My parents, sister, and I immigrated to the United States in 1982 in the heat of one of the worst recessions.
We fled from the iron gates surrounding Poland and didn't look back at the long lines of our fellow countrymen waiting for their communism ration cards for groceries. We arrived in Chicago and were welcomed with a sweltering heat wave that summer and long lines at gas pumps with people murmuring words like "recession" and "unemployment." My mother, years later, confessed that she cried herself to sleep when she realized she left one country for another and was still waiting in lines.
"Co to jest recession?" or "What does recession mean?" I remember thinking as a kindergartner while flipping through one of three TV channels during the evening news, in our one bedroom apartment, two stories above a congested street.
We were not affected by that recession. Mainly because we had nothing but each other. We came to America with the clothes on our backs and some packed away in one suitcase. My parents swallowed their pride and accepted "handouts" knowing that things would turn around eventually through their hard work. The CRS paid for our plane tickets to America. Another Catholic service paid for my kindergarten year at Saint Someoneoranother on Addison. Toys for that Christmas were purchased at garage sales and stored in big black garbage bags in a tiny hall closet. My father, one of Gdansk's most successful engineers with a promising career in Poland swallowed his pride and left his loafers for construction boots to work as an apprentice roofer. Each night we slept soundly knowing we were together. We were not affected by that recession.
Sometimes. It takes a lot to realize that being together truly is a priceless thing and worth more then anything.
Naively optimistic views on our current economy, I know.
It's totally justified today. My MIL had surgery last week and found new spots on her lungs. So kumbaya views on the recession it is.