Home > Art, Bereavement, Children, Love, Motherhood > Going On…

Going On…

This week’s re-post Diamond in the Rough is from November, 2011. I chose this one not only because it’s a favorite among readers but also because the beautiful journals that I mention below are very close to becoming a book. A Kickstarter Campaign has been started to help defray some initial start up costs. If you have a few minutes please visit

Going On: A Book About Life.

Diamond in the Rough


This week I can’t help but be thankful for the people in my life, my children and our health.

It’s a tradition in the school I work at, to celebrate each year’s accomplishments at a Stepping Stones ceremony in June. Throughout the year some of the faculty collect beautiful stones from a wide variety of places for each student to pick from.

A few years ago, one of our senior graduates turned the tradition around. He’d gone mining earlier in the year and instead of just taking a stone for himself, he gave each member of the faculty and staff a Herkimer diamond. It was a touching gesture.

Mine, was stolen from a drawer in my bedroom a year-and-a-half ago.

He passed away a little over a year ago.

This particular graduate was an extraordinary human being. I knew he could write, memorize and recite complicated monologues. But it wasn’t until his memorial service that I discovered the breadth of his artistic abilities. It was there that I was given a glimpse into just how talented he was. I didn’t know he had such an incredible eye for photography or that he whittled the pieces of an entire chess set out of wood or fashioned a beautiful wooden flute for his mom. He also made grand bags out of leather and bark and created with glass. He made beautiful marbles and knives. He was quite the unique individual and his art reflected that. In this technological age of all things electronic, he was a breath of fresh air.

He was a diamond in the rough.

Recently, his mom who is also an artist, had an art exhibit entitled 100 Hearts in his honor. I have three.

I spent a few days with her this summer at our place in the woods Upstate. I read her beautifully drawn journals, the ones that try to put into perspective what her daily life is like now without her son, how her grief is endless and how grateful she is for the time she had with him. As a mother I am in awe of her strength sometimes and heartbroken by her loss, always.

Just before the Thanksgiving break, I was in her classroom and she handed me a small bundle of tissue. Beneath the folds of the carefully wrapped paper lay not one but two of the Herkimer diamonds her son mined that year.

One is clear and small. The other is larger and contains rare impurities. Both are beautiful in their own special way. Heart stop.

Needless to say thoughts of this young man and his spirit have lingered with me all week-long.

Gratitude. Be happy for what you have — right now.

This week in particular, I’m thankful for the people in my life, my children and our health.

Hug your diamonds in the rough today.

Going On: A Book About Life

Photo Credit #1 Hearts By Goldy Safirstein/Going On- A Book About Life

Photo Credit #2 Gratitude

Photo Credit #3 Stones

Photo Credit #4 ©Karen Szczuka Teich & Takingtheworldonwithasmile.com

Photo Credit #5  Children

Photo Credit #6 Book Cover by Goldy Safirstein/Going On- A Book About Life

  1. September 2, 2012 at 2:06 am

    What a beautiful tribute to this diamond!


    • September 2, 2012 at 8:14 am

      Thank you Lady! Both mom & son are pretty special. 🙂


  2. Nanna
    September 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Karen, l had tears in my eyes , when l was reading this blog, it is just beautiful.


  3. Julie
    September 2, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Karen, Thanks so much for passing along this information so that we can be a part of “Going On-A Book about Life.” Kim, who worked with you and Goldie, told me that Goldie has “a very big heart.” Julie (Kim’s mom)


    • September 2, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      Yes, Julie, Goldy has a very big heart. I am thrilled that you continue to read my blog and grateful to you and Kim (whom I only have very fond memories of) for your support of Goldy’s project. Best ~ Always, Karen.


  4. singleworkingmomswm
    September 4, 2012 at 12:48 am

    I loved this post the first time around. The sentimentality of the Stepping Stones ceremony, and the gesture of this amazing boy. Now I need to go to the link and read more, and of course, I’ll be back. 🙂 ♥


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