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Filling up the hole

Ever felt like a giant fissure opened up in your chest and sucked out your heart?dreamstime_xs_36668714

Okay, maybe I’m being dramatic, but I’m allowed; I’m a writer.

And I will tell you that the events of this past summer have left a hole in the center of my being that I’m now faced with filling. It’s not a permanent hole—and it came about because of some positive as well as negative developments. But it hurts like surgery right now.

As I explained in my last blog, in just a few months, my mom and my daughter both made the decision to move 1,400 miles away, my father-in-law got sick and left this earth, and I suddenly went from caregiver and worried mom to having a lot of time to do things I haven’t done in years, including spending a lot more time writing what I want. As soon as I can stop crying about all the loss, I’ll likely enjoy myself. But the Kleenex is still tucked in my shirt sleeve because the move and his passing are only days and weeks old.

Underneath that top level of sorrow is the feeling that this was all somehow meant to be. I’ve never really believed that we are predestined to live a certain life. Yet the way this summer went just fell into place. My father-in-law buried three woman he came to love during his time on this earth. He’s been in emotional pain since he lost the last one, and his body just seemed to catch up with his head last spring. He went downhill very fast, and he wanted only one thing: to be done. We buried him with a beautiful military ceremony at Quantico, and we’re all pretty sure he’s up in heaven listening to three woman yammer at him and grinning ear to ear.

My mother went through a scary summer where 27 apartments in her building were evacuated and water started creeping down the hallway towards her apartment. Many of her friends moved away and she spent a couple of days in a hotel because her bathroom was not functioning. She is now safe in a home with a mother-in-law suite in Texas with two other daughters and their husbands, three grandchildren and a great grandson to keep her happy and vibrant.

My daughter made one of the hardest decisions of her young life: that she needed a complete lifestyle change to jumpstart the future she knows she can have. Since my husband and I had already made the decision to retire in that area of the country, I’m just delighted it’s there she’s gone.

So I’m left here wondering what to do next. My hubby and I already are making plans to relax and enjoy time as a couple after quite a few years of taking care of elderly parents. I’ve started a new mystery book with input from my Fate Series co-author mom, who intends to keep me on my toes writing, writing, writing. And I plan to spend much of the next year honing my word skills, keeping in better touch with my readers and learning everything I can about publishing and being published.

But first, I’ve got a shovel to get out so I can start the process of healing. — Genilee Swope Parentedreamstime_xs_85565144

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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The Subway Sandwich Generation

I’m a person who has child still living at home and an elderly mom who needs my care. According to the experts, that makes me an official member of the Sandwich Generation—I’m caught between two levels of People to Worry About. I take this idea one more step and claim myself to be part of the Subway® sandwich generation.

What does that mean? It means I’m standing in a line, waiting to be served and pondering what I want. When my time for service comes up, I’m given a general choice. Do you want to be a paid employee or a stay at home wife/mom/caregiver? I’ll take the special of the day: a multi-meat, multi-level combo of the two.

Next, I must decide what kind of bread I want. Well, I guess I can live with the less-calorie version. I can settle for not making the kinds of salaries that many of my friends make.

Do you want that toasted? Yes, I do. I want some of my work time to be spent doing what I really love: creative writing. Stick that sandwich in the oven for a moment and let it turn golden brown.

Your choices in cheese are American, cheddar, provolone or Pepper Jack. Give me the spicy Jack…always. But you better throw on a slice of American as well. I’m part of the generation currently obsessed with How Bad can the Country Get Under Our Pale-Orange-Haired Leader?

I settle back and watch my sandwich get assembled, then after it’s toasted, I’m faced with an open- ended question: What do you want on that sandwich?

Hmmm, let me think: I want some Let-Us to reflect how I feel about being a woman. I think it’s only fair that females face the same challenges and rewards as males in the military and the corporate office. Besides, you know the whole world needs the fiber of feminity.

I’ll take some pickles. What’s life without a few bittersweet moments that add crunch and zest to our everyday routine?

Can you throw on some onions? They’ll make my breath stink like the air does in the summer in the Washington, D.C. area, but the taste of living close to a city might be worth it. I like the flavor of cultural choices.

Put on some salt and pepper to match my hair.

Slather that bread with a glob of white mayo to give it some extra zing. After all, I come from the Midwest, which is as white as it gets and where cooks don’t know how to put a dish together without a little Miracle Whip.

Ring it up and put it in a bag and charge me four bucks. Yes, I want some chips and soda with that. I’ll give the chips to my daughter in hopes she’ll wanna be a chip off the old block (okay, the puns are getting a little thin here). And I’ll give the soda to my dear ma to settle her tummy.

–Genilee Swope Parente

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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