all images and stories are the property of Catherine Beerda-Basso and are not to be used without given permission...thank you

Monday, 29 April 2013

Mondays Offering...Sthiven...Stories from The Hill

My dearest Sthiven, (Steven)
Though you did not come from me
I feel for you as I do my own sons.
When I was thinking last night
about writing your story
the tears streamed down my face,
as they threaten to do right now;
For I hold you so dear to my heart.

I remember when I first met you.
A young eager boy of 9 years old
working hard with us, side by side 
building the new kitchen and 
mess hall for the children to eat in.
You had a mother and father,
both of which were regular fixtures at the center;
your mom going on to be one of our main cooks.
I remember you hanging out with my oldest...
I remember giving you a gift from my youngest.
He was so little then, just 4
sad that his mama and big brother were going far away;
and yet
he saved up his money to buy a hotwheels package
for me to give to a special  little boy
whom I thought would like it.
I picked you.
That was an amazing moment
you, your mom and I shared.
My heart was broken open by the two of you,
you changed me that day
and we would all be forever connected.     
I remember how I felt
the day I heard about your dad being killed.
I was so shock.
It happened just a week after our return home.
A motorcycle accident took his life,
it was such a tragedy.
I wept for you and your mom,
these were not good days.
And then it was years before I could return.
Things were not safe for us to come,
but I held you close
thought of you often
and looked forward to seeing you again....
hoping you would remember...and you did.

Oh when I saw you last year
how my heart soared
you were so tall and slender
with some crazy long hunk of hair growing 
down your neck.
Like a good mother I threatened to cut if off
and whenever you came into my "hair studio"
I would adorn it will one of the many "pretties"
I had brought for the girls.
You were game for it.
Seeing you and your mom
were a highlight for me

And now
now my boy you are 15
and a new life has taken place for you.
Your mom has taken on a boyfriend
much younger than herself
she no longer works at the center
as the boyfriend is violant and controlling.
Your home is no longer the safe place
you need
and your mom and you
are at odds...
these are the dark days for many teenagers
but for you
for you my dear sweet Steven,
because of where you live
they are just that much more darker.

My time with you this trip
was that much richer
With out being so busy doing hair,
and with my lovely interpretor I was able to have
much more one on one time with you.
Oh how I loved that...
to be able to love on you,
nurture you
give you my mama love.
Everyday you came to the center 
and everyday you stayed till the last minute
we were there.
Just like when you were a young boy
helping out in anyway you could.
Humouring me with hugs and kisses    
allowing me to fawn all over

I saw you clearly.

I know that when the night comes
another Steven comes to life.
You run with the gangs;
I can't be sure how deep you are in.
I know you are drinking
not sure about drugs...but
your clear eyes tell me nothing serious there yet.

I am not ignorant to your struggle
you shared it so honestly with me
your 15 year old way
 older and wiser, past your years in so many ways
Worried for your mother
hating her boyfreind
not wanting to go home
you have found a place to belong.

yes that is a dead rat!!!! boys will be boys...yuck!

I filled you any chance I got.
Letting you know what a special young man I saw in you
Giving you grace and understanding
not judgment
Reminding you that school was the ticket out
to keep to your studies
to go to trades school or university
reminding you that we....The Center...will always stand behind you
lifting you up
to your full potential
reminding you
not to throw it away at this tender age.

15 anywhere is a tough time....
this I know to be true.

I held your face in my hands
kissed your cheeks
scolded you for being cheeky  
(with a smile on my face of course)
enjoyed watching you play with the younger kids
help out in the kitchen
be the young man I knew you to be
So proud of you I am.


On our last day we took our sponsored children to the mall
for an special outing of lunch and shopping.
And though you are sponsored by another
I had to take you along
for you are my heart.
You were so gracious about it all...
agreeing to come along, only if it worked out
and when you did humbling buying
well priced shoes with such gratitude
and quick so quick to help out anywhere you could.
You made my mama heart so proud.
I know these things came from your heart
they are a reflection of your character.
A good boy living an extraordinary life
and trying to find his way...

I took you aside at the end of that day
my last big stand...
and I went for it.
I challenged you to be the man
you dreamed about being...
to be the man you saw in your father.
I let you know I understood the layout of your land
and reminded you to remember this season of life
was just that 
a season
and one day you will be able to move on
"Don't get too deep into it," I said.
Remember who you are."   
I asked you to look out for my girls...
Lina and Marcelous
I asked you to keep an eye on them
to be a big brother to them
protect them and let them know they matter.
You promised you would.

I know I asked a lot of you that night   
but I asked nothing that I did not think you were capable of
You are such a good boy
smart and wise
a good man I see in you...
the world needs you Steven
the world needs men like you.

I lit a candle for you last night
sending you my mama love
sending your mom my love and support
She loves you...
right now she is just a little lost.
When I went to see her I let her know about your worry
I let her know about your struggle
and I above all let her know 
that I look forward to when she returns to us...
we sobbed in each others arms... 

Today I write about you
my dearest Steven.
Stay safe
Remember who you are
Be strong in Spirit
and kind in Nature 
You are  a precious child of God
Unique and Awesomely made...
and God has not forgotten you.
For here I am
living in another world 
 loving you.
And I look forward to the day,
when once again
I hold your face in my hands.

Love and Light