Never Say Never

It makes sense that the written word would rekindle my relationship with two librarian sisters who inspired me when they worked at the Crestwood Library during my youth. Nancy and Sheila found my blog about a year ago. Since then, Nancy has emailed me regularly about the topics of mine that interest her. I asked Nancy to tell me about some of her favorite things. She sent several excellent blog posts for me to share with you.

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My grandmother’s life spanned the years 1881 – 1973. She saw so many changes in her lifetime that it’s almost incomprehensible. She remembered riding in a goat cart on an estate in Jersey City (we have a photo somewhere), and was still alive in Spring Lake for the launching of Skylab, the first American Space Station.

When I was about 24, I thought in absolutes as most young people do. I must have said, “I would never do that.” And a colleague of mine at the time responded, “Never say ‘never’.” I thought her remark was absurd.

But as the years have gone by I have learned the validity of her words, because other people told me the following would never happen:

  • “The mainland United States would never be attacked.”
  • “Wall Street will never crash again after 1929; there are protections in place. That can never happen again.”
  • “The banks will never fail.”
  • “There will never be a divorced President; he’d be unelectable.”
  • “The country will never be as united as it was during WWII.”
  • “No one else thinks you can do this job. Your predecessor can never be replaced.”

When asked how she’d sum up her life, my grandmother said that even when the worse family times come, life goes by so quickly… that she still felt like the same young person… “it all went by so fast!”

Were I to live as long as she, my answer would have to include “Never say never” but also: “You fill yourself up the more you give yourself away.” More on that in another blog post.

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