End of an Era

As some of you may know my grandmother recently passed away. And thank you all very much for your condolences, however, in spite of the sadness we feel, I like to believe every difficult experience can have a positive insight or meaning. I started to think about her life and how something as ominous as death could have a silver lining. I thought about all the volunteer work she did and the donations she gave to charities. I thought about how those places will not continue to receive her donations or assistance. I thought about my family and how we were always had to put up with her stubborn and difficult opinions. Now, without her to keep us on track, who will be the one to make us question our decisions, make us “walk the line”?  I’m really struggling to see a silver lining.

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The minister at the ceremony concluded by stating “this is the end of an era” and that is the truth. My grandparents were incredible people, especially my grandmother. Not only did they donate large amount of money to small community projects and volunteered hours of their time, they played a significant role at a university nearby. They both survived through the war and worked for the majority of their life. At my grandmother’s funeral, there were more people present than were present at my high school graduation. She really did touch and influence everyone around her.

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This made me realize, not only is this the end of an era for my family, it is for the world. My grandmother passing seems to be concurrent with the loss of the classics of the world, including music, movies and books. The classics are being replaced by new modern products and industries. I remember watching Casablanca and being so incredibly moved. No movie can compare to the originality of “Here’s looking at you, kid” (Casablanca) but still, the intrigue is gone. In examining the films and music, you can’t help but notice the dated filming, often cheesy lines, terrible music selection and more. It Came From Outer Space, Fiend Without A Face and I Married a Monster are just three examples of overly cheesy science fiction films.

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http://cinemagumbo.squarespace.com/

I think back on my grandmother and her classic style. Always a cardigan, long skirt, blouse and small heeled shoes. Now the fashion industry is taking over the world. The simplicity is gone. Fashion was obviously around in her day, but not as in your face as today.

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Finally, the music. Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, even the Beatles and The Stones. We don’t hear them on the radio anymore. Not on the “top 40” stations. When did the Beatles stop being a top 40?

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http://www.fuse.tv

So how on earth are there any positives from the end of an era? Well, there aren’t. The past is the past and we  will continue to “beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past” (Fitzgerald).  Eventually, classic movies will be replaced, music will be forgotten and fashion will continue to constantly change and mold our lives. What I’ve learned from this is: appreciation.

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One thing that you can never get rid of is your emotions. You can change your clothes, your music, and the movies but not what’s in your heart. I will always appreciate the lessons I learned from my grandmother, what the classics gave me and the wiser generations before us. Over time we may begin to forget the music , the lessons and the movies lines, but we will never forget the feelings they gave us.

So let’s raise a glass to the end of an era, but the beginning of new experiences and deeper appreciation.

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References:

Casablanca. Dir. Micheal Curtiz. Perf. Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid. N.p., n.d. Web.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott, and Matthew J. Bruccoli. The Great Gatsby. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott, and Matthew J. Bruccoli. The Great Gatsby. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

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4 thoughts on “End of an Era

  1. I was so sorry to hear about her passing.. My condolences to you and your family. I love that you’ve found a positive way of looking at this. There’s so much we can learn from the past, and as long as we continue to do so, the important things and people will live on.

    Like

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