The Sandwich Generation

Kam enjoying a sandwich bigger than he is, yet managing to sink his teeth in.
Oh how folks are having to sink their teeth into this thing called
“the Sanwich Generation”
now finding themselves
between two worlds
raising their own kids, balancing jobs, lifes that are on full throttle and loved ones at home who are ill or disabled.
The demands are great, the efforts are strong as they make their way in a world of constant caregiving
in ways unimagined.
working two jobs to provide,
taking lunch hours to run home in traffic to check on loved ones,
then back to the job.
Setting up a room with a cooler a sandwich and a phone nearby, and making sure that the T.V. is set just so, while maintaining your sanity
and also attending the school functions if you still have kids in school only then to get home in time to fix dinner, to check homework, to run here and there and to catch up and still maintain ones’ balance if balance is still in your vocabulary and abilities.
Time for self?
It usually goes by the wayside along the way.
Nutrition, exercise, meditation, fun with friends of your own age,
remembering your own life and its sacredness, dancing with the tunes of the times and those days
of great and Motown sounds?
Somehow put on the back burner
as life gets in the way,
and memories dimmed
and friends grown weary of asking you to join them for an evening out, a meal, a time of gathering and listening to music or even a cocktail.
You have somehow become one of the millions now known as the
and it is not a baloney and cheese,
nor a good ole’ mouth watering tomato sandwich!
More and more those in that squeezed between the generations folks find themselves unable to find resources for help; perhaps in rural areas, or busy streets and cities,
they are so busy they do not know who to turn to for support
they forget to ask.
Once upon a time, folks raised their kids, they cried about the
empty nest syndrome
then they celebrated freedoms
and enjoyed their own life
while seeing parents age and enjoy,
seeing kids grow up and fly
they then did their thing
But now?
Adults who had grand plans
are working forever
are now not just extending a hand,
but finding the extra bedroom is once again filling with either parents or grown kids or grandkids
that they are now raising,
extended families are on the rise
as economies dip
the fight or flight
makes folks return to the nest
and the squeeze and pressure
is on the boomers
to be all and more
while caring now for their own kids and grandkids
and their Elders
and somehow losing themselves in the middle.
This is a generation in need of reminders and support
There are times when out of love
one can bite off more than you can
reasonably chew.
Compassion Fatigue is tearing folks down, professinally and personally.
And with that comes illness, immune system break-down, joylessness, heartache, resistence to change and lack of hope.
Folks may forget to dance, to laugh, to embrace mindfulness.
Every time we forget how very important we are to the world
we forget our strength.
Those in this sandwich generation
are squeezed like orange juice without freshness overtime
that is tragic.
Within each person is a light, however dim it is there.
The pure essence of an individual is the ability to fan that flame into empowerment through support, care, compassion and the real deal of knowing;
before rendering aide to another you must first put your oxygen mask on.
1 of every 8 Americans is caring for an Elder and also a young person
and extended families are returning to the fold.
People must find a way to balance, to be mindful knowing that this is also “their live” right here right now.
You do not want to look back at some point in time and regret, or wonder,
“why was it never my time”.
Out in Texas our Warrior Thomas O’Brien has been again in the hospital as Cancer continues to attack his most precious 21 year old body. He has taught the world amazing grace under fire; a gentle man of tremendous spirit, he is a fighter no doubt.
We continue to light the candles, to send him messages of hope, of compassion, love and gratitude that he shares this journey of heartaches, struggle and passion
with thousands along the way.
His Mom Debbie is a brave woman,
one who knows that every day is a gift now tells us she is crying more,
she and Thomas both wanting him home, surrounded by loved ones
at it appears that Cancer is winning the war
yet he is the ultimate victor
of lessons being taught to so many
in his way of love and generous spirit.
I admire this young warrior and his old soul.
Please join me in lighting a candle and sending the Universal light of peace, hope and healing for him and his Mom as the journey continues now.
we are with you always.
I sure hope if he gets to the next place before I do, he will find his way to let me know it is just magnificent as they greet him there
I’m sure he’ll see so many of those powerful angels I’ve known through the years;
maybe even Walter will find him and they’ll talk about hot cars!
What a remarkable young warrior
who openly talked about things that most will run from in a hot minute.
Did I say
What a remarkable caregiver and Mom he has and those who love him…
Remember friends,
YOU are fully loaded,
Walk in Beauty,
Caregiver joins her striking caregivers

Caregiver joins her striking caregivers (Photo credit: Simon Oosterman)


14 comments on “The Sandwich Generation

  1. […] The Sandwich Generation (drses.wordpress.com) […]

  2. My positive energy and thoughts are with Thomas and his mom…beautiful, love-filled post…

    • Thank you, a beautiful young man who has inspired thousands on facebook and around the world as I ask all to light their candles at 7p EST and in their own time zones to off warmth, light, thoughts and prayers, some keep them 24/7 burning for him on this journey. Blessings to you dearheart!

