J: The original New Deal was proposed by Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s as a series of programs and policies designed to improve conditions for those suffering in the Great Depression.
Lately our dad has been talking a lot about the New Deal. I don't think he's referencing FDR's policies, though. He begins his New Deal talk by asking if I can help him write a letter. The letter is to be addressed to someone, usually a friend from his childhood. Often he chooses a friend who is deceased. When I ask what the topic of the letter will be, he looks at me as if I'm a bit slow. "The letter? The letter will be about this . . . (hand waving ensues along with gestures indicating a desire to encompass everything around him) . . .about this New Deal"
I can only assume that he is trying to let his buddies know what has happened to his life in the past nine months. I'm sure if he was able to communicate his feelings, the letter would be strongly worded and full of expletives. "They took my %$#@ car" and "I have no *&^% privacy" and "they make me wear %$##@ Depends"
It's true. His New Deal is not the life he chose. But, like the New Deal back in the 30's, it's making the best of the circumstances at hand. His New Deal also includes daily interaction with his kids and grandchildren. Daily opportunities to go to church at the parish he's called home for 50 plus years, daily chats with neighbors he's known for decades.
In the infamous words of FDR "It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something". I think the New Deal we have is working. I'm glad we gave it a try.