Life as a Sandwich

The Top Slice This year I turn 50. This doesn’t really bother me except that over the past few years, I have found myself transforming into a sandwich. Okay, maybe not an actual sandwich, but I have become one of the sandwich generation. For those that don’t know, the sandwich generation are people, often age 40 to 59, who have one or more parents aged 65+, and who are also caring for either a minor child or are financially assisting an adult child. Often, members of the sandwich generation are not only raising or financially assisting their children, but are…

Accepting God’s Love

Creating a true and deep sense of community while building a living-list of loving, close friends/family to call on when we are at the end of our rope as single mom’s and dad’s seems like an insurmountable obstacle at times. Right up there with our nagging loneliness and the constant struggle to put food on the table, asking-for-help is one of the frustrations we put at the top of our lists. We imagine “if only” we had a couple more close friends or if a nice family would “adopt” our little, wobbly, single-parent family or if we could finally get…

Thoughts Before Pascha

In my last post, I talked about how I wanted to focus more on prayer and charity for Lent. Did I ever get my wish. This Lent has been a particularly roller coaster time. Sorrows Lent began this year with the news that one of my cousins had successfully made a harrowing escape from Ukraine where he had been teaching English, and was safe, for the moment, in Poland. The whole family breathed a collective sigh of relief and offered various prayers of thanksgiving. Only a few days later, his mother died, and we were taken from the highs of…

Lenten Thoughts

Here it is again, looming over us like a giant behemoth. Great Lent. Every year I see memes and cartoons about Lent sneaking up on us almost as if to intentionally spoil our joy. And to be honest, some days it does feel like that. But the longer I am Orthodox, the more I appreciate what Lent both teaches us and allows us to do, namely take the focus off of self. As much as I appreciate Lent, I do find myself filled with anxiety. What will I eat? Will my son participate with me now that he’s a teenager?…

Finding the Holy When Humbled

When you’re a single parent, you often get used to the idea of having to do everything yourself. You become a paragon of the rugged individualist with a do-it-yourself mentality. A lot can be said for that lifestyle, especially when it’s lived within a like-minded community. The trick to living that lifestyle, though, is knowing when you can do it yourself, and when to ask for help. Too often, single parents forget that second step. I know I am especially guilty of forgetting. For some of us it’s a matter of pride. For others, we don’t want to be a…

Remedies for Loneliness

Since writing the post on Loneliness — the theme picked as most-vital for single parents in the Facebook group when we first began the Living Water blog — both single parents and those who love us have challenged me with the question “So what now?”   Simply acknowledging our ostracization, isolation and deep loneliness is a mere bandaid when we wake up alone every morning and go to bed alone every night. Reminding ourselves (or worse, when other well-intentioned folks tell us directly) that everyone feels alone and many others besides single parents feel ostracized and isolated—think of parents of…