Monday, April 26, 2010

A letter to Tes

Cathy's Note: Tes Syzonenko, a fellow single mom, passed away on February 24, 2010 after a very short battle with cancer. She leaves behind her 18-year old son, family, co-workers, customers, friends...and me.

Dear Tes,

I haven't been ready to write...I have just been waiting...for what I'm not sure. But today I passed your son on the way to school and the tears came again. I miss you. In recent times, we didn't see each other much, but there was a time when we were a big part of each other's lives, and we were always in each other's prayers.

I can't help but think about you as Eve's Daughters begins to blossom. You would have loved the concept of moms supporting moms. Of creating a place for moms to belong, to socialize, to talk, to be accepted, to be loved. You would have been right there dishing up the soup, helping the little kids with crafts, and sharing your journey as a single mom.

But you aren't here. It happened so fast. I was so lucky to be able to share the last weeks with you, to watch your courage, to tell you what a great job you did raising your boy, and then to see you say goodbye to him.

"I won't see him graduate," was the first thing you said to me when the doctors told you it was terminal. When I saw your son today...I couldn't help but remember the words. High school graduation is around the corner.

Tes, I know you struggled at times with being a single mom...we all do...but you held on. You made difficult decisions when you had to, you fought the good fight daily, and you loved at all times. You would have never thought of yourself as an inspiration to others...but you were...and still are.

Eve's Daughters is a place where single moms can come to be encouraged, renewed and validated. You would have loved it. You would have been right there serving with a smile so engaging that people would forget their troubles for awhile.

I wish you were here. I'm not ready to say goodbye. So instead...thanks for teaching me so much about much about sacrifice...and so much about love. Thank you for showing me that it doesn't matter what our is all worth it...we do it gratefully for our children.

I push on with Eve's Daughters knowing how important it is to moms like you...and to sons like ours. I love you Tes, thank you. - Cathy

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What Does Your Saturday Look Like?

I had a great series of conversations recently with someone who’s been helping me walk through some disappointments. While this person is definitely pro-Karen (which is a fabulous help), he can’t walk the path for me. All he can do is listen, point me back to True North and help me on my journey.

The gist was such: Between a promise ending on Good Friday and a promise anew on Easter Sunday, one can have a long, lonely, questionable, faith-trying time on Saturday. That’s where I’m at right now, on a number of fronts. And you can’t always expect people to be willing to hang with you on a Saturday, if you know what I mean: Sometimes, there’s other stuff to do, and maybe your friends are living in Tuesday or Wednesday mode.

But if I rally a bit of faith, I know I can get quiet and pray. I can believe that Sunday is coming, if not immediately. I can remember that lonely Saturdays can be good for me, in a stretching kind of way, if I can accept them and not divert the grief into cleaner closets or more organized cabinets. If I can remember back to other Saturdays—and there’ve been plenty—that eventually gave way to something wobbly and new.

What’s your Saturday looking like? Are you waiting on a job? On a check? Is your kid sick? Do you need to forgive…or be forgiven? Are you worn down with resentment? Are you doubled-up with longing? Whatever it is…remember your other Saturdays. Know that others have traveled this path. Trust, even if it seems a longshot. Call someone who’s pro-You. Chocolate never hurts. Pray. Sunday will come.