More than 20 years ago, I wrote a column about being in the bologna generation. I had been caught between my mother's generation and my daughter's. I was squeezed between two age groups - like a piece of bologna in a sandwich. I wasn't the top or the bottom - I was the filling.
When you are part of the bologna generation, you have concerns about both the elderly and the young members of your family. You strive to meet the needs of both. Most of the time, you feel inadequate.
When I was a young teacher, my grandfather lived with us. He was in his 80's and had a bad heart. My Mom took care of him and also took care of her three daughters and her husband. She was the bologna generation in the 1950's.
When my grandfather died and my daughter was born, all of a sudden I became the piece of bologna. The normal flow of life requires that each generation has its turn at being bread, bologna, and bread again.
It seems to me that the two "bread" roles are similar. People take care of you, you may need diapers, you sleep a lot, and you are blissfully unaware of many things. And, you can usually count on your bologna generation to be your main source of help and support.
Well, now I am a piece of bread again. That fact hit me like a ton of bricks this past week. We went to our daughter's house for a cookout. I was the oldest person there.
My daughter ran around doing what needed to be done, being the bologna. I kept asking if I could help her, but she insisted that I sit and relax. Her daughter Kiele helped her. I watched the two of them work together and it brought back memories of how Jennifer and I used to work together while my Mom sat and watched us.
The cookout we had was a celebration for our grandson Jordan. He came home after his tech school graduation in the Air Force. He's going to California and he and his new wife will be stationed together there. We are all very proud of him. His turn at being a piece of bologna is a long way off - hopefully.
I suppose there is no fantastic new topic in this column. We all know that our roles shift during our lifetime. I guess I wrote this to assure my readers that each of us goes through changes as we age. I accept that. Right now, my role is bread. Bring it on!
If you would like to contact Dr. Smith, she can be reached at her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or in care of this newspaper.