Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Sandwich Generation

My girls are intrigued by the title of this blog and Grace, especially, has asked several times what it means.

For those who don't know, "they" (the media) are calling people whose lives are sandwiched between their children and their older adult parents. Now my parents are not dependent on me and I hope that we actually have more of an interdependent relationship, but my job does make me feel sandwiched sometimes.

This week there have been several things that have occurred that have caused distress? Not really? Stress? Some? Sadness? Probably more than any other emotion.

Today a woman, just a few years older than me, wandered into our area at work. She was looking for someone to pay for a taxi to get her back to the homeless shelter. Before we could find someone to help, she began to slur her words and appeared to pass out. Thankfully we have an emergency response team that handles these types of situations, but when I found out how young she was (58) it really made me wonder what happens in your life that causes you to reach the point she was.

Last week we heard about two long time friends who had passed away.

One's body was ravaged by cancer, the other by diabetes and heart disease. Both leave wives who are fairly independent, but still so lost now without their husbands, with their own health also failing.

The worst was learning Saturday morning about a friend who was missing. Most people have friends their own age. My friends are all in the 80's! This woman had received notification that the Department of Public Safety wanted her to re-take her driving test, it had been reported that she was perhaps, not safe to drive any more.

This outraged her so much that she got in her car to drive to the driver's license office and show them that she was quite capable of taking care of herself.

Somewhere on the way she became disoriented and lost.

She was found Saturday morning, with her window down, screaming and yelling out the window.

Thankfully someone stopped to help, which supports my belief in guardian angels, as this man did not take advantage of the situation, but instead called the sheriff's office, and stayed with her until help arrived.

She had run out of gas.

Friday night the temperature dipped into the 20's.

Where was she all night? Did she have anything to eat or drink? No one knows.

We just know the story from where the good Samaritan and the sheriff came in.

Then I try to shift gears and focus on my daughters.

Sometimes it is harder than others.

Tonight we had our Christmas party with our volunteers.

Most have been with me for at least 7 years or is it 8?

But with this population, the older adults, you always have lost some. Some have passed away. Some have become too frail and elderly to continue working. Some are currently struggling with serious health issues.

But all have given their time to help others. Most can still run circles around me. All have been part of the "Greatest Generation". They have survived the Great Depression and WWII. Most of their children are part of the "baby boomers".

But for some of those adult children, it is too difficult to see Mom or Dad getting older so they skirt their responsibilities to them, sure that they are ok or leave someone else in charge.

So tonight, with all this on my mind, I had to force myself to focus on using water as an alternative form of fuel! Now that does take some concentration to try to explain that concept to someone whose English is still VERY unsophisticated? Developed?

PLUS, she, being Annabel, has to prepare a Powerpoint presentation on her research with animation!

OK, I admit. Tonight I feel sandwiched!

No comments:

Post a Comment