The unique position that people of my age are in was never so apparent as in the events of the past 10 days. Last weekend, my father-in-law fell and needed us to help him out. He lives alone since his wife passed away three years ago. He has been in steady decline. The in-laws and my wife are great with the concern and care. But there is always the worry.
This week, my mom had a heart attack and needed stents. At 84, she is also in decline, and may have had some small strokes that are effecting her memory for words.
And so it goes.
This is what is meant by the "sandwich generation". I have a college kid and a freshman in high school to still raise... although the older feels she is raised, and, pretty much, she is right...she has grown to be a beautiful and independent young woman. So we have it on both ends of the life pole, not to mention the ever-increasing category of "grandchildren."
The Native Americans see life as a circle, with begining and end meeting at the same place. During that journey, we are at various places on that circle.
Something that a priest friend of ours said today brings to mind that the spiritual "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" is never truer than when it applies to the end of that circle. Old Elijah is coming on that fiery chariot, and we are all waiting for our ride, "comin' for to carry me home."
For our parents, that chariot, she is a-comin'.
It is up to us to us to help them prepare for that last ride home.