If You Are in Crisis, TEXT #741741

Us, Malaga, Spain

“First, (if) you’re in crisis. That doesn’t just mean suicide: it’s any painful emotion for which you need support. You text us at 741741.”

…Last week Eli came home from school and told me one of his friends had died. The next morning he told me that his friend had committed suicide.

My heart breaks and keeps breaking some more. When I hear about a suicide I always envision the following scene: I see that person stuck in the rapids. I see myself far away, reaching out my hand. Then I realize I cannot get to them and they are gone.

My mom’s husband’s son killed himself when we were on vacation a few years back. A high school friend’s sister, who was a mother of five, drove to a park and killed herself. My best friend’s dad killed himself when she was away for work. Dave’s friend & coworker drove onto the Golden Gate bridge, parked his car, quickly got out, walked over to the edge, and immediately jumped to his death. I went to coffee with a mom who told me that her daughter slit her wrists and it is a miracle she is alive. Last year a student at a nearby school committed suicide by hanging in the school building. Two years ago Kyle’s dear friend tried to kill herself. This girl’s sister tried to kill herself the month before. At the same time, one of Eli’s friends called and told him that she had just taken a handful of pills.

After Eli heard about his friend he felt understandably disjointed. So, as Eli tried to process his friend’s death, he and I talked and talked. He reminded me about the rough emotions his peers are dealing with each day. Then he reminded me of this moment:

“Mom, remember that girl, the one who took the pills? I would have been the last person she spoke to before she died.”

He was fifteen at the time. He told this girl he was going to get help. Immediately he spoke with Dave and me. Then he tracked down her parents. We all made sure she was ok.

Córdoba, Spain

Years ago I tried to write about suicide. I was asked not to include personal stories (because they might embarrass someone). Instead, I talked around the subject.

Here is what I wrote on May 2, 2005 (*I have updated this post to reflect current statistics — By the way, suicide rates have nearly doubled since 2005 & my outlook has also changed.):

“The first day of my seventh grade Social Studies class was like any other first day of junior high. It was a warm, sunny autumn in Minnesota. This was the first year I would get to pick some of my own classes, move from room to room and actually not have to be with the same kids all day long. My teacher was new to school and I believe this was her first teaching job. She gave us our seating assignments, called roll and I remember that one seat remained empty. I didn’t really think anything of it. Kids surely would be changing teachers and maybe when this boy saw the new Social Studies teacher, he bolted for the nearest exit.

A month went by, and although some of us had been absent a day or two during that time, this boy’s seat constantly remained empty. The teacher asked once again,

“Does anyone know where Ritchie is? Did he move?”
And then, like he never existed, the teacher (choosing to leave the very large elephant in the room) never spoke of him again.

For the first month of seventh grade all this boy was to me was the perpetually empty seat in my Social Studies class. Eventually, because the subject was so hush hush, I found out through other students who knew him from their elementary school what had happened.

At age twelve, one hot and humid Midwestern summer day, this little boy went into his bedroom and hung himself.

His death haunted me for a long time. In many ways I think it still does.

‘Why would someone my age (which was twelve at the time) want to kill himself? What was he like? What made him so sad or feel so unredeemable that he felt like he needed to take his own life? Why won’t the teacher talk about it? Why do people treat this boy like he never existed? Are you less of a person if you kill yourself?’

I am a verbalizer by nature. I like to process things and I like to get my feelings out in the open. I was completely thrown by this and because I was still young and innocent. I was also completely baffled by all of the silence. I needed to talk about what was swirling around in my head, which was the shame, the sorrow and the reality that once you die, there is no coming back. The good, if there can be good from this boy’s death, is that at a very early age I understood the responsibility that we have to see the people around us. We share this world together. Consequently, it became essential for me to notice the lonely and sad people that crossed my path. And I thought that maybe if I took a moment to listen or smile or include them, they would know that someone out there sees their worth.

Sadly, the more years I live, the more I see that it probably takes more than a smile or a hug to save someone’s life. (That doesn’t mean that I think I should stop reaching out, however, and I won’t.) The more people I encounter and the more I read, sadly, the more I know that suicide is much more common than many of us may realize. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death. In 2017, 47,173 Americans died by suicide. By 2018 statistics, suicide is Utah’s 8th leading cause of death. Additionally, In 2017, there were an estimated 1,400,000 suicide attempts. When you see the numbers laid out like that, it’s pretty astounding.

