Many persons like my mother and Swedish immigrant grandmother carried a great psychological burden during, and after America’s Great Depression as they were swept up with scores of unwilling victims in the economic tsunami of the 1930’s that flooded the American landscape from small towns to big cities.
Most of the details of noteworthy stories chronicling the strain and pain endured by individuals, moms and dads, widows, grandparents, relatives and children of that time are unfortunately long ago forgotten. As the last of the brave survivors pass away so also pass away opportunities to gain from knowing their stories.
Now, some 90 years since the Great Stock Market Crash crippled the once prosperous nation’s economy the ones of stalwart character that fought hard to survive the hard times are gone. With their passing also pass opportunities to record and review inspiring role model stories. American historians have taken a pass on respectfully acknowledging their trauma and thus failed to pay tribute to honor and recognize their valor.
Now, it would be grandchildren who themselves are aged who might hear the call to take up a banner to rally those who might step forward to raise the consciousness taking notice of Depression era survivors that called upon extraordinary grit, gumption, determination and persistence that collectively delivered the families and the entire country into a period or recovery and reconstruction.
Grandma Maja’s story of imperfect valor as a Depression era survivor, widow, single mother of three offers a case study highlighting what today’s psychologists call, post-traumatic stress disorder. Even though Swedish immigrant Maja managed to raise three very children alone after the collapse of the family business and the heart attack that killed her husband succumbing to the stress and strain, she attempted to end her life.
While gathering family history to leave behind a grandson’s tribute to his beloved grandmother he stumbled upon some old newspaper clippings. The clippings described a tell-tale incident to the public was a shock as this scandal was well hidden from grandchildren who came to worship Grandma Maja and her ability to rise above it all and lead her family out of the troubled waters of the painful Great Depression