At 45, I’m probably on the younger end of the sandwich generation but do find myself quite smashed between the ages. We have four grown kids and nine grandkids. We also have two teenagers still at home as well as my Dad living with us, who is in the last stages of COPD. My mother in law is in the early stages of dementia, with those repeat conversations and forgotten names and words becoming more frequent all the time. My father in law has his hands full with her, as we do with the rest.

A few years ago, I didn’t understand what the “sandwich” meant when a friend explained to me her situation as she was caring for her ill mother and raising kids, but now there’s no getting around it because we’re in the thick of it. We have plans for retirement, we think. We too want to escape winter, but even more to just get alone together. The babysitting requests come sometimes twos at a time, while we’re both still working full time, still parenting full time, and taking care of my Dad. It’s a lot.

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