I can’t remember when I first learned about the sandwich generation, but I remember thinking “that doesn’t apply”.
The idea of the sandwich generation is this: you are caring for your children, and care for your ailing parents at the same time. Pulled in two opposite directions. Making the end of life comfortable for those at the end and creating vibrant thirst for new experiences, learning and living… in children, just beginning.
I cannot even imagine.
My brother and I are adults, so “technically” we don’t require care, but care is what parents do. They call, they check in, they help whenever they can.
My dad’s parents are ill. Bobo had a stroke, and is in rehab. (Amy Winehouse is now playing in my head.) Pops had had lung problems and various serious infections. He is also in rehab. Not the same rehab, but rehab none the less. (Still my mind plays Amy Winehouse.)
My parents are exhausted. The logistics of insurance and home care and fixing the house to accommodate ramps and equipment and medical power of attorney. It’s too much. The warm Florida weather is a small consolation for all the stress.
I try not to call much, or bother much. But then something happens, something completely mundane and I call to vent or get advice and I forget for a minute that they are dealing with a mountain of somethings all happening at once. But they are my parents and for better or worse, I need them too.