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.


5 thoughts on “Panini.

  1. I can empathize with the squeezing feeling. Dementia/Alzheimer’s is a disease which takes a lot of patience and understanding. I went through it with my dad. My mom isn’t an alcoholic but she never understood the stages of the disease and blamed him for everything he “didn’t do right”. If your dad has to count on his alcoholic wife, that kind of sounds like a disaster in the making. Sounds like you are being proactive which is always a good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, we’re really worried about how things will go…we’ve never been all that close (largely because of the alcoholic wife) and so making all these arrangements means having the kind of conversations we have NEVER had in my life. Also, my sister (his only other child) just moved to Ireland, so the actual doing is up to me at this point. She’s being absolutely awesome, but it’s really hard with her so far away. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the panini analogy, and my wife (who spends much time and energy tending her elderly mom) can totally relate to it. She also highly recommends this site to you:

    I’m glad your dad was so receptive to your discussion. Good luck getting the paperwork into place (hopefully without interference from his wife) as you prepare for whatever he may need next.

    And while it’s a squeeze to also be juggling parenting, at least your kids are old enough they may be able to help with some occasional things as well. I’m remembering my son helping to dig out my mother-in-law’s place after some major snowstorms last winter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right – our kids will be happy to help out. Thanks for that site. I’ll check it out. I also had very helpful conversation with someone from our local Alzheimer’s Association this morning. Thanks as always for your support.


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