Living in the Sandwich Years

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “Sandwich Generation”. It’s a term for those of us in midlife who are sandwiched in-between concerns for aging parents and young adult children all at the same time.

In my last blog I spoke of my father and his Alzheimer’s disease. More recently it has been my mother who is the object of my concern. She suffered a stroke two weeks ago and is now recovering from a surgical procedure. Things still hang in the balance and I am praying moment to moment about her health and her future. This slice of the sandwich is full of concerns, questions and anxieties.

On the other slice, I have three sons, two daughter-in-laws and two adorable granddaughters. My wife and I are blessed and are filled with joy. But things in their lives are unsettled and bring constant change. Among them are career changes, health concerns and the typical growing pains of growing families.

So where does this leave us? Being sandwiched between these two slices of life leaves us a little wrung out at times. I have to remind myself that none of them are asking us to work out all their problems. They are all adults and are addressing these needs on their own. Much of the pressure felt in the middle of the sandwich is self-inflicted. It is up to me to resist the effort to rush in and rescue even though this is the strongest impulse at times.

They have a Savior and I’m not Him. My greatest consolation is that they are Believers. They appeal to the Almighty to be the rescuer.

I have to let God be God. And let Gary be Gary. If that means I’m in the middle of some sandwich generational existence, then let it be.

Pass the peanut butter and jelly.

About Gary Cleveland

An old chunk of coal waiting to become a diamond some day. I spend the bulk of my time focused on spiritual development. I teach, preach and stand by the hurting and wounded. I believe our heavenly Father offers us daily opportunities to discover who we are and what we can yet become. I serve as a bringer of good news in and around the city of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
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