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I empathize with your sandwich generation woes. My parents did the responsible thing: after my dad died, my mom, who had ovarian cancer, had a huge garage sale, sold the house, and moved to an apartment. Her financial affairs were all in order. When she passes one day before our first son was born, I knew there would work to do, but it was minimal and straightforward. My MIL, not so much. Of her two sons and DIL, I was the only one not working at the time, so it was I who had to fly to Florida, go through months of mail, pay unpaid bills, extract cash from envelopes hidden all over the house, take her to medical appointments, meet with bankers and lawyers, take away her car keys (after she rear-ended someone TWICE at a stop light, and eventually after a couple of months, get her into an assisted living facility, where she died a couple weeks later. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do.

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It's so hard -- and it's even harder to know what the next right thing is to do most of the time. It helps, however, to know that others find it hard too.

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I am so jealous that you had a Barbie Dream House. The closest I got was the Barbie Airplane thing, which was cool but it wasn't a goddamned Barbie Dream House. Oh, and one year for Christmas I received one of those weird Barbie Hairdresser heads where you could style the hair and put makeup/false eyelashes on a 9-inch floating Barbie head. Again, NOT a Barbie Dream House.

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But you are no longer bitter. ;)

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"Scaling Back to Maintain My Joy" is spot on!

A few weeks ago, when I was having a bad day (guilt about maybe not doing enough for my mother who has dementia but is still at home), so I read your newsletter that included your article about your youngest daughter & more. It was just what I needed. I usually wait to open your emails until I really need them, but I immediately opened today's offering. Thank you for what you do.

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I am so happy that my weird musings can lighten your day.

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