Monday, August 18, 2008

Sandwich Generation

Yesterday I went to a friend’s sixtieth birthday party. Dorothy lives in England but was in Melbourne visiting her mother at just the right time for us to celebrate with her. I sat at a table of old school friends and some people I didn’t know.

We canvassed our children’s lives quickly. Seems at our age people have grown past the showing off stage, which is nice. There was a detour to talk about grandchildren and how adorable they are.

Then we moved on to the main topic of conversation – our aging parents. How well are they? How old are they? Do they live independently? Are they in a home? Do they have dementia? How often do you visit? Every new person who joined the group had a story to tell.

I remember when I was a young mother how affirming it felt to meet someone else at the same stage, someone else who was getting up at night, someone else lost in the wonder and awfulness of it all. Now here I am again, bonding with strangers over horror stories, only this time about our parents.

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