Sandwiched Men Are Out There, Here’s One of Them

26 Apr

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So much has been written and said about sandwiched women, you would think the sandwich generation is a “women only” club, but that’s simply false. Men are just as likely to be stuck in the middle between aging parents and their own family. I know this because my older brother is one of those men. Due to proximity, he is the one most likely to tend to my mother’s frequent requests for shopping and transportation. Somehow, between escorting my mother to a scheduled 1:15 pm doctor’s appointment that didn’t happen until 3:30 and getting  down to his real  job, he found the time to offer up the following glimpse into his life:

I’m the executor of my late uncle’s estate. It’s not a job, but it is an all-encompassing responsibility. And it keeps me running from the  lawyer to the bank with the odd side trip to the accountant. I’m also one of two POA’s for my 81 year old mother who has Alzheimer’s, is going blind, and lives in a fashionable retirement home when she needs to be in a nursing home to get the proper care and attention she needs.

The guy in the middle with the cotton candy moved to the middle east in the 1980s. Robert (left) and I remain on "the front" watching over our twice-widowed mother.

The guy in the middle with the cotton candy moved to the middle east in the 1980s. Robert (left) and I remain on “the front” watching over our twice-widowed mother.

I’m 59 years old and the father of two teenage sons who now and then need their old man, whether it’s to drive them to the computer store or to just take them out for lunch or a movie. On top of this, my job  keeps me away from my wife most evenings and I often don’t make it home until 3 a.m. And how was your day?

Robert Levita is a sportswriter for a national news organization. In addition to supplying guest posts to this blog he has been busy writing the text for the upcoming unveiling service for our uncle’s monument. He is also an awesome brother and uncle.

If you are, or know of, a man who would like to give readers a sense of their sandwich generation experience, please let them know I am open for more guest writers. Men, I would especially be interested in knowing if  your employer is sympathetic to your predicament. Or if you get the sense they think caring for our elderly is women’s work.

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2 Responses to “Sandwiched Men Are Out There, Here’s One of Them”

  1. Heather Ringel April 26, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

    So true! Although we hear mostly of women being in the sandwich, the men more often than not suffer in silence.

  2. Kelly H May 2, 2013 at 1:59 am #

    My brother and his family live exactly halfway between my family and I and my parents (who live in a small northern Ontario town).In the past few years my mom had a serious heart attack and my Dad battled lymphoma. Both are now much better, though fragile, but it was a very difficult time. It fell to my brother, because of proximity and because he is a very responsible and caring person, to be the one who drove thousands of miles over many round trips to visit my parents and accompany them to hospital appointments, physical therapy and chemo. All this with a house full of teenagers and a very understanding wife. I believe my parents are alive and still enjoying life right now because of my brother.

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