For better or worse, I am rapidly approaching the 62nd anniversary of my appearance on Planet Earth. My father is dead, and my mother's mind is fading so I can't say for sure what my parents were hoping for me in November 1946. However I suspect it wasn't much different than any other young parents of the day.
The world had just come through a Great Depression and the Second Great War of the 20th Century. Things had been pretty bad, and my parents had to be hoping for a better life ahead.
I'm sure my wife's parents had the same hope for her three years later, and they hoped big-time when they immigrated to Canada from Italy in 1956. Things had to be better for the kids.
And they were. Maria and I came from humble beginnings but we always had enough to eat and wear growing up, plus we had the opportunity to get a good education. As a result we had long and satisfying careers, saved our money and are enjoying a comfortable retirement so far. We've had our ups and downs but nobody would deny we had a better chance in life than our parents did.
When Sarah was born in 1977 the world was still under the spectre of Nuclear War, there was stagflation in the economy, uncertainty about the future of Canada. Yet as young parents we had hopes for her, hopes she would have a better life than we did. Certainly we were able to give her more opportunities for learning and travel, and provide her with a few more luxuries than we had as children. She did us proud - went further in school than we did, has excelled in her choice of career, married a fine young man, and now is expecting our grandson.
And what of their hopes for him? The world is now facing the threat of terror, the possibility of another Depression, the depletion of resources, Climate Change...the list goes on and seems to deny the possibility of a better life than his parents and grandparents have had. Yet babies continue to be born, young parents continue to hope.
Perhaps a better life is in the cards for our young grandson to be. He should have all the opportunities for learning and development as an individual as his grandparents and parents have enjoyed. Beyond that is a lot of hope and prayer - prayer that he'll grow up to be a kind, loving and life affirming person and leave the world a better place for his being in it.
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