Sandwich - Let's Share

You've heard of the "sandwich generation."  I've heard it in reference to the generation of baby boomers who are caring for elderly parents and children/grandchildren.  I'll have mine with a dollop of peace and clarity, thank you very much.

A week ago, my mother endured a medical crisis.  After trying to call her and receiving no answer, we called a neighbor to check on her.  When the neighbor entered the house, all the lights were off, and Mom was wandering around disoriented and confused.  We got her to the hospital and with IV antibiotics and fluids she began to improve.   My sister and her family packed up and came to Mom's house to be available for whatever was needed.  I can't imagine what would happen if either one of us was to have to manage this on our own.  My brother lives away, but we have been in contact frequently, and he is calling Mom to encourage her as she gets better. After three days in the hospital, Mom is now in rehab and will be going to assisted living when she is released.  My sister and I took turns staying with Mom in the hospital, and are visiting her daily in the nursing home/rehab.  What a blessing to have a husband who is also a Nurse Practitioner!  Kenny has helped us know what decisions to make, and what direction to look.  He's been to many of the assisted living facilities locally and is able to steer us in the right direction.

Kenny and I did not get to see our boy this week.  The last seven days have been a blur.  Next week will be busy as well, but we hope to be able to spend some quality time with Lacy today.  I worried about my Mom, and longed to see my son.

Both my mother and son need their family right now.  Caregivers tend to become so intent on the task of caregiving, that they don't see the crowd of people who are around them, ready to help at a moment's notice.  In the words of Pierce Pettus, "We are all in this together, we are all in this alone."  The feelings of isolation are common even if a person has a whole family shouldering the burden.

I tend to feel that everything is on my shoulders when it is not.  I tend to overlook those who can help me and wear myself out being the "go to" helper.   I am learning to let go of things, and allow others to help.   My sister and husband are really good at calmly looking at the options and making a decision.  I'm learning from them to take time out to breathe and think things through.  My brother calls to discuss ideas and options.  We can't do this alone!!

Not the best sandwich in the world, but the flavor improves when we all take a bite!


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