WHAT PART OF THE SANDWICH ARE YOU?
I have found that I often do that – begin a conversation with a question. Hopefully, as I age, I will do this more often. My thoughts do meander a bit, but eventually get round to the point. I was born in the 60’s, the year 1960 to be exact. I didn’t know at the time what a Baby Boomer was or that later we would be coined the Sandwich Generation. As an infant my needs were warmth, healthy bowels and more food. My unspoken needs were love, compassion and whether I liked it or not, a few kind rules of life so that I didn’t jump off a bridge (though I did try to jump off a retaining wall – the one and only time I tried to fly), that breathing underwater should be left to fish and that burners on the stove with the pretty, blue, dancing, flames are hot and burn, then hurt A LOT!
Ah yes, you are doing the math, well done! Yes, now 50 years later, I am a member of the Sandwich Generation and have declared myself: The Bread. As one of my sister’s refers to it: Rocks-n-Sticks bread. The kind of bread that has nuts, seeds, lumps of fiber running through and through. The kind of bread that feels healthy as one chews it. Must have gluten, sorry.
So, by now, you are starting to get the idea that this BLOGIN’ JOURNEY has nothing to do with food per say, but it does have LOTS to do with food for thought, food for the soul and food for the spirit.
Now, what DO I mean by saying I’m The Bread. The very point of this, and future, articles. I hope to bring some sense, some humor, some help, some hope to all those finding themselves in this same or extended family group.
We are ALL affected by the growing and aging number of human bodies on our planet > Boomers. What they didn’t tell us in kindergarten is that we might one day have to parent our children AND our parents at the same time. They didn’t tell us nor equip us to know how to have an elder mother want fried bananas while my son wants cheese pizza; no Mac-n-Cheese for him or me – thank you very much!
How do we know what to do for our elders, our families and our selves. Just like parenting, there are no steadfast rule books, just lots of books filled with the author’s opinions and perhaps their personal take on research they have done or had handed to them.
So, in my family, while my mother aged and eventually peacefully passed away in her gentle sleep, I was the bread. I was the fulltime, 24-7 caregiver to her and my son (I am a single parent since conception – that being another story altogether). For fun, I will list off my siblings and what part of the sandwich I imagine them to be: Eldest, sister, was the cheese (or meat or eggs or protein, interchangeable with #3); #2, brother, was the mayonnaise (glue); #3, sister, was the meat (interchangeable with #1, cheese, eggs, protein. Ok, ok, I yield, Tofu can also be included); #4, brother, was the tomato/pickle/lettuce (adding to the flavor and the CRUNCH); #5, brother, was the spice (mustard, catsup, salt, pepper, oil, vinegar, pepperochinis, onion, you get the picture); and #6, sister, “me” – I was the bread that held it all together. Sorry, wraps made of tortillas or lettuce are not the same and therefore, in my metaphor, do not count. My favorite bread flavors are Sour Dough or Rye, but in my metaphor you have my permission to substitute your favorite BREAD as you wish.
So, dear ones, I invite you to join me on this BLOGIN’-JOURNEY that explores what it means to be a participant in the Sandwich Generation. I hope I discover, and therefore help you discover, tips, information and humor to cope with the oncoming, currently happening or post-parent-now-what phase that happens in this process of ALL the Boomers aging – gracefully please – and what joys can be found from every moment, yes, every moment of the journey.
We are blessed whether we can see them or not and we are challenged when we need to be. Now 50, I am beyond ANY shadow of doubt the Creator NEVER gives us more than we can handle. I hope you join me here again soon.
Take a moment to breathe in AND exhale then allow yourself to have fun pondering, while you go about your day, What Part of the Sandwich Are You?
Blessed be…. Dawn