Yesterday, I sat staring at my computer like a deer in headlights. I whispered, “Seriously, another communication on vaccines?” I know that vaccines are the theme of our August communications, but I had absolutely nothing interesting to say. Considering this week’s topic discusses immunizations for seniors, I thought I would give my Grandma a call last night in hopes that she could offer up a funny story. First words out of my Grandma’s mouth; “Britney, there is nothing funny about vaccinations, it’s no laughing matter.”
The next 30 minutes of the phone conversation is why I love my Grandma so much and value our special relationship. With her vivid statements, she can bring me back to a time that is hard for my mind to grasp. In nearly every conversation she has me appreciating aspects of my world that I take for granted.
For example, the summer before 7th grade, my biggest fear was my Dad calling me inside from playing with my friends. My Grandma’s biggest fear, the summer before her 7th grade year, was getting polio. That’s a sobering thought. The only vaccine that was even available before her 8th grade year was small pox. There weren’t vaccinations for diphtheria, polio, or chicken pox. These were diseases she had to worry about as a child, and although we are only 39 years apart, I thought they were ancient diseases that I only saw when playing “Oregon Trail!”
She went on to talk about her life as a senior and stressed the importance of protecting herself with immunizations. Her son (my uncle) actually received his Masters in Immunology, so she has immersed herself in the subject and I found her knowledge fascinating. Before last night, immunizations were shots with needles (cringe!) that I had to get but leave it to my Grandma to make me appreciate something that I once hated.