, young women (and young men!) would step up to do what they had to do to help their families out.
You know, I asked Mama about Sylvia after we were grown. She told me she'd heard that Sylvia never did get to go back to school like she'd wanted to. Sylvia's brothers all dropped out of school, but she never ever complained about having made a wasted sacrifice. Mama said she got married and had two girls (just like Mama!) and lots of wonderful grandchildren, and she was happy with the path she chose.
I guess what it all comes down to is being happy with the life you have. And that's a lesson you can take to the bank.
Margie: I agree, Edna. Be happy with the life we have. I have the utmost respect for Sylvia for being happy with her path. She certainly deserved happiness.
Edna: Yes, she did. And she got it too.
This one's for you, Grandma.