Dear Readers, Today I am revealing portions from a new book I am working on entitled, Loving Mom~ Our Journey In the Sandwiched Generation.
For three years I helped care for my Mom as she completed her life her on earth. In the process I collected thousands of emails and wrote hundreds of journal entries as I grappled with the impending loss of my Mother.. my friend.
As I went along I wanted to know someone else understood this time of life, I wanted to know someone else was thinking the same kinds of things, struggling with all these emotions and responsibilities and I was really not able to find much to help me. When she was gone I realized there had to be other like myself who were struggling with this kind of loss. I searched the library and internet but I came up empty every time. Either they were full of psychological claptrap or they were so spiritually lofty I could not relate. I wanted something else and I thought maybe others would relate so I began to put together all that I had collected and made it into a book of sorts.
I am giving you a preview today and Monday, and I invite your feedback in the comments section. Please, take a few moments and give me your thoughts. Do you think a work like this would be beneficial to anyone you know? I am asking because the nature of this is so personal that it may appear I am just spewing my mental laundry out there and that is not the point of the book. As always, I desire to glorify God and help others who hurt and struggle.Thanks, in advance!
Preview of Loving Mom (copywrite and all rights reserved. Not for duplication or publishing in any form of media, electronic or otherwise without authors express consent)
I am a surviving care giver. At the time I began actually writing this book, my Mom had been gone almost 2 months.
Our story is not unique; it is being lived at this moment by hundreds of thousands of families all over the United States. Children are caring for their parents in ever increasing numbers and as the Baby Boomers age and their health declines the numbers of adult children providing health care and respite care for their parents is going to literally explode.
I found an article that quoted statistics from the National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA). They say that that more than one quarter (27 percent) of the adult population has provided care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during the past year. That represents more than 54 million caregivers based on current census data.[i]
For 3 years, I was one of that number.
I cared for my mother out of love and because it glorified God to do so. I miss her terribly…
When I began writing this, I was “waking up” emotionally from all that I had endured and was looking for something, someone who could help me grapple with the memories, the ache, and the absence that was in my life. I hoped that by pouring my words on paper that I would find comfort and more than that; that I would provide a biblical and honest look at what it means to be a part of the Sandwich Generation.
The Sandwich Generation is a term I first heard when I worked at an insurance company. The agency sold Long Term Care Insurance and provided an informational booklet on being a child care giver.
We are a unique group of people living in an unprecedented time. Our parents are living longer than ever before with the average length of life being 80 years,[ii]
thanks to the fantastic medical care our health systems provide. Many of the ailments that killed the elderly are easily managed today by medications and surgical intervention.
Their children provide varying degrees of assistance to them. This includes anything from weekly shopping trips and hair appointments, banking, cleaning, to more involved care such as bathing, dressing, cooking, medications and doctor visits. The extreme levels of care include living with the parent(s) and caring for all their needs on a daily basis.
Often, these tasks are done while the adult child has a job, and a family of their own. Many are raising small children, or teenagers. The adult child finds their time stretched in every conceivable direction as they try to be both parent to their own children and respectful child to their parent who suddenly seems to need a parent!
This might describe you today. You may have picked up this book looking for some help, or someone who could understand the craziness that is your life right now. You might be frantic, or teetering on the edge of collapse from exhaustion. I want you to know- I understand, I have been there, and now that Mom is gone I am there with my Dad who survives her.
When I was in the thick of it all, I was looking for something, someone who I could go to that could help me make some sense of it all, and I realized that even for the Christian there are few places to go that are “safe.”
My prayer is that you will find “safe” here in these pages, that you will find a kindred spirit, and that you will find the hope that IS Jesus Christ.
As I sat down to put my thoughts on paper I was so unsure of how to go about it. Should I write it from a documentary perspective, should I make it clinical with charts and diagrams? In the end, I decided the best way to tell the story is to tell our story.