  3. Sounds like a lot of caregivers have gathered today here!
    Hope the music and the memories stir you to NOW make your move, bust a move, dance like there is no tomorrow.
    best to all you are in my thougthts as I board that plane and hit the friendly skies for an uneventful ride to

    the family in Southwest VA…
    that is the Main EVENT for a long weekend…
    not to worry, short posts will be here…
    well… I'll try!

    keep each other on your feet as the music moves you.

  4. Thank you Anonymous for your words and good wishes. Some days on my way to or from work I get the thought if I could just keep on driving where would I end up? So many responsibilities to tend to daily keep me on a schedule. Someday though I will be able to do that. Your drive sounds like it would have been ideal until 9/11. That must have been tough. Take care and have a peaceful evening. /Sandy♥

  5. My regards to fluff, and my heartfelt sympathies for your many losses, and so close together. Hardly time to get your breath and begin the healing process from one loss, then , hit again. Planning a vacation is a good idea. The summer following my Dad's death I took off with no other plan than to drive along the coast of Maine. Ended up driving all the way to Nova Scotia. Wonder, leisurely drive. Took a couple of weeks, and well spent thye were. No demands on my time, no place to be and no schedule. Really gave me back my footing. Turns out I was on the North side of the border, just crossing back when 9/11 stopped me in my tracks. Parked in Canada with the border locked down tight.
    That is one trip I will never forget. Especially, my desire to get home.
    Please do allow yourself GETAWAY.
    The less work it is to make the plan the better. You won't come home, all better, for your life has changed in so many ways. But you will come back rested and refreshed I so hope. Sending healing hugs and a soft white light to guide your path as you create many ways to enjoy your days.

  6. hey thanks for the pingback 🙂

  7. Dr. Sherry, you know those words are directly for me today. I am still trying to come off of that hampster wheel I have been on for the past 5+ years. Even though Mom died a year ago March, brother died the year before and Dad died 18 months before I could never tell people what I might need. I am a typical middle child and have always been the go to person and never had a go to person so just kept on running around that wheel. I desire to plan a vacation this year. Have not had one since July 2006 and hope I will be successful in finding the time and energy to do so. Thank you Dr. Sherry for being so Real! Sending prayers for those mentioned over the days. Wishing each of you a wonderful day. /Sandy♥

  8. What true words you have spoken here Sherry. Son and I are an example of that conjoined family system now. He is my caretaker and we both work to try to make things the best possible. Sometimes the realization that you can not do it all is important. There are resources out there to help, to give caretakers a break even if just for an hour or two each day. As a former caretaker myself, I learned the hard way that the desire to do it all in taking care of those you love need not always be so. We become so entrenched in doing what we are doing that do not want to let go of any of it and trust someone to help when we can. We can step away and let someone else watch and care for.
    Prayers flowing for Thomas. I hate cancer. and Prayers for his mother. This is a time when they need uplifting the most.
    thanks for all you do Sherry…you are awesome in supporting others.
    love u my friend

  9. Anonymous—THAT story HAS TO BE the story of the year!!!–Bless you for sharing. MAN!! NO WORDS for that one! We all can learn from your heartfelt words. Wish everybody had your attitude about helping others, and you are wonderful. Everybody needs one of you around. Too bad people like you who offer your help, and MEAN it, are almost unheard of in this busy day and age, and also, too many “lip service” people.

    As far as that Dr. Sherry lady you mentioned,I need to say, “PERFECT” read today.

    I swear, she CREATED the “SPOT” in the saying, “On Spot”, the “MARK” in the saying, “On the Mark”, and the “POINT” in the saying, “On Point”!!!

  10. How true this is doc for so many families. Doing good is the right thing to do but trying to do it all requires help. When I ask “how can I help?” most often the person does not identify any way in which I can be of service. So think about a better answer all caregivers. Get specific…. Can I bring you a cooked meal, run some errands that are sapping your time? Can I vacuum, dust, do some laundry? May I sit for the afternoon with you elder while you relax over lunch with a friend?
    Keep a list on hand so I can take a peek and choose what I might be able to do. Worst case is I asked, hoping you would say “no need” and I would not be able to show you in this moment that I care enough to help. For those that ask, are shocked that you offered up some chore when they really didn't want to help anyway…. Well, you'll know how shallow they are and can cross them off your list of aggravating interruptions in your quest to be a superwoman/superman.
    But when I ask… I really really want to lend a hand. Please be kind enough to allow me to be your friend.
    After my Mom died, and I was caring for my Dad 24-7, I had two friends that backed me up. He had Alzheimer's and COPD. I loved him with all my heart but he was very difficult to care for. I was so tired, so drained, and determined that he would remain at home as long as I could possibly do it. My two friends made it possible for me to stay afloat, hold down a full time job, sleep now and then, and remember that I too was important.
    When I think back on those long difficult days, I am forever grateful for their love and the many times and ways they stepped up. One of those dear friends was Dr. Sherry. She held me up, and on the day of my Fathers funeral, carried his coffin to the grave side. Could I ever have had a better friend.
    So today, I send special love and thanks to her and wish for each of you who gather here, someone in your life that will stand strong beside you even when you can barely find the strength to stand at all.
    Ask for the help you need. Be open to the love others feel for you,and know that you are worth it to the people that really care.

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