As of yesterday, I decided that the term “sandwich generation” is not an accurate description. Ever had a panini? It’s a sandwich that’s been squeezed and smashed until it doesn’t quite even resemble a sandwich any more.
Apply heat and pressure to a mom who’s ALSO got heavy responsibility for a parent, and you get “the panini generation.”
My very difficult conversation with my father went extremely well yesterday. I said what I needed to say. He understood. He shared what his life is like with his sickly and over-the-edge alcoholic wife. We made some plans for moving forward, and I made it clear that I want him to remain in my life – but just him.
And it became crystal-clear to me that, before long, I will be heavily responsible for his welfare. We’ve got another date to complete a medical power of attorney so that I can be involved when needed in his care. My next step – and soon – will need to be working on durable power of attorney. Before the confusion and doddering we’ve been seeing in him for awhile now go too far.
I don’t know how to do this stuff. I suppose most people don’t – they just get thrown into it and do their best. I have resources to hand like a local dementia support organization, which I hope will help me find my way through the coming maze. But…yuck. Honestly, I feel particularly unsuited and unequipped for this job.
And, in the meantime, I’m not giving up my day job as a mom. Even though our kids are in college and beyond, the responsibility and the worry doesn’t stop. I wouldn’t want it to. They’re the best thing I’ve ever done, not to mention the most amazingly fun people I’ve ever had the privelege to know.
Feeling the squeeze.