Sandwich Generation

Spreading Mom’s Ashes

Part I

Lydia_cemetery“Go eat dinner while it’s hot.” These were Mom’s last words thirty minutes before she died. Ever a mother until the end, she never wanted or intended to be a burden. Nor did Mom want us missing a meal, even if I was the one now preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner.

My father, sister and I ate at the dining room table, not far from their first floor bedroom. I had set the table with the silver and china, just the way she had done for the past 60 years of their marriage. Gracious dining was the highest art form for my mother. There was no take-out in her world.

She must have known that death was imminent, but she kept it at a safe distance by refusing to go to the hospital and maintaining normalcy. Ironically, this took more effort for us, her two daughters. [Read More…]

’57 at 57

Elizabeth Gregory's familyMy mom had her first baby in 1957, the peak of the boom.  Since day one, I could take for granted that whatever was happening to me was going to be interesting or at least familiar to multitudes.   And as a Dr. Spock devotee and nursery school teacher with an MA in early childhood education, my mom was perfectly cast to grow my feeling of specialness, even among the hordes of my equally special peers.

1957 was 57 years ago this year, and as I move through my first Mother’s Day without my mom in the world, I know my loneliness is shared by millions of motherless women and men, boomers and non.  For some of us the effect is intensified by missing our dads as well—all access cut to that private family culture of people who get our old jokes and references, and who reliably care about what we think and what we and our kids are doing.  What’s the use of a smart-phone if there’s no mom or dad on the other end to savor the photos of my kids that I keep almost sending them? [Read More…]

Needing Our Mothers At Mid-Life

i love momFor those of you who are midlife moms to little kids, you might want to skip this blog because I’ve got another dose of reality to toss your way and I know you’ve already got enough on your plate.

If you’re still here, brace yourself.

There’s no expiration date to this “mom” thing.    [Read More…]

The Caregiver’s Club

Recently I read Michael Wolff’s New York article “Mother I Love You” (May 2012) and found myself nodding to every other experience he had penned about his involvement with an aging and terminally ill parent. Two years ago I would have read that article and been an outsider looking in, now I have pulled up a chair at the same table. [Read More…]

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