Just attended a funeral of a Sr. Citizen. She was appx. 83 years old. I did not know her well but all the same I found myself weeping during her eulogy and slide show. Not because I was missing or would miss the deceased. As I said I was there to support the family and did not know here well. I was weeping because in the eulogy and slide show giving glimpses into here life via photos I was hearing and seeing an America that is only barely remembered and is now almost dead itself. The eulogy that I was listening to was America’s Eulogy. The eulogy touched on the importance of the core Institutions of Family and Church in the life of the deceased. America was being eulogized by remembering times when the deceased was a wee one with both Grandmothers “living just across the field and so were easily visited.” The deceased grew up playing with cousins down by the stream where they would make tunnels in the tall grass when the tall grass would frost. America was being eulogized as a place where, when you saw your friends, you saw them in Church and in the one room school-house.
It was life on the small farm. Life where the little girls learned sewing, canning, baking and cooking and worked with mother to hand-make the Christmas gifts. The little boys on the other hand worked on the farm, cutting wood, milking, tilling, and baling hay.
One could not but help weep when the visions of these called forth memories came again to revisit, even though they were from the life of someone little known. The deceased’s eulogy could have been America’s eulogy. A different America. A forgotten America. An America that will not return… at least not in my lifetime for certain.
How could one but be deeply stirred when that America was remembered in light of the America that we see on the nightly news today? Even the Pastor couldn’t help but making an oblique comparison to then and now.
America wasn’t perfect but we were far closer to being a Nation in 1937. It was before the time when the third world began pouring in. A world where there was a shared world and life view. A world where there was enough of a common culture and history to unite us. Nobody was chanting “Diversity is our strength,” or had any idea of “White Privilege.” Sodomites were freaks in the closet and Trannies were properly laughed at. This “thinking” and these behaviors were still taboo when taboo functioned properly to protect the judicially innocent in the social order.
What a spectacle I must have been. A relative stranger weeping over the death of America in room full of people weeping over the death of their Wife, Mother, Grandmother, and Aunt; who was for me the embodiment of America when America was far greater then she is now. I could own that America — or at least much of it. This new America leaves me nauseated, revolted, ashamed and fighting angry.
I am not romanticizing the past. Even in the America I heard eulogized today there was already a great deal of destruction afoot. The war criminal FDR was in office and our boys were not long for being shipped over to a war which we had no business being involved. There was plenty to complain about even in 1937. (The deceased was born in 1937.) The Federal Reserve and the illegally passed 16th amendment had been in place already a generation by this point. We had been too late in shutting the doors to immigration and that turn of the 20th century immigration and its seed would forever change American into what it is now. Still, the ill effects had yet to sift down to the middle America the deceased lived in and knew.
Requiescat in pace Linda Ruth Ehnis. Would to God that America had remained the Nation you were born into and grew up in.