My Life Stage: It’s in the Cards

My Life Stage: It’s in the Cards

My Life Stage: It’s in the Cards


Tucked up high on a shelf in my office sits a shiny, lidded box chock full of greeting cards.

Whenever I find myself in the card section of the grocery store or in a stationery shop, I pick up cards that intrigue me: birthday cards, thank you cards, you’re so special cards, thank-you-for-being-so-special-and-having-a-birthday cards.

Even if I don’t have an immediate need for a particular card I’m drawn to, I buy it anyway knowing that I’m bound to use it sometime in the future.

The other day, I was rifling through the categories in my card box trying to find a suitable card for a friend whose father had just passed away, and it dawned on me that while the few cards in the “New Baby” and “Wedding” sections were gathering dust, I’ve gone fishing in the burgeoning “Graduation” section and, unfortunately, the “Sympathy” and “Care and Concern” sections more times than I’d like to count in the last few years.

It’s the stage of life many of my friends and I are in right now. Our parents are aging, but our children, for the most part, are graduating from grade school, high school, and college, and are too young or too involved in their educations to start thinking about marriages, mortgages, and mini me’s.

Accordingly, many of us find ourselves trapped in the dizzying vortex of filling our children’s lunch bags while exploring the foreign world of medical treatments, eldercare options, and estate settlements for our parents. We’re members of the sandwich generation: wedged in between the needs of both our young and our old.

My own mom was 48 when I got married. That seems so very young to be the mother of the bride now that I look back. I, God willing, will be in my mid 60s by the time my boys are ready to get hitched, which seems so very old to be the mother of the groom.

When that time approaches, I’ll happily dust off the few wedding and new baby cards I’ve squirreled away adding more as I go, and no doubt will begin including a few snarky old age cards for my contemporaries as well.

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My greeting card stash mirrors our current life stage.

Each stage has its highs and its lows, its celebrations and its commiserations that quietly, continually wax and wane inside the lidded box tucked up high on the shelf in my office.

I treasure that box full of wise, touching, and funny sentiments.

You could say that it bears witness to our lives.

It’s something little that I love.


Written by Becky


  • Jame says:

    Love the post. Where are the cards so that I can use them for our anniversary or your birthday???

  • Patty from MMC says:

    OMG! I have a big Rubbermaid container (a big storage one) filled with cards, too! I have mine separated in baggies with the type written in marker in the bag!!! Funny,though ….I still find the need to,purchase just the right card to fit the person from time to time. And, I was almost 60 when my daughter married – and still have two to go! I agree with your mom that it’s all about how you feel and not the number of your age. They say 50 is the new 30! and so on, and so on….

    • Becky says:

      Well then, Patty, I’m in good company with my card collection obsession. It’s nice to know that, even when you can’t find the right words to express your thoughts, you probably have a card at the ready to do it for you.

  • Your parents are AGING???? What? Oh come on! I’m only 77! All right, all right. I’m not the young chick I once was, but I still FEEL young! Doesn’t that count? (smile)

    Yes you will soon be dealing with my decline while your kids will still be needing your advice and assistance. Nothing for it but to forge ahead. We all go through it….no way out of it. Thanks for a clever posting, Beck. YLM

    • Becky says:

      Yes, you are a spring chicken and in the best of health, Mom, and for that I’m very grateful. I was thinking more about Dad dying when Spence was only 7, and Tor, and about Jame’s mom and all of her needs as well as friends’ parents who have recently declined or passed away. The difference is that you and your generation began having families earlier so that you typically didn’t have dependent children at home while caring for elderly parents like many people my age do.

      Suffice it to say, I’m looking forward to the happier weddings and births to come!

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About Me:

Hi! My name is Becky. I’m a mom, a wife, a friend, a writer, and a compulsive thinker. Don't invite me to a spa or to shop the day away, but rather, make me laugh, engage me in interesting conversation, play a game with me, or give me a cappuccino and homemade vanilla bean flan and I’m yours ‘til the cows come home.

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