And then it occurred to me that maybe we do not realize that suicide is so common because we (still) do not like to talk about it. It is an understatement to claim that suicide is a horrible and very sad thing. Yet the more I think about suicide, the more I acknowledge that people who kill themselves have completely lost hope and are SHRIEKING for help! I think if you asked someone who has survived a suicide attempt, they may just say they tried to kill themselves they may actually minimize their pain in their response. We all need to feel worth, not shame. In a society that does not (seem to) like to speak about suicide, are we giving a person another message: that because of how they feel, that somehow they are shameful and bad and that this world would be better without them. Do I make any sense? This is such a big topic and just my little web post can not give it justice. The bottom line is this: if we are not talking about suicide, or if we are not allowing suicidal people to talk about their suffering, I would argue that we we are closing doors that may ultimately save someone’s life.

Further, as a person who has experienced depression first-hand, I know what it is like to feel hopeless, worthless and feel like, “What is the point?” I know what it is like to feel lost, yet not have the energy to go on.

Córdoba, Spain

A week ago, after having a very contemplative discussion with our neighbors regarding things like how evil Walmart is, the need for universal healthcare, all the problems in Africa . . . (the list went on and on), I had a sleepless night thinking about all the things I would do to make the world a better place. The next morning I decided to post that list. Number eighteen on my list was ‘Better understanding of Depression/Suicide Prevention.’

Of all the things I listed, number eighteen seemed to strike a huge chord with many of you.

Out of the many emails I received on the subject of depression and suicide, two sisters, Ryan and Molly, contacted me (Ryan emailed me and Molly left a comment). Ryan immediately told me about a walk she was doing in July called, Out of the Darkness: A 20-mile walk [through Chicago] through the night to end the silence surrounding suicide. She kindly suggested that if I really want to make a difference, I could start here. Her email came at a haunting moment: I received it just moments after speaking to someone close to me, just after she had returned from the funeral of someone she knew that had committed suicide. The universe is crazy like that. Of course, I took Ryan’s email as a sign and immediately donated to the cause. The next day I received an email from Molly. She let me know that Ryan was her sister, they were doing the walk in honor of their dad, and she wondered if I could get the word out.

I said yes, and that is when I became completely overwhelmed. To write about suicide and depression has made me acknowledge that as much as I have personally found peace in my life, there are days when I feel like a complete loser (hopeless). Those are not easy feelings to face. I also had to face the completely crushing sorrow I feel each and every time I hear of someone who has either taken their life or has tried to take their life. As sad as I have been (and I have been very sad before), I was willing to face my own pain in hopes that maybe someone out there will know that I get it, that there is always hope, NO MATTER WHAT!

Priego de Córdoba, Spain

Here is Molly and Ryan’s story as told by Molly:

‘My sister Ryan and I decided to participate in the Overnight after being invited by our aunt. She is my Dad’s sister. My dad took his life thirteen years ago this coming August. We never really talked to anyone about it and so it is something I have never come to terms with. What I know is that he felt like his life had gotten so far away from where he wanted it to be, with no chance to get things back on track. He just felt that his family would be better off without him. What I wonder is, would things have been different if he had shared these feelings with just one person? Did he ever even think about talking to anyone? What if my sister and I had been able to talk about it after it happened? Would I feel differently about it all now? Hopefully, through donating and participating in the Out of the Darkness Overnight we will all be one step closer to a better understanding of suicide. People just don’t talk about it because it is an uncomfortable thing to talk about, but it doesn’t help anyone to pretend it doesn’t happen.

So in honor of the life that we all lost, I will be walking, along with my sister Ryan and my Aunt Maryellen, in the Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk with the hope that we will be helping to make at least a small difference in how we all deal with suicide.

I have talked to more people about my dad since I registered for this event than I have in years. I know that other people feel strongly about it, but like I said, nobody likes to talk about it. I agree with what you said, nobody should feel so hopeless, but if they do, that there is no shame in it and there are ways to change it. I just want as many people to know about this as possible. Sure, I am looking for the money to meet my fundraising goals, but that money is going to make a difference in someone else’s life somewhere down the line.’

Thank you Molly, Ryan (still) and all of you for giving me an opportunity to talk about something that is so important to me: hope. If we lose hope in ourselves, each other and in this world, then what do we have?

