ARTICLES / General /
Open-Faced Sandwich /
By Janie Rosman
Some days I feel more like a sardine wedged
between my life then and now.
A few years after college—now a distant memory
revived by anticipated reunions—I moved out and then
moved back, only to move out again until job loss
and life happened.
Part of life happening was Dad’s stroke in
November 2004, which precipitated my decision to
work from home. Mom and I alternated
responsibilities, like driving Dad to and from his
physical therapy and medical appointments.
Contrary to what friends told me, living at home
is not like living with roommates.
“It’s like being back in college,” said Beryn.
Not really. These are my parents, and, frankly, it’s
Who knew from sandwich anything years ago? My
parents’ respective families lived within blocks of
each other—a subway ride at the most—and saw to the
needs of siblings, aunts, uncles and other family
Dad took care of his widowed mother when he came
home from the war. When he and my uncle married, he
assumed much of the responsibility for their mother.
Mom supported her parents through their
respective illnesses and moved Nana close to us
after Papa died.
The only sandwich people they knew worked at the
When Dad retired from a successful career in
2002, he got a part-time job, played golf, enjoyed
free time with Mom and drove himself in his own car.
A few days past his 82nd birthday, and shortly
after Thanksgiving, he woke up and told Mom he was
having difficulty swallowing. I called our local
pharmacist and asked if his medications were
She said, “Get to the ER right away. I think he’s
having a stroke.”
I believe she saved his life.
Little by little, he got stronger. We saw to his
appointments, and made sure he took his medications
correctly and in time. I put “me” on hold and
focused my attention on getting Dad well.