Baby-boomers and gen-Xer’s, – many now part of the “sandwich generation”:
…a generation of middle-aged individuals who are pressured to support both aging parents and growing children. The trends of increasing lifespans and having children at an older age have contributed to the sandwich generation phenomenon.
Thus it is for Tom and I.
We have adult children with children of their own.
7 precious grand babies!!!
Yet they are still “children” with needs.
No longer financial (thank you Lord)…but emotional and spiritual.
Especially when the trials of life come…
when life deals them a hand they were not yet prepared to play.
We are there…and blessed they continue to feel the love, safety and connection to seek our counsel – prayers – and encouragement!
On the other side of that “sandwich” – our mothers.
Tom’s mother, Loretta, at 98 feeling the physical decline of her years but able to remain remarkably self-sufficient with minimal help needed from the staff in her assisted living community.
Loretta made the shift to independent living at a time when she could enjoy it to the full – and she has!!!
As for my mom, Joyce, at 92 she is still going strong!
Still drives – attends Bible study – is active in her church and a number of volunteer capacities – and until yesterday – living alone in her own home!
And if I say so…she is absolutely beautiful.
She is the one in the photo above – with her 3 year old great granddaughter Ella.
(As for me…I keep hoping I got a good dose of that part of the gene-pool!)
Beginning last fall, we agreed it was time to consider the sale of her 2 story home and think about an independent living community.
She is tough – decisive – smart – determined.
As soon as she made the decision – found a place she liked – she signed the agreement for her new abode – and confidently stroked the check for the deposit.
Over the months her home sold and the sorting, giving away, packing and choosing began.
That has been the toughest part of the journey for Mom.
Stories I had never heard.
All brought back by a photo she would cradle in her hands…table linens she would admire while telling a tale of a special dinner party…or the clink of a pair of wine glasses (with that twinkle still in her eye)!
The choices are hard.
Picking what to keep – what to give as gifts – what give away.
It’s the giving-up of a lifetime of things she loves.
I have been the blessed recipient of some of her “prized possessions” – silver, linens, crystal…and in those moments, she will say, “I’m happy you will have these…”
Yet a melancholy few months.
A time when I have learned what a home means to a woman.
Our homes – and the things we love having around us – are hard to part with!
In the final days of her move…when we sat reflecting over our last meal at her much-too-large dining room table…movers scurrying around us packing…half a turkey sub and bottle of water…
we both teared up thinking of all the family dinners – card games – and love that had been shared around that table.
We both also knew – almost instantly – it was not the table but the people and the memories we cherished most.
Those are never given away. Never boxed up. Never lost.
They are with us now and forever.
I am blessed to have my Mom with me all these years.
Blessed to have all these precious memories.
And now – she is a courageous example of what it takes to make a move like this.
To know that wherever she goes – her house will be a loving beautiful home.
Blessed to have a Mom who has always been a best friend…and even more blessed to be able to be there for her now when she needs me most.
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