And I cannot end this without saying that if you are having suicidal thoughts or know someone that is, please get help. Please tell yourself you can make it through the next five minutes, then the next, then the next. Please reach out! We are here for you.”

Malaga, Spain

Now back 2019:

Earlier in the week I had an opportunity to write on a memorial page for Eli’s friend. I cannot imagine the heartbreak his parents are going through now.

Here is what I wrote: “Our son Eli and your son share many mutual friends. Your son is a year younger than Eli. Eli told us he met your son last year and that your son sat by Eli and their group of friends. Eli told me how smart he was.

A few weeks ago my husband and I walked into the Sugar House Rubios to grab something to eat while we waited for Eli. The restaurant was virtually empty. A very nice young man took our order. I remember joking around with him because my husband kept changing his mind. It was your son. He did not roll his eyes at my husband’s wishy-washy-ness. Instead, he was very patient, kind and suggested some options (telling us what he liked best). A few minutes later, Eli walked in and walked over to our table. Eli did not see his friend. As he sat there, he told us that your son had just texted him. Eli told us his friend was working at the counter and immediately popped up and went and visited with him. I remember thinking,

‘what a thoughtful kid.’

As we left, we all walked over to the counter and visited with your son. I only wish I had paid more attention to that moment.

When Eli received the news this week that your son had passed he said,

‘Mom, I saw him at school on Monday and gave him a hug.’

We want you to know that your son touched many lives. Eli did not know him as well as others. Nevertheless, your son impacted Eli’s life and Eli definitely considered your son a friend. We are all very sorry for your loss.”

This evening we will attend the funeral. I still have no words. I am so sad that this family are in a place where they have to make this suggestion and also grateful stated that in lieu of flowers that we donate to the American Society For Suicide Prevention. Hey and if you are sad, please know you can always reach out to me. Never feel like you are too much. Never feel ashamed. I may not have the right skills, but I have the energy to help you get to the right place. I am here and I see you — for real. I promise.

Ultimately, I think we can no longer ignore how pervasive suicide, suicide attempts and depression are. That is why I keep wracking my brain, trying to figure what else I can do.

As a mom, I try to be more transparent. I try to let my boys know that that they are of worth and that I see them — that their feelings of sadness are ok, and that it is ok to fail. I am sure there is more. I am open.

Malaga, Spain

End Note.
From the principal of Eli’s School:

“Our students’ lives are precious, and as we move into the coming weekend, we want to equip you and your families with every resource at our disposal to keep our students safe. Below, you will find a list of additional resources to help you help your students.”


Know this: You are loved. You are not alone.

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Thinking of Michelle

Kyle & Eli February 9, 2007

It was a really weird, last-minute-holiday-shopping type of day. I was buying Christmas and Kyle’s Birthday presents. With the Winter Solstice staring me in the face, it was dark early and I must admit that I let the darkness creep inside too. I was hungry, needed some sugar or caffeine and wanted to get back to Park City.

I waited and waited to make a lefthand turn out of the 33rd South Salt Lake City Red Balloon, and the holiday traffic was not letting up. Tired of waiting, I took a right instead and found myself trying to navigate a different route back to the highway.

It was really no coincidence that as I drove West down 33rd South, then made a righthand turn at 2000 East and saw La Puente Restaurant sitting there on the Northwest Corner, that I started thinking about Kyle’s pre-school friend/cousin, Sam Williams.  La Puente was the last place I saw Michelle, Sam, Ben & Ana.  Kyle & Sam are the same age and Ben & Ana were roughly the same ages Kyle and Eli are now.  Back in 2007 it was the Williams Family and their tragedy that nearly brought me back to blogging.  I have wanted to write about this, but it never felt right until now.

My Boys Today

It all began when Kyle was in pre-school.  He came home  one day, excitedly handed me an eight and a half by eleven lined sheet of paper with the name Sam and a phone number written so big the letters filled the entire sheet. “Mom. Mom. You know Sam?”

“Yes. I know Sam.”

“Guess what?”

“What, Kyle?”

“Sam says we are related and that we are cousins. Here is his phone number. We need to get together.”

Sure enough and as crazy as it may sound, Sam and Kyle are most definitely related and yes, they are second cousins, depending on which side you are coming from. A few days after Kyle brought home the phone number I saw Michelle, Sam’s mom, at Pre-School pick-up and as she stood outside with the sun glistening on her face she said, “Beth, did Kyle tell you the news?”

