While I have been blogging for some time now I don’t feel as if I have ever had anything to say that is of any importance to the rest of the blogging community. At least not anything of importance to anyone but me, i am after all not raising a child with a terminal illness, nor am i suffering from a terminal illness, so how can my story even remotely compare? It cannot. I recently switched from xanga (land) to blotspot and I find the blogs a lot more interesting here. A lot more relevant to life in general, I find myself most fascinated with the story telling blogs; stories about overcoming tragedy in life.
But what about my story? I have yet to come across someone writing about being in the throes of the “sandwich generation”. Do most people even know what this is? Do they know what it implies to be in the “sandwich generation”? Do people know how hard it is? That just when you think you are to the point in life when life can become all about “me” it doesn’t? It becomes all about caretaking, again. But this time the caretaking is harder and more insistent, and there are no babysitters to help when you need a break, or need a date with your partner. Caretaking becomes a 24/7 job with no end in sight. And the end is not something you ever want to think about happening.
My story begins back in June 2002. June 30th to be exact, the day I married Mr. Roll. Mr. Roll and I met back in 1998, and finally the day arrived when he would take me as his bride. We left the next day for Hawaii and the beginning of a wonderful life together.
Thanksgiving was on the horizon and we invited my 85 year old mom, who lived in southern California to come stay with us through both Thanksgiving and Christmas. She did, leaving on January 6th 2003. About a month later she called and after telling me how much she missed us and how lonely she was I suggested she sell her home and move to Washington. She did. On May 23rd, she moved to Washington to live near us.
Near us never came to be. Mom moved in with us and we became aware that living on her own was no longer an option for her, or us. She would be living with us. We hadn’t been married one year and we’d lost our freedom.
Here we are 6 years later still trying to understand how we arrived here and still trying to have time alone together. We haven’t progressed well on either front. Mom is 90 now and pretty much glued to me 24/7. Does she need to be? No. Does she need care? Yes, but not 24/7 care. We also pay a caretaker to come in and help, but mom is insistent that she be with me every other minute of the day.
Our 7th wedding anniversary is coming up next week and we will try to get out eating, and celebrating our day. Mom will have a fit about it. She’ll complain and she will cry eventually throwing a temper tantrum over the fact that we do not want to take her with us. She will do everything but understand that this is our special day and we want to spend it together.
What is today like? I just returned from a trip to Chicago. I went there with my youngest son. It was a good trip and just what I needed to regain myself from the care of my mom. But returning comes with consequences. Mom expects me to devote myself to her now and take not a minute to myself, not even an unaccompanied minute to use the bathroom in solitude. Not even to get a drink of water in less than 10 seconds or she is up looking to see what is taking me so long to get back to her. Today is a day spent in the family room with mom. She sits on the sofa playing solitaire and I sit with my laptop.
There must be other people in blogland that are experiencing this phenomenon called the “sandwich generation”.