Tag Archives: sandwich generation

Time to Cry Tuesday: Priceless

There are a handful of moments in advertising history that have touched the souls of those who see them. One of the more famous examples is the Mastercard Priceless campaign. This past week, one of my mommy idols could have starred in one of these commercials.

The scenario: The Dave Matthews Band was playing on the Plaza in the Today Show Toyota Summer Concert Series. Both my friend and her 10th grade daughter are huge fans of the band. In fact, they are a full DMB family of fans. This particular friend  has found herself to be an unlucky member of the Sandwich Generation. Many of us are in the midst of raising children at the same time we are dealing with aging parents with health problems. Being an only child of a widowed mom, she is the healthcare concierge extraordinaire. Last week was a particularly harrowing one on that front.

Enter the opportunity to go into the city at some ungodly hour (3:30 AM) to stand in line for the concert. She was all set to take her daughter and a friend until the weather turned nasty and she began to rethink the event. At this point her college-aged son pulled her aside in a sage-like manner and told her that she would never forgive herself if she missed this opportunity of a lifetime that her daughter would never forget. (please note: said son aspires to be a documentary film-maker).

Funny how our kids spout back at us what we have taught them.

So, without hesitation, sporting rain gear of all kinds, off they went on the 3:30 train into the city. I received an early text telling me she was there. Within an hour I texted back that I had not only seen her daughter dancing on camera, but had DVRd it. Her daughter could not be happier. Until… (yes this keeps getting better)

…she screamed out, ‘Dave, I love you” during a lull in the performance and he turned around and smiled at her. Kind of like a young girl’s dream come true. Wait, it gets even better.

During the show they gave out foam guitars to the audience. The daughter’s friend was holding one. After the show, Dave came around and signed the guitar! And the friend? He decided that since he would not have been able to go to the show with out her, gave the guitar to this very lucky girl.

I know, Time to Cry all the way around. I love this story. Not only because the main character is one of my main women, but because every step of the way it was about what I like to call ‘the good stuff’. Truly a priceless experience.

Here is a picture of the two happy teens on the train ride home. The inset shows the Dave Matthews sig.


Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone

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Filed under aging parents, family, friendship, moms, music, New York, New York City, parenting, relationships, rock 'n roll, teenagers, Time to Cry Tuesdays, women

Thank you Miss Nipples

This is an actual phone conversation with my dad Friday Morning:

Me: Hello

Dad: I am not taking your mother to the Emergency Room.

Me: Um, OK. (looking for my coat and car keys)

Dad: I called AT&T this morning to have the phones turned on in Florida.

Me: (wondering if I had somehow missed a sentence here). Uh, Dad, is mom ok?

Dad: Sure, why?

Me: WHY? Because you said you weren’t taking her to the ER (some major history here that I will not get into but trust me there were times when he SHOULD have taken her to the ER)

Dad: That was a joke because I didn’t want you to worry that I was calling so early.

Me: Oh, funny (not) But it is 9:45, it’s not that early. Never mind. So you were saying that you called AT&T.

Dad: (with Mom starting to laugh in the background and me feeling grateful that she was not unconscious with her head bleeding on the dining room floor) Oh, right. So this woman answers the phone and she sounds like she has a cold, has this really heavy southern accent, and she talked so fast I could not understand her that well. I asked her name and she said “Miss Nipples” (now Mom is really cracking up in the background)

Me: Miss NIPPLES?!

Dad: (Starting to laugh). Yes, so your mother told me to tell her that I was old and hard of hearing and ask her to speak slowly and clearly. (that would be because he is old and hard of hearing but he does not seem old so we always think it is kind of funny to tell people that he is).

Me: I assume you were not wearing your hearing aids.

Dad: What? (just kidding, he didn’t say that but he would) She repeated her name and it was not Nipples (how shocking) it was NICKELS.


I told Gary this story later in the day and his response:

Gary: Know what her first name is?

Me: No, what?

Gary: Ophelia. Ophelia Nipples.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at Mid-Century Modern Moms and at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under absurdities, aging parents, family, humor

The Sandwich Generation (hold the mayo)

Nice term, right? Wikipedia uses this definition: The Sandwich Generation are a generation of people who care for their aging parents while supporting their own children. Ahh, another baby boomer phenomenon! (nice pic, don’t you think. can someone name that meat for me, please?)

While I am happy to say I am not caring for my parents, I have certainly been helping to navigate their healthcare issues for the past few years. More from a support, research and admin point of view, as I am lucky to have very competent, educated parents. But the simultaneous pressures of aging parents and growing children has become a national dilemma that those of us who are lucky to still have parents at this age face day to day.

As you can tell by now, I like to find the humor in any situation to help me get through it. I have certainly been challenged over the past few years. Hmmm… which story to tell? How about this one:

My dad, the bionic man who is the healthiest sick guy I know, was going in to have his pacemaker upgraded. We liked to think of it as Harvey 2.0. My brother came up to lend support and stay with my mom. Upon arrival at the hospital, my mom is in tears. I figure she is worried. “Oh no”, my brother says over his shoulder while guiding her through the parking lot, “Dad just closed her fingers in the car door.” You MUST be kidding! But, alas, it gets worse. He turns around again to say “And she slipped in the shower and I have not yet assessed her injuries”. My first reaction was, “I left you with them for 24 hours and this is what you come up with?” Luckily he, too has a sense of humor.

Fast forward to the end of the day. We now have mom in the ER, she has broken her rib, hand was just bruised but they admit her to find out why she is falling. Dad? He is in recovery. Bro and I are huddled by the vending machines in the only cell phone zone in the friggin’ place and I watch him point and say, “There goes dad!” I turn to see my father in his gown (butt covered, thank goodness) with an IV poll searching for my mom in the ER. (where’s poppa?) Of course, while I am on a ridiculous business call (…yes, of course I heard your details of revision 19 of the brochure we are doing. no i am not distracted).

Did I mention my kids were home, dinner was not on the horizon for anyone and the poor dog is crossing her legs? And that by the end of the 5-day visit my brother was calling the local liquor store by its first name?

Sandwich indeed! (BTW mayo gives me indigestion)

For those of you who have your own brand of this story (and sadly this is just one of mine), I feel your pain. But we all have to realize how fortunate we are. Hard to understand this sometimes, but we truly ARE the lucky ones. Yes, there are hard times. But my kids, at 15 and 19 actually have all 4 grandparents. 

And that my friends is a gift.

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Filed under aging parents, family, humor, parenting