Thanks for Reading Suburban Adventure

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Sandwich Generation


THE SANDWICH GENERATION
I have read about this and thought about it and now I find myself literally self sitting in a triple decker sandwich. In my heart I knew why I wanted to live in Connecticut when my ex-husband was transferred to NYC. My Dad had a terminal illness- his time would be limited which ultimately would leave my Mother alone.
Approximately six months after my Father died, I truly thought my Mother would not survive after a terrible fall. She was on her way to Florida via JFK airport, she fell backward on the escalator and broke nine ribs. When I saw her little broken body, I did not think she would survive as she was in so much pain and she looked so battered.  My brother and I took care of her for weeks and she made it through with flying colors.  
The next year she would inform my brothers and I that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She was fortunate as it was in it’s early stage. She did however go through surgery and weeks of radiation and it was yet another journey of recovery. We were thrilled when it was over as it was an incredibly stressful time. 
I thought we were done with the health issues for awhile but this was not the case. 
The following year- I had spoken with my Mother one morning and she told me she would be staying in the house all day baking and cooking. It was a very cold day that seemed to call for warm delightful aromas throughout the house.  I needed to ask her a question and began to call her at 4:00 pm and did not get an answer. I tried at 5:00 then 6:00 and still no answer.  
At 7:00 pm I was headed out to dinner and decided that I had to stop beforehand to ensure that my Mother was safe.  My mind was worried and as we drove into her driveway and put up the garage, panic set in.  Her car was in the garage so I ran into our home.
I immediately saw the door to the basement was open and my worst fear was confirmed. My Mother had fallen down the stairs.  She had broken her hip and cut her arms and she couldn’t move. It was no surprise that she needed immediate surgery for a hip replacement and so that journey began, and it was a long one.
After her surgery she was in a rehab for a little over a month. I cooked for her and I kept her company once I launched my children off on the bus. My schedule soon turned into a routine of tending to my house and children, going to the rehab and heading right back home to tend to the needs of my children.
Since Im the sole custodian of my children, and do not have family nearby- I have zero reprieve except for babysitters that gives me some breathing room. 
After the rehab my mother moved in with me and I took care of her until she was well enough to live on her own again. I would do any day of the week again for her as I did for my father. 
I spent every single day with my father for months before he died. I cooked for my parents, I dropped off Christopher at Nursery school and I carried Giavanna along with me and we sat with him. I encouraged my Mother to get out of the house and go shopping. I made my father go outside and tried to show him how much we loved him which he already knew.  I have and will have zero regrets for the way I have always treated my parents.  

They gave me the world and my gift back to them is that I would always be here for them. I knew there was a great peacefulness within my father when he died. He knew I would be here for my Mother, he didn’t have to worry about her. He knew in his heart that my brother and I would tend to her and we do. 

 I did it for my father and I shall do it for my mother.  Im blessed to have been born to such wonderful people and I thank God for all of the blessings that I have in my life. I feel fortunate that I have the ability and strength to care for so many people- that in itself is a gift that I am grateful for. xo

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting metaphor. I thought you had two brothers? You seem to talk about "my brother and I" instead of "my brothers and I", but you mention "brothers" in the post. Sorry- was just confused.

Michelle Bravo said...

Hi there.. I can see where that would be confusing. I in fact have two brother, however one is closer to us and the other is a plane ride away. When My Mother fell it was my local brother and I that physically took care of her.
I should have phrased that in a clearer fashion. Thanks for pointing it out to me.