Enjoyed this? Share it, and attribute it. Copyright 2014, Bubby Joys and Oys, M. Hendeles
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People my age — the sandwich generation –may be wrapped up in any number of ways.
“I feel like a flat, pasty piece of grilled cheese, all squeezed between two slices of bread,” said a good friend of mine to me the other day.
I sensed the pain in her voice as she used that metaphor. She is a daughter of elderly parents and a mom of many adult children who need her. She’s pulled (and pushed) in different directions and it hurts.
She felt quite stressed, and needs support during this frustrating period of life, and so do I.
Me? I’m more like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Some days I feel the thick peanut butter heaviness of guilt, and other times I experience life as the smooth gel-like fluidity of jelly. It all depends on the day. Things are constantly changing for my family. The burdens interchange with the carefree feelings. I’m at that stage in my life where anything is possible, and that’s a good thing. But I always have to be vigilant, because I have the responsibilities for the older and the younger generations.
Then there’s my friend who is the tuna fish and mayonnaise sandwich. She is mashed into smithereens of fish and mixed around into the slimy mayonnaise and expected to stay all proper inside the two slices of whole wheat bread.
Heaven forbid, she leaks out onto the sides. She feels so guilty. Her mom needs her for every trip to the doctor and she lovingly drives her mom there every day. Her married couples call her daily and are managing fine, thank you. But she feels their burdens as the mayonnaise that is so much a part of her becomes part of the bread that is her son, daughter and their lovely but struggling family.
She benefits from sharing and venting to friends and family who care. And many do.
And what about the deli sandwich? The salami and pastrami are piled high into a thick wad of meat…so thick that one can barely sink his teeth into the various tasks that need to be done.
There is comfort in numbers. Just knowing that we are not the only one who is scrunched between two breads into a sandwich, makes each one of us feel better.
Who knows? One day someone will found a support group called “Sandwichers Anonymous.” I will be the first to join.
Tags: adult children, deli, elderly parents, guilt, pb & J, pressures, sandwich generation, support, tuna and mayo, vigilant