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.