I saw a video on Facebook where a man held his great-grandchild. I experienced this weird moment where I realized that so many people around me either still have their grandparents around or even their great-grandparents. All of my grandparents were dead before I was 21. I have friends whose grandparents are even in their 70s now, all of mine would be in their mid-late 90s.

My grandma Wina was born in 1920, she signed up for the Army the day after Pearl Harbor and served until the end of the war in the South Pacific. She served on the hospital ship Tasman that was out of port of Brisbane, Australia. She also served during the Korean War and was stationed in Landstuhl, Germany. My dad’s parents were married for 49 years, but knew each other for 60. My grandma had my dad at 43 years old. My grandpa Fred was four years younger than my grandma, they met in Stow, Vermont. My paternal grandmother’s parents were born in the 1870s. My dad’s maternal grandma died before he was even born and his grandfather died before he was a 10. My dad’s paternal grandma also died before he was born and again, his grandfather died before he was a teenager.

My mom’s parents died in the 1990s. Grandpa Dock was born in 1919 and served in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. He met his wife, my grandma C, while he was stationed at Prestwick Airport in South Ayrshire, Scotland and while she worked at Ardeer Munitions Factory. My great-grandpa, Dock’s father, was born in 1865. Riley B. Cooper was born before the Civil War ended.

Riley’s fourth wife, Dock’s mother, was 27 years younger than Riley and born in 1892. Mary Lou married a man who was older than both of her parents (ew). My mother never met any of her grandparents, her father’s parents died years before she was born. Mary Lou died when she was only 62, but died two years before my mother was even alive. I know nothing about my maternal grandmother’s parents since they lived in Scotland.

It just boggles my mind that people still have their grandparents around, sometimes even their great-grandparents. Or that people have met a great-great grandparent. My grandparents all lived through the Great Depression and World War II and had vivid memories of them. I hold in my head stories from my grandparents that people my age will never hear from their grandparents since their grandparents were born during World War II or even after it. It’s so strange to think that my grandparents’ generation is nearly at an end, the last survivors from WWII and the Holocaust will soon be gone.