Thursday, September 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Daddy lunch meat, trying to cope

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately caring for my dad, who was hurt in a car accident. At the same time, my daughter has begun crying at night, having trouble getting to sleep.

Daddy lunch meat, trying to cope

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately caring for my dad, who was hurt in a car accident. At the same time, my daughter has begun crying at night, having trouble getting to sleep.

As a sandwich-generation guy caring for two loved ones, I’m useless lunch meat who watches his people suffer.

I go from aching dad to weeping child, wishing I could take away the pain and anxiety, feeling unable to truly help either one.

I read that about 16 million baby boomers like me are raising kids and helping care for an aging parent. The numbers are only going to rise in coming years – bad news for my daughter. In 25 years, there will be 60 million Americans between the ages of 66 and 84, many of whom will require full- or part-time care from their kids.

I don’t mind the ping-ponging responsibilities. It’s my ineffectuality that rankles. I grew up, went to college, got a job. Nothing in that unremarkable progression prepared me for concurring geriatric/pediatric problems.

This weekend, I’ll take my daughter to see my dad. Maybe seeing each other will help. And ease their hard days and nights, if only for a while.

 

Alfred Lubrano Inquirer Columnist
About this blog
A New York City native, Lubrano has written for newspapers since 1980. He's the author of a book, "Limbo: Blue-collar roots, white-collar dreams," and was a commentator for National Public Radio for 16 years. His work has appeared in various national magazines and anthologies. He lives with his daughter in South Jersey, and has worked for the Inquirer since 1995. Reach Alfred at alubrano@phillynews.com.

Alfred Lubrano Inquirer Columnist
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