In The Middle
This summer my cousin and I both turned 40. No big deal, but as she said, "How did that happen?" Not only did I turn 40 I also realized that we are now the generation in the middle- we are not only raising kids, but managing aging parents. I thought that only happened to our parents?!
Yes, it is now our turn to balence family diversity and needs. Its a time honored tradition in America. What I mean is unlike Asian cultures, American families do not generaly have multi-generational homes. But maybe that is changing too with the economic need to downsize and combine incomes.
All I remember when my parents were doing this balencing act is that there was alot of support for one another along with several stressful outburst. Its not easy on a marriage to have to take care of ones parents, espically since it is generally happens twice. I will go ahead and tell you- as much as your partner tries to understand they really don't unless they have already been thru it themselves.
The only suggestions I have is to get with your parents and help them make a plan. Ask them what their wishes are. If they do not have a will, then make sure they create one. This sounds wrong, but I would even have them go ahead and plan their funeral. It really is helpful to the family in a time of loss. Take this time to make the necessary medical and final wishes that you may have also. Finally, don't be afraid to seek professional couseling. You are not alone.
So to my fellow "in the middle" generation. Yes, we thought it would never happen to us! Boy, getting older is interesting.