Between the birth and death dates on any gravestone is a small dash, hardly noticed, but a very significant part of the inscription. This dash represents the total of one’s life: all that was done and all that was left undone. Watch as the circle of life unfolds.
From the cradle to the grave, a life span of growth and development occurs, similar for all, yet unique for each. The children of summer, all too soon, become adults. They marry and have children. Now, they are the caregivers with the responsibility of raising their children and providing for their needs. These children grow up and leave the nest. They pursue their lives and careers; leaving their parents free to live their life as they choose, without the responsibility of care giving. The process goes on; day after day; year after year; generation after generation.
Parents grow old, and in many cases can no longer take care of themselves; they need help, as living alone is no longer possible. The options available to them are few, living in a nursing home or living with their children. In a time, as short as the dash on any gravestone, the “sandwich generation” is born. The process is complete; from the child of youth to the frail, bent, frame of old age; then, as the ability to care for themselves fails; back to the child again.
The circle of life is complete: once a child, now a caregiver; once a caregiver, now a child.
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