What I'll Tell My Grandchildren

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic


What I’ll Tell My Grandchildren



One day, this is all going to be a distant memory- at most, a near-catastrophic pandemic that took away opportunities and robbed me and my batch of graduation, the Senior’s Promenade, and summer vacation- costing thousands of lives and ruining economies around the world; and at the very least, a story I get to tell my grandchildren one day in case I don’t get drafted..


Gather around, kids. I’ll start with when grandpa first heard of this virus. He was in school with some of his friends when the first memes making fun of China and the virus came out. It is as hilarious now as it was then. I never thought of it as anything serious, and for a while it felt bad not to feel bad during then. It was as if my calmness and unfeeling to the situation spat on the face of the suffering. But the virus was relatively new- it had started out in China and classes were still going on. I can remember me and my classmates shamelessly hoping that the government would implement a nationwide lockdown so we could get out of class. I did not know who was serious and who was only half-joking then, but then in a matter of weeks, fist came to blows and we became the worst hit countries in all of Asia. I kick myself to this day for being the most enthusiastic in cheering on this horrible thing for the sake of an early summer.


I was then part of the Promenade committee in our school and we had a little group-chat in messenger, where the girls made a fuss of everything being perfect and the guys simply agreeing to help and do as they say. My phone had never been so noisy those first couple of weeks before the virus struck. But when the pandemic and the General community Quarantine made it clear to everyone who had already spent on fancy clothes and gowns they had lost an investment, the group-chat went silent. Last I checked, the final topic for deliberation was designing the hall the prom was going to be held in. If only the curve would drop as fast as all our summer plans did, we might still be able to implement some of them.


The oddest part was not the fact that our final days as highschoolers were stripped away from us. It was the sheer un-feeling of my classmates, of my entire batch as a matter of fact. We had just lost a milestone in our lives and what could’ve been memories to console us in our dying days, and yet we didn’t even bat an eye. Sure there were some groans here and there, but no one even pushed for a crazy, irrational, and possibly even dangerous plan to have us all celebrate our final night as highschoolers in secret- the kind of crazy tomfoolery that comes with the end of an era. None of that. We all just seemed to quietly and politely accept defeat. And I didn't know why until a few days ago.


I am a devout Roman Catholic, and along with that, I am an amatuer apologist- in defense of my religion and her teachings. An interlocutor once asked me “If God is so loving, why would he let this happen?” I merely answered, in the tradition of the Book Of Job; “That’s not for you to understand. And if you did and could understand why He let this happen, what are you going to do about it?” and it was in my own response that I understood, at least a little bit, why this silence about a portion of our lives being taken away seemed so comforting. Should you know the secrets of God and His ways, you’d go insane, as Lovecraft so eldritchly tells us in his works. What we were experiencing is a kind of mini-meta of this example, in which we knew that if we were to complain and drone on about it, the loss of our youth would seem so much more painful and so much more vivid, especially since it was justified. Might as well ignore the fact and go on. Since we knew why we couldn't have prom or graduation, it robbed us of the feeling of being done in- that feeling of injustice. We knew that by not having our prom and graduation we’d help flatten the curve, and it didn’t feel right to feel bad about it...


I am personally glad, though also a little saddened, that we did not get to have our promenade and graduation. One might think of it as a regret, but I think of it as the tragedy of clamoring for one’s youth in the crisis of old age- averted. I can’t end up wanting my youth back if I've never experienced much of it myself in the first place...

Submitted: May 11, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Hugo de Santa Catarina. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



Your words are very strong. There a lot of sacrifices needing to be made at the moment but it's a very good reason. Congratulations on graduating, even if you don't have a graduation.

Thu, May 14th, 2020 2:48am

Derina Peng

This is an inspiring write for me on the idea of writing from the future, and the vivid application of religious scripture to explain this often-ask-question. Well, I can't help but agreeing with you again. Maybe one day I will go back to be religious again. Good write and thank you,

Sun, June 21st, 2020 2:57am


thank you so much. i like to make a point of my exegesis (study of scripture) to be far from what i want it to be. know that it gives me great joy that you enjoyed my writing. thank you once again.

Tue, June 23rd, 2020 11:19pm

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