Sunday, August 26, 2007

On being part of the sandwich generation

It’s been an action-packed couple of weeks for me, and I didn’t have time to sit at the computer. A week after being away for a week, I’m still cleaning up hundreds of unopened messages in my work and personal email boxes.

I decided to take a road trip to visit my elderly mother. Thankfully, my sister lives near her and the trip confirmed what I already suspected. It helped to see Mom in her surroundings. We’ve known her memory is slipping very fast, and the changes I’ve observed in just eight months are alarming.

She’ll see a new doctor next month and wants to be tested for dementia, and as far as I’m concerned, it can’t be too soon.

During the first two days of my Florida trip I drove 1,200 miles, while receiving phone calls from my homeless son and daughter-in-law who were detoxing, hungry and having major car problems in Arizona’s 115-degree heat, all with nowhere to go.

A young man who's been in their shoes said if they were going to succeed in staying clean, they needed to be told what to do. They weren't capable of clear, rational thinking in those first days. So as I drove, my friend in Missouri researched family and social service organizations online for them to contact. But did you know homeless agencies are closed on weekends? Yes, at least in Arizona they are.

They survived that week of hunger, exhaustion, loneliness and reliance on the kindness of strangers and family, and are now safely starting over at the Kaiser Family Center. It’s a wonderful program helping homeless families with young children in Phoenix get back on their feet.

How reassuring it is to hear the difference in their voices as they find themselves and regain wholeness once again, attending Crystal Meth Anonymous meetings, working to rebuild a home, becoming productive members of society and responsible parents.

Each day, I still entrust them and the baby to God’s care. And I’ve added Mom to that list too. Yeah, I could definitely be the poster girl for the sandwich generation.

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1 comment:

Nourishing Relationships said...

Poster girl for the Sandwich Generation is an understatement! Don't forget to nourish yourself some - especially at times like this when you have so much on your mind.