How would you describe their identity? My initial thought was “sandwich generation”. Yet, that description doesn’t work. To be designated in the sandwich category, they’d have to have aging parents with medical issues and also have children at home. The answer is as simple as black and white. They weren’t wedged in between anything. To fall into the sandwich category they would have to have both those characteristics. They did not.
More aptly they are in the category of soon-to-be married and they don’t have children. Consequently maybe they qualify for the descriptor of “half a sandwich”. I’ll pat myself on the back for that one. Of course that could be as inappropriate as laughing at one’s own jokes. On occasion, I do that as well. My “half a sandwich” soon-to-be married friends both have parents who fall into the “not still young” category.
Neither the bride-to-be or the intended groom’s parents read my blog, but I still recognize that I’m throwing caution to the wind to identify anyone as “not still young”. Perhaps I should reframe that and simply say that both the husband and wife of the bride-to-be are retired. I have had the privilege of knowing them for a very long time. In fact, the bride-to-be’s parent’s wedding was the first marriage ceremony I conducted at the church in Henly.
I actually had stopped by the hospital to visit the father of the bride-to-be yesterday on my way home from work. While there, I had the opportunity to not only visit with him, but his wife, daughter and future-son-in-law as well. The future son-in-law mentioned that his mother is currently in a physical rehabilitation hospital. He said she was doing better, but had experienced a tough time. She initially went in for a hip replacement and was subsequently transferred to a rehab hospital. While at the rehab hospital, she was dropped. I don’t know the details, but wouldn’t that have to hurt? Actually it hurt enough that they subsequently had to do a complete hip replacement on both sides.
He reported that the last time he went to visit he asked: “Mom – Do you need anything?” Initially she said “No”, but after giving it some thought she came up with quite a list. The list included a fly swatter, a back scratcher, a fleece throw to drape over her lap and Calamine lotion to eradicate the itching.
I surmise from the list that her top priority had something to do with the itch. After all, a backscratcher and Calamine lotion both address the same issue in two very different ways. Both are intended to provide soothing relief, but do so exercising a different methodology.
I didn’t ask the young couple about their wedding plans, but I think their wedding is next month. I wondered if the health issues being experienced by parents would be favorably resolved by then. Hopefully so! Otherwise, it could represent a disappointment for the young couple.
I recently read the touching story of twenty-three year old twin sisters who orchestrated a photo-opt wedding. Of course, neither bride featured in the wedding photos on either side of their dad are currently engaged or even have an intended in mind. The rush behind their actions relates to the declining health of their eighty-year-old father.
I guess it is every girl’s dream for her father to give her away at her wedding and be available to share that father-daughter-dance at the wedding reception. I say that, but I’m not sure it’s true. My son gave his sister away at her wedding. I’m not suggesting he had been trying to pawn her off for years, but he was honored to wear his dress blue U.S. Marine Corps Uniform and walk her down the aisle.
As their dad, I couldn’t have been prouder of either. Actually, while that is a true statement, his sister got extra billing because it was her wedding. After all it was the bride’s day, but having her brother escort her down the aisle was a really thoughtful touch. It, too, made for a great photo-opt.
Of course, I had the privilege of watching it all. I was honored to have the privilege of officiating at my daughter’s wedding. Consequently, that’s one of the reason’s the story of the twin sister’s mock wedding photos tugged at my heart. Centered in their story was their love for their father.
It was their fear that their father would not be physically able to attend their wedding or to participate in any way. For that matter, he might already be on the other side of eternity. Consequently, they wanted pictures now! There was a sense of urgency associated to their desire.
What an absolute honor to pay one’s dad. Reportedly, he wasn’t totally aware of what was taking place, but he appeared to be enjoying the family time together. He is a lucky man and they are lucky daughters.
Do you have any idea how unusual it is for either the bride or groom at a wedding to have only one set of parents? Generally they come equipped with a step-this-or- a-step-that and they don’t always have the closest of relationships. I’ve even been to a wedding or two where there was a contingency plan for someone to turn the father away if he arrived.
Consequently, two twenty-three-year-olds wanting to honor their father and capture those Kodak Moments that might not be available later is touching. It was a feel good story. I am also hopeful the half a sandwich couple I mentioned have the greatest success on their wedding day and that parents struggling with health issues are fully restored to dance at the wedding.
All My Best!