“I believe he did.” I replied as we both laughed.

“It is true. We are related. Beth, your mother-in-law, DeAnne, is my first cousin. Last weekend I was at Aunt Jean’s in Saint George . . .”

“I know Aunt Jean.” I excitedly interrupted and blurted out.

Michelle continued, “Well, I was at Aunt Jean’s and I asked her why she had a picture of Kyle’s parents on her piano. She told me, ‘well, that’s Davy, you know, DeAnne’s son.’ Then she told me how we are all connected, how Dave’s mom lived with my parents a long time ago and that she knew you and Dave. It is such a small world.”

“So small that sometime you find out that you are related, right?”

“Right. Sam thought it was really great and could not wait to tell Kyle.”

With this new piece of information Kyle’s friend, Sam instantly went from pre-school buddy to Kyle’s family.

Kyle & Zeke

As time and life goes, the pre-school year ended and I was not great about staying in touch.  And then one evening, as we often did with them back then, our friends Kat & Alan asked if we wanted to go out to eat.  Because we were burned out of Rubio’s and Cafe Rio, they suggested La Puente and we were on our way.  Once seated, Michelle and and I almost immediately noticed each other. She and her kids were sitting close by.  Once Kyle realized a fellow family member was sitting so close he burst out of his seat to greet them.  Then Eli, Kyle, Sam, Ana, Ben & Zeke (Kat & Alan’s son) made their way over to the “Arcade” (the entryway of the restaurant that has a few video games and gum ball machines.  Kyle and Sam quickly retold their story, proving once again even to Ana & Ben, that yes, we are related. “Sam told us about you. We are cousins, right?” Ana said making sure we all understood that she and Ben knew that we were family.  The kids had a blast. We literally had to drag them out of the restaurant with apologies that it had been so long and promises that we would see each other soon.

Shortly after that, we moved to Park City. And if you know anything about Utah, once you move to the other side of Parley’s Summit, you might as well live in Antarctica. It is strange how a half hour drive over a high mountain pass transports you into another world.

. . . Several months later found Dave, the boys and me in Hawaii for the very first time. We were there for nearly a month. Our trip magically began in Oahu and ended brilliantly in Kauai. By the end of our trip I was convinced that we would somehow find a way to move to this island paradise. The sunshine and ocean waves were the Natural Xanax I needed to conquer my seasonal Winter Blues.

Our last day arrived much to quick. We had to check out of our condo hours before our flight departed. With our bags packed, I did the one thing I always do in the morning and that is read the online news, especially the local news. I saw the initial article: Pregnant Woman and Two Children Killed in an Accident. With no other information, I needed to check the news again because somehow in the back of my mind I knew it was Michelle. I know the area well. I know the underpass the family was driving under. I knew she was pregnant. All the facts were adding up.

We had to check out of our condo and I had to wait to find out. As my boys spent their last day in paradise I knew a family back home was hurting.

Lydgate Park. Kauai.

At the same time I was reading the news the behind-the-scenes communication was happening in the Dorny family (Dorny is my mother-in-law and Michelle’s maiden name) and I received an email from my Mother-in-law with a link to an article telling us the very sad news.

I remember the weirdest things from the funeral. Dave and I were very tan. I was wearing a new Apple Green shirt I bought at Banana Republic. The line was long and I was surprised to see so many non-related people I knew. As we came closer to the caskets, we saw pictures and trinkets. The closer I came to the three caskets, the smaller I felt. My throat was tight. We stopped by Ben and Ana dressed so beautifully. We stopped and I thought about my own boys. I thought about loss. I thought about how childish I am and how short life is. We moved along until I stopped at Michelle’s casket. Of course I am crying as I write this. I was a small space in her world and I was overcome. She lay there. It was obvious that she was pregnant. I stopped and I could not move. She is a mother and she was gone. I could not stop thinking of all the times we met at pre-school. I liked her before I knew we were related. She was cool, calm and kind. I see the sun shining on her face as we talked outside the preschool. I stop and catch my breath.

