As we waited for our zumba class to begin 6 or 7 of us were discussing elderly parents, offspring, grandchildren and how being part of the sandwich generation comes with blessings and heartaches alike.
We want to help our parents navigate the choppy waters of aging and all that comes with it. One woman mentioned that her father is in a facility recovering from some illness or fall and that her mom is temporarily living with her due to failing eyesight.
We talked of how so many women of our moms’ generation were very dependent on their husbands and are at a loss when that stability is taken away. Add to that the lack of independence due to vision loss and it makes for a tough situation for all involved.
Another woman in the group has brought her mom into her home as well. During the day when Marie has to go to work she drops her mom off at a senior daycare because it is unsafe for her to be home alone. Today Marie’s mom said she didn’t want to go anywhere and that she was “sick”. We all shared a resigned giggle and someone commented that it sounded like what our children said when they didn’t want to go to school.
Yet another chatted about having extended younger family members living in the home and worrying about her elderly mom in another state.
This is not meant to be a downer post.
What I was reminded of, as I sat there, was that we could relate to one another and support one another, just by listening. Our circumstances are not identical by any means. But we listened. And we laughed and we empathized.
It also came to my mind, once again, that we don’t know what another person is walking through and so we should cut one another just a little more slack. It is really okay to extend grace.
We, of the sandwich generation, are stronger than we think. We give more than we thought possible. Sometimes we are surprised by what we are called upon to do.
As is true of the sandwich in the picture we are made of many layers and different ingredients.
It is hard work and it is rewarding. Each woman that shared is trying to do what is best for her loved one. Uncomplainingly. Giving AND receiving.
What a beautiful thing!
Thank you for reading.
Have you been faced with any of these challenges? Please leave your comments below.