Sunday, February 10, 2013

Boomer In Between

Dad and I celebrating his 90th birthday 2011 

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for pics

In the 25th year of their marriage, as if in celebration of a finally empty nest, my parents moved into a new home. Now, in the 70th year of a long love affair, they are newly separated by the vagaries of dementia in my mother and an ever growing physical weakness in my father. These days I live in their love nest caring for Dad while shuttling back and forth to visit my mother.

Friends have told me how fortunate I am to have my parents with me for so long. Mom is 88 and Dad is 91. Part of that 'greatest generation', they married young. She was barely 18 and he a 21 year old sergeant in the Army Air Corps soon headed for the Pacific. Before he was shipped out Mom joined him in places like Meridian, Mississippi and, Coffeeville, Kansas. Thus was I conceived. Born in the middle of 1945, technically I am not one of the Baby Boom Generation cohort of 1946 to 1964. Yet I have always felt part of the advance guard, one in the first lines of the cohort and sharing its sociological features.

When parents marry young, bear children quickly, live to ripe old age and then begin to need care, their children have already entered into the last stages of their own lives. In addition, these children have off spring of their own; children with whom they strive to remain connected. Not to be forgotten are grandchildren clamoring for loving attention.

Thus the shift in gears indicated here in January has brought the reality of many of my generation; extended family in both directions, calling for connection and perhaps, in the end, physical care and assistance in dismantling what remains of lives well lived.
New editorial policy here will include whatever strikes the fancy of this contemplative monastic nun temporarily on hiatus; of a very mature women (at least in age) with history as wife and mother, teacher and librarian, artist of sorts, and caregiver. All these, the reflections of a boomer in between.


mrsbanjones said...

Knowing you and your family as I do, I expect I will particularly enjoy your perspective on all things. For myself, I find my mind reeling with opinions and ideas that flourish and disappear depending on the day.

I AM a Boomer and find myself more and more hearing myself sound like an old woman, constantly looking back to times I believed were better.

Always, your friend,

Anonymous said...

After waiting awhile for posts, I was just coming over here to say I hoped you would continue this blog, because I'm very attached to it. So I'm glad you are.

Two questions: 1) Do you take a leave of absence from monastic life? and 2) Can we add you on Facebook?

Anonymous said...

How good it is that you are able to devote your time and attentions to your parents.

I'm at the other end of the boomers, born only in '59, yet my parents are increasingly fragile and needy. I am in the process, over the next month -of moving to be closer to my mother. Having not had children, the relational landscape of my family is smaller if not simpler.

All the best to you in this great work.

-Mary J.