Getting The Hang Of It

So this blogging thing takes a little planning. I was on a roll and then family matters took over. First of all I try to spend at least one day a week with my parents. Second, I also had grandson duty this week. Talk about being in the sandwich generation! The combo of those two things sapped all my time and energy for 3 days.

As I’ve previously explained, my parents moved to North Carolina in the fall of 2017 following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. While we knew that it was possibility they would move here someday, this put it on the fast track. Not only did we have the whole awful job of recovering what we could, we had to figure out quickly where they would live once they got here. This is when my dear friend, Neely Alt, stepped in and volunteered to research retirement communities in the Charlotte area. Having had previous experience with her own father she knew what services were important and all the right questions to ask. She found the ideal place for them on very short notice. Aldersgate Retirement Community even had a cottage available for Independent Living, which was the ONLY way we were getting my father to agree to this.

The transition from their 4 bedroom, 3 bath home of 42 years to a 2 bedroom, 1 bath cottage has been a work in progress, to say the least. They stayed with us for a few weeks while we sorted out logistics and paperwork. New furniture had to be purchased, banking established, mail forwarded, insurance changed, doctors found, etc, etc, etc. There seemed no end to the details. And once they were in their cottage I spent several days a week there helping them to settle and find their way around. Plus, they were both emotionally walking wounded. A year and a half later that part hasn’t changed. It is still very difficult for them (and me) to come to grips with all that has transpired. While I don’t spend quite as much time there now that my brother is on the scene, it is still a major factor in how MY life has transformed.

And then my grandbabies showed up. When my daughter made the difficult decision to move here on her own we promised to support her in whatever way was needed. Her company has been fantastic to allow her to work from home, several states away from her corporate office. She has not needed our financial support, but she does need to travel every few weeks and that’s where we come in. I am more than happy to have them for a few nights every month or so! In the early days when the youngest was an infant I stayed with them at her place, but now that they are three and 14 months I need extra hands! So they stay at our house and I put my husband to work. He is so good with them and they adore him. But, man are we worn out at the end of the week!

The definition of the Sandwich Generation is a generation of people in their 40’s to 70’s who are caring for aging parents while ALSO supporting, in some manner, grown children and/or grandchildren. In one year’s time we landed smack in the middle of the sandwich. We are the baloney in the white bread, so to speak. And while I would not have it any other way, some days are harder than others. It can be overwhelming to carry such an emotional and physical load. I’m not sure it’s really possible to be prepared for this. And I don’t think there is enough conversation on this topic! As I get the hang of this blogging thing I hope to continue to explore this stage of life and how it affects women, their relationships, and their health. Stay tuned!

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