Friday, November 28, 2014

Post-Thanksgiving brooding

The Dade of today
In the days before Thanksgiving, Mom and I had a conversation. We wondered how it would be to try to explain the world as it is today to departed loved ones. She mentioned Grandma Metzger and I was thinking about Dad.

The Dade that Dad would remember
Dad --Ross Cariaga, Junior --passed away in the spring of the Year of Our Lord, 2001. I remember how the world was in that time. I remember the world Dad knew. Two and a half months after Dad's passing, on September 11th, 2001, that world passed away as well.

Historical events shape our collective human perception of the world. On some fundamental level, Dad would not understand the world today.

That is a sad and strange thing to think about. Dad, whom I always believed to have unclouded perceptions, to be savvy and worldly-wise, would be rendered naive in today's world by an event that occurred just a few weeks after he passed.
The Dade that Grandma would remember
"Well, think of me and my mother," said Mom. "I'd have to start by explaining to her that there was no more Soviet Union!"

Indeed.  Gertrude Metzger passed in 1987. A very different world.

Certainly, Dad and Grandma would have marveled at the wonders of today's world. How strange would it seem to them to have a face-to-face conversation with someone a thousand miles away while sitting in a coffee shop? How difficult would it be for them to believe that the entire catalog of human knowledge was at their fingertips? Accessible from anywhere at any time?

And, while they would likely recognize today's horrors --they are, after all, the same four horsemen that have always beset mankind --they might be startled by the strange, new vestments in which Plague, War, Famine and Death appear. I don't believe Grandma ever heard anything about global warming. And Dad might find the ever-increasing magnitude of hurricanes and typhoons in the days since his passing to be unsettling.

I guess that's just the way of it, though. I don't suppose the world I know will long outlive me. But the human chronicle will continue to unfold.

For a time.

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