I am realizing more and more that I do not like being the meat in the middle of the sandwich generation.
It is better, however, than not having a slice of bread on the TOP of the sandwich at all.
Being a desperately needed caretaker for someone who is supposed to be someone who takes of me, makes me grateful, humble, appreciative, frustrated, weepy, exhausted, sad, frightened, apprehensive, terrified, admiring, awe-inspired, disgusted, and did I mention “humble?” and all the words that match these in any thesaurus you might have lying around.
This goes against the natural order of things; our parents take care of us – we don’t take care of them. We take care of our children – they don’t take care of us.
And yet, having this order reversed is, in a way, a kind of giving back, for all the sacrifices, all the sharing, all the care and concern and love and guidance and teaching and such. . . it’s not that we “owe” our parents; it’s that we now understand more about what they did for us, and wish to express that knowledge with loving kindness and care.
My mother is in good health right now, for which I thank God, fasting. I will not be ready to give her up for a long, long time, say perhaps when I’m in my late eighties?
My MIL is the same age, and yet, her tide is ebbing. We will never be ready to be without her. I love her. I don’t like it when the tide ebbs; no matter how much treasure is left on the beach, it’s never enough to replace what we lost. And yet, all aspects of the tide are beautiful, and it is also very true that there is a season, turn, turn, turn. . . .
I blame the moon. Damn gravity.
No, I do not like being the meat in the middle of the sandwich generation. I don’t like it a bit. But I’m glad of the chance to be of service. And, I’m glad there is still an intact sandwich.
(Are you watching, children? This is how it’s done. Take notes, if you would, please. Put them in a safe place, for I hope you won’t need to use them until YOU’RE in your late eighties.)
You laugh, and think that’s a long way off and needn’t be bothered with for ages, but to tell you the truth, my loves, turn around twice and you’re there.
It’s an Einsteinian thing.