I watched my Mom do this thing with grace — and sometimes with frustration. This “sandwich generation” season I find myself in has me thinking about my Mom a lot. It’s been nearly three years since she passed, rather suddenly and too soon, and it’s meant a huge adjustment for all of us, especially Dad. She was the glue that held us together. And, she’s the one who told Dad where he needed to go and what to do next. He’s lost without her.
Today, rather than an essay about Mother’s Day, I’m directing you to a piece I wrote for The Perennial Gen blog about my Dad. It’s a little edgy, maybe even harsh. Certainly, it’s real. Definitely, it’s written in love. This is where we are today, doing life without Mom. Because she was a faithful follower of this blog, she’d have read this and told me she didn’t appreciate having her picture on here. But, I had to include this photo of her, taken at our house by one of our sons. I think she’s beautiful.
Being present at both ends of the age spectrum is where I find myself now, with four grown sons and a Dad who needs me (and my siblings) more than ever. Maybe it’s where you find yourself, too.
“Damn it all! What the f— am I doing here?”
It’s my dad’s birthday, and I’ve arrived at his assisted living facility with a stocking cap, some warm gloves and a new pair of long johns, hoping to keep his frail body warm while we travel through the countryside to his dentist appointment. He clearly isn’t impressed when I suggest he wear his warm winter coat. Considering his mood….(read more)
I hope you’ll spend some time at The Perennial Gen’s website. This beautiful space is “a safe place for Christian men and women in the second half of life.” It definitely feels that way to me. Each month, the blog will feature essays on a variety of topics. This month, it’s caregiving and living in the sandwich generation. Future topics will include physical changes, retirement, spiritual formation, mental health, food and hospitality. From their site:
This corner of the web is a space for those at midlife and beyond to nurture frank conversation about transitions in our faith, culture, church, relationships, vocation, and bodies. In this community of thoughtful Christian writers and readers–most in their second half of life–we:
Cultivate frank conversation about transitions in our faith, culture, church, relationships, vocation, and bodies
Inspire intergenerational relationship and invite older women out of the shadows
Encourage new paths, purpose, and calling in the lives of people over 50
Invite those of other beliefs and stages of life to engage with us