Wednesday, February 6, 2013

It's my blog's birthday and I'll cry if I want to.

Three years ago today...

My father was still alive, but busy dying...

My mother was still alive, but wearing herself out taking care of my father...

My twin boys were seven years old, and a handful and a half...

And on February 6th, 2010, I sat down and wrote this post:

The Squashed Bologna: a slice of life in the sandwich generation

And thus, this blog was born.

I was hoping I'd get to write a happy "Happy 3rd Blogaversary to me" post this year, but that is clearly not to be, my mother passed just these three weeks on.

I hadn't been able to do it last year either, as Susan Niebur left this world on February 6th, 2012.

I did, at least, get to write a reflective first blogaversary post in 2011 - A Full Year of Bologna. Read again, it seems like so much more than two years ago I wrote all that, three years ago I entered this, the blogging life.

For in these three years I have found an amazing, supportive community, of which I had not even a glimmer of a hint of its existence before I fell headlong into it. Within this, of course, many sub-groups make up my community... the special-needs-parent-bloggers, my fellow LTYM-ers, my former SV Mom's Blog group, my "3rd wave" blogging cohort who began around the same time I did - Alexandra, I'm talking YOU here, baby! - to name just a few.

And this "village" (as well as my incredible circle of "real life" friends & family) has buoyed and sustained me through so much that I have gone through in these three years since.

Right now I'm in the middle of the muddle of my grief, and having a hard time pulling anything from it. In the first few days the words tumbled out of me. I was writing my way through the sorrow, as rough and as raw as ground meat.

I even wrote that "This is the only way I know how to do it."

But then I stopped knowing that, caught up in the paperwork of it all and the thousand stinging nettles of the minutia of my daily life that continued on apace, in spite of the beast howling in my chest, mother-lost.

I am struggling to find my voice again.


I am bewildered.

Who am I now that I am no longer sandwiched? I have lost a full generation.

I suppose... I suppose I will need to change the name of my blog soon, "Sandwich Generation" no longer properly defining me. (Putting that on the back-burner, not ready to think about it yet.)

But for now here I am, an open-faced sandwich (though still rather squashed), entering my fourth year of doing this, living my life out loud in the inter-web-verse.

Writing my way through the grief, through the sorrow, through the pain and the healing.

Because it's the only way I know how to do it.


  1. On reading this I kept thinking - Danish Smorrebrod. Your boys will keep you grounded. Lots of love xxx

  2. I thought about that, too, Varda.

    The re arranging of our identity. Life changes as huge as a crack in the world.

    No longer "the squashed bologna." But always my wonderful true blue irreplaceable Varda.

    I have met no one like you, Varda. Never.

    I'm so glad I met you through SV moms blogs, and followed you here.

  3. I'm so glad that I found you and that you kept blogging through everything that life has thrown at you since 2010. Personally I feel more squashed than ever by everything I have to do with even less support now that I have lost both my parents. You're still part of the same generation, perhaps there is no need to change xx

  4. Thank goodness for writing, my friend. So hard you are in this muddle of grief. But the only way out is through. Sending you love.

  5. It's been 4 years since my mother died. It does get better.

    Love and hope to you.

  6. It's been 4 years since my mother died. It does get better.

    Love and hope to you.

  7. such a poignant post. you are brave enough to write through the grief and we all admire you deeply for that. i hope that it continues you down the long path of healing. my heart goes out to you.

  8. Found your blog via Love that Max and thoroughly reading this post. It certainly sounds like you've been through alot and I appreciate your honesty in openness in sharing. Congrats on three years blogging and here's to many more b/c I'll definitely be back to read more!

  9. I love that this is the way you know to do it. I love the way you own your truths. I love the way you've shared your joys and hurts, triumphs and sorrows. Your writing is indeed a gift to those who read it. The muddle of mourning is an appropriate place to be. Thank you, Varda.

  10. Varda, your voice makes me laugh & cry, sometimes at the same time. Your honesty & eye for detail - the writer is the daughter of a witty & compassionate woman, and a father whose eye was all. You're a gift to the blogosphere, bologna lady, whether squashed or not. Your grief breaks my heart, your writing warms me up; you make the interwebz a better place.


I am so sorry to have to turn word verification back on, but the spam-bots have found me - yikes!