Sunday, May 25, 2014

Life in the sandwich

Life in the sandwich.  I don't mean I'm a piece of roast beef or salami, although sometimes it feels that way - I'm cooked and petrified; what I mean is I'm a part of the "sandwich" generation.  I have kids at home and "mature" parents, a full time job and outside obligations.

Sometimes, I feel like Stretch Armstrong.  I used to get phone calls from the hospital about my dad every two to four years.  He would have some kind of cardiac event, arrhythmia, blood pressure issues; now it is every two months, sometimes every two weeks.  Of course, now it's not just cardiac issues.  Now my Dad has a plethora of other things that it could be.  He is living with a slowly progressive illness.  There are good days and bad days and very bad days.

When these very bad days happen, I want to drop everything and run to his side.  Then there's my kids - who are in school, who need me and the job where I'm on call three out of four weeks.  My family that needs my support, needs my income, needs me.  AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!

Therein, lies the question:  what do I do?  What is the responsible thing to do; what is the appropriate thing to do?  I cannot afford to drop everything every two weeks.  How do I choose when to fly down to his house and when to stay in my routine at home?  I really don't know.  When stuff like this happens and I choose to stay home, I walk around feeling like something is missing.  I feel a gnawing sensation in the pit of my stomach.

When I fly down there, I am grateful to have the opportunity to help my mom out, and yet, I feel like I'm dropping the ball at home and at work.  Sometimes I want to either, a)  run away screaming; b)  hide in the closet and shake.  Usually I just choose plan C):  count all of my blessings from the beginning and focus on the positive.  That works the best and frankly, I've only chosen a) once and on b) it's in my bedroom, not the closet.

I'm sure many of you are in a similar predicament.  I have so many friends from High School who are losing or have lost their parents.  I am lucky to have mine.  I would rather have the chaos than nothing at all.

I guess my lesson in this is to remember to continuously count your blessings.  Breathe and move forward the very best way you can.  Today, my blog is my way of obtaining catharsis.  If anything I mention helps you in your journey then I have done a good thing.

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