In the Sandwich Generation, I am an open-faced tuna melt

April 26, 2009 at 10:55 pm (Stuff that's on my mind) (, , , , , )

The “Sandwich Generation” refers to the generation that is raising kids as well as taking care of their parents.  That doesn’t accurately describe me; I don’t have any kids of my own, although I have a step-daughter from Malcolm’s first marriage.  Now however, as the eldest of my parent’s three daughters, the responsibility of keeping an eye on my mother and keeping track of my her affairs has fallen largely to me.  Which is fine for the most part.  Those who know me  know I am organized enough to handle both my mother’s affairs as well as my own.  Those who know me really well know I am a total control FREAK, and am therefore, of the three of us, probably the best-suited for this job.  At least, that’s what I tell myself when I need help getting through the insane moments.

And OH. MY. GOSH!  Are there insane moments!  The stubbornness, the self-diagnosing, the stubbornness, the second-guessing… and have I mentioned the stubbornness?  And as exasperating as it can get, I KNOW what’s behind it all.  My mother doesn’t want to be “old”, because her definition of old is needing someone to take care of her, and losing her independence.  And as Mom enters her 70’s, her independence is more important to her than anything else in this world.

And you know, I totally get it.  So I do everything I can to make sure she keeps her independence for as long as possible.  Which basically means that she and I, along with my two sisters, work as a team to keep her healthy.  And the best way to keep her healthy is by making sure she takes her prescriptions on schedule and eats three meals/day.  No excuses accepted and no stubbornness allowed.

I know the day will come when she is unable to live unassisted.  And when that happens, I don’t know if I’ll be able to take care of her daily needs or if we’ll have to consider other options.  But one thing I DO know is I will be just as committed to her quality of life and happiness as she was to mine when I was growing up.  Because as my mother and my friend, she deserves no less.

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