I wanted to pull her up. I wanted to walk her right out of that room and tell her, “You can’t go. Not yet. Life got busy and we drifted apart. We are family.” And then it was our turn to say hello. Thank goodness. Michelle’s mom grabbed my hand, welcomed and thanked me. How can she be thanking me? And as Dave stood by Michelle’s dad it was eerie. Dave is physically a younger version of her dad. They are tall, thin and broad shouldered. Thank goodness they look so much alike because within seconds we were ushered over to the rest of the family and yes, they all look like Dave. We talked with all the aunts and then it was time to go.

And this is how they died.

On a quiet Salt Lake City Street a drunk 17 year old boy was driving alone, driving on the same road I found myself on, 2000 East. Somewhere around the I-80 underpass this boy lost control of his car. The Williams Family had no time. In a flash their life was forever changed. Almost immediately, Sam’s dad watched the last breath leave his mom’s body and in that moment he decided to forgive and then he moved forward.

Let me tell you, Kyle, Eli and I visited Sam after the accident. We knew it was not easy, yet Chris took a breath, forgave  and allowed his family to heal. I admit that on sunny days it is much easier to move forward. And on dark days, I still fight not to slip back. In my life I have been an idiot. Things that roll off will sometimes creep in. In those moments especially, I am aware that it is not always easy to heal or forgive. As I think about standing there wanting to desperately pull Michelle back into this world, I know I have to keep trying and keep healing. That is all we can do.

Then because I was not able to make a lefthand turn, I found myself turning right on 33rd South. I turned on 2000 East  right by La Puente. A few moments later I found myself driving under the same highway underpass. I was so focused on finding my way back to the highway, I was not sure how I got there until I was there. And then I thought about Michelle and healing. Seriously, it was like she was sitting right there next to me. In a drive under a dark highway underpass, I knew it was time to share my space in this. It was time to remember how grateful I am that  I met Michelle, how grateful I am that Kyle survived his ordeal, how grateful I am that I was able to have children and how grateful that somehow I am healing and the only way I heal is by forgiving and forgiving myself.  Really! Life is way too short not to heal and let go.



Because I myself, am not sure where I stand with religion, I struggled with wether I should post the following video link. I guess you can take it or leave it. This being said, I want honor the Williams family and so I am posting it. Chris tells the story of his loss and healing like no one else can. I think it is pretty cool. The message of forgiveness is amazing!

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Gunnel Starting our Sandwich Generation

(I know I said I would continue our Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Story. I have a lot already written and ready to post. It will have to wait until tomorrow).

Gunnel and Makeda August 2004

October 30, 2006.

Dave, the boys and I were in our hotel room at the Beaverton, Oregon Springhill Suites. The day before we had driven from Park City, Utah to Portland to spend Halloween with Dave’s brother, sister and their families. I will never forget what Eli said as we entered downtown Portland at the end of our long drive: “Hey Mom, I have an idea! Next time let’s take an airplane.”

My lovely sister-in-law, Dori, her husband Miah and their new baby Andrew had just stopped by to have breakfast with us. Mayhem is an understatement to what has happening in our tiny hotel room. After being trapped in the car the day before and now trapped in a tiny hotel room, the boys were ready  to break free. Kyle was six years old and Eli was four at the time, and before they and their young cousin completely fell apart, we decided we should go swimming, which really meant everyone would go swimming but me. I was looking forward to the peace.

The television was on. I could hear SpongeBob conversing with Patrick in the background as I located the swimsuits.  I was in the bathroom when I heard the ringing. I loked at the caller ID and saw that it was my super fly bestie, Marianne. I answered and our call went something like this:

“Beth, I am at my mom’s. I went over to check on her after she didn’t show up for dialysis. A police woman met me at the door. She would not let me in before she checked and made sure everything was ok.”

Because Marianne was so calm and matter of fact it seemed as though it had been a few hours instead of a few minutes since Marianne had found her mom. So I asked “Marianne, are you serious? She is dead? What happened?”

“Probably a heart attack.” Later they found that Gunnel’s heart simply stopped working, from one beat to the next, her heart was done. “Beth, she is in the other room. I don’t like it. She is on the floor and they won’t let me move her until the coroner gets here. I want to cover her. It does not seem right.”

It took me several “Whats?” and, “Are you serious?” to process that my dear Marianne was seconds away from finding her dead mother. It was confusing and surreal. I wanted to reach myself through the phone and be there with her. I wanted to fix it.

“Oh Marianne. I am coming. We are in Portland, but I will be there. I am coming. Don’t worry. I will be there.”

I remember hanging up the phone and seeing my sister-in-law, Dori’s eyes.  I could see that she knew something was up.

“Beth, what happened?”

“Gunnel died. They think she had a heart attack. Dave. Dave. We have to go.”

In shock I quickly explained to Dori who Gunnel was, probably giving more details than necessary. I told her how she was Marianne’s mom and that I had known Marianne since I was five, that Marianne was more of a sister, that I had just seen Gunnel two years earlier at the birth of Marianne’s daughter, Makeda, that Marianne was in the process of a divorce and how sad it was that Gunnel died now. Even though Gunnel had been in poor health, her death was completely unexpected. She had actually been doing better.

Then, as I seem to do when things get really bad or really sad, in a breath, I threw myself on autopilot. On autopilot, I can deal. I can tell you every little detail and even tell you how sad I am and somehow I will not shed a tear. Not because I do not want to shed a tear. I am a mother and I have children to care for. I must get us to the funeral.

We stayed in Portland through Halloween and then drove ourselves back to Park City. We were on a plane to Minneapolis six hours later. The Minneapolis Airport is a hop away from the Mall of America and as we headed to the viewing, with nothing to wear, I had Dave stop. I stood in the Mall of America Banana Republic trying on black skirts and having the sales lady tell me the shirt I chose was too tight.  In the dressing room, alone, I had I moment to let down. The sales lady pounding on my dressing room door, I say, “I am buying clothes for a funeral.”  She didn’t seem to care. I said it again. “I am buying clothes for a funeral. My best friend’s mother just died! I have nothing to wear.” I still don’t think she understood and I really wanted her to understand. We had to be at the viewing so without the sympathy I was longing for, I opted for the larger size, bought a skirt and another outfit and we were on our way. In our rental van, I put my new clothes on. Dave had already changed and we would ready the boys once we arrived.

It was a beautiful fall day and the sun really was shining just so. Perfectly the rays hit the autumn leaves as we pulled into the funeral home. As sad as I was for my friend, a gentle warmth and excitement came over me. I was home. Immediately I saw Marianne’s brothers and knew I was where I needed to be. Like a birth or a wedding, a funeral is a place to connect. I was home and I was connecting. I found Marianne and stayed close by her side. She has always protected me and even in the midst of all of this, she was making sure I was ok.

Marianne, Beth & Sara

We eventually made our way into the viewing room. It always amazes me that the body sits alone in a big chapel-like room while all the guests find their ways into the small passages of the funeral home. It was the same when Dave’s father passed last year. Marianne and I had Gunnel to ourselves. I brought the boys in with me at first. They were not sure what to do and left. Marianne and I stood there. We stood there talking about sweet Gunnel. We imitated Gunnel and Marianne’s Dad, Jack, who had passed years earlier. “Gun it Gunnel.” Jack would say as he slammed his hand on the dash whenever she was driving too slow. Gunnel had bravely moved from Sweden to the United States as a young woman. We talked about how cool and awesome that was. We talked about her cooking. She was always cooking and making so much good Swedish food. We remembered her huge, belly-rolling laughter. We talked about how she never said an unkind word about anyone, even when we wanted her to. We talked about the time before her eye surgery how she had sat so quietly at Marianne’s wedding. She was freezing and needed her sweater. Because it was dark and Gunnel could not see well, she patiently waited for someone to notice. I was glad it was me. I was glad I had noticed and had that moment with her. We laughed about how easily everyone in their family cries. Marianne told me how much she already missed her mom.

“Beth, I talked to her every single day. I do not know what I will do.”

Then I noticed. I noticed what I had been doing. The entire time we were talking I was moving my hand through Gunnel’s beautifully set, soft silver hair.

“She looks so pretty.” I said. “I hope this is ok,” referring to me touching her hair.

“Oh Beth. You know it is. It is my mom.”

Since that time I have watched Marianne long for and  miss her mom. I have seen those lonely moments and wished I could bring Gunnel back. Gunnel is not here to watch Marianne’s babies grow.  And now, somewhere in the middle of my life,  I see that I am part of the Sandwich Generation. We are raising our children while caring for and then watching our own parents die. Gunnel was the first. And since then I have seen more parents become ill and have seen more of our own babies be born. Dave’s dad passed away a year ago. And just last night another dear friend’s father died. It is such a strange place to be, right in the middle of this sandwich.

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