Greater Chicagoland Chapter

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About Greater Chicagoland Chapter:  On beautiful Lake Michigan in Illinois,Chicago is among the largest cities in the U.S. known for its picturesque skyline, expansive museums and cultural institutions, world-class theatre, sports and art, and a multitude of culinary delights ranging from deep-dish pizza to the ever famous Chicago-style hot dog.  Approximately 30 miles west of the city’s center lies Wheaton, Illinois, home to Wheaton College, the Billy Graham Center, Chicago Gulf Club, DuPage County Fairgrounds, the Illinois Prairie Path, the famous Belushi brothers, and now the Greater Chicagoland MWC Chapter guided by leader, Natalie Roesner and her wonderful friends and co-leaders, Maureen Lynch and Eileen Tehrani.

 

The second Thursday of each month, the MWC Greater Chicagoland Chapter gets together for a MWC Social in a relaxed and comfortable environment.  It is in this community of friendship that we learn we are not alone and that we can “live for today, while honoring yesterday.”  In the words of Leo Buscaglia, “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”  We welcome you to join us as we strive to live by these words and make a difference to all who choose to walk with us! Contact Greater Chicagoland Chapter at natalieroesner@modernwidowsclub.com 

Photo: (left to right) Chapter Leaders Maureen Lynch, Natalie Roesner, Eileen Tehrani

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About Chapter Leader Natalie Roesner:

Born and raised in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, my college years took me to DePaul University where, at the age of 19, I met the man who was soon to become the center of my life.  In November of 1987, Dan and I were married.  Four years later, we joyously welcomed the arrival of Lauren, and by 1993, we moved our growing family to the lovely suburb of Wheaton.  It was here that we welcomed two additional bundles of joy:  Richie and Dana.  Together, Dan and I raised our three children to love life and cherish the gift of each new day.

 

On April 27, 2011, Dan’s 49th birthday, he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer that had metastasized to the liver.  After a 15 month courageous, determined and often awe-inspiring fight, he lost his battle on July 10, 2012.  The world as I knew it changed forever.  I don’t remember much about that first year.  All I cared about was being as present as I could for our three beautiful children.  And crying – I do remember crying – a lot.  Ever so slowly, the mental fog lifted, the tears became fewer (although they still creep up on me at the strangest times), and my need to find a purpose to this new life of mine grew.  I have always been a faith-filled person, and I began to search for an answer to a question that just wouldn’t leave me alone:  If God chose me to experience this world of widowhood, what does He want me to do with it?  Surely, it can’t be for naught.  And so the “google” search began, and I stumbled upon a sight called Modern Widows Club.  It made me realize that I was not alone. And so I officially joined the group and began to really learn about the organization.  I came to love and respect what I saw and decided to reach out to Carolyn with the possibility of starting a chapter in Chicago.  I then reached out to two of my dearest friends, Eileen and Maureen, who had walked the walk of widowhood with me.  None of us chose this journey, but the gift of everlasting friendship we received because of it was truly that:  a gift!  They signed on to become my co-leaders and after much paperwork, many conversations, a road trip and months of contemplating, The Greater Chicagoland MWC Chapter was born!

 

We have certainly had our share of stumbles since Firouz, Tom and Dan left our sides.  But we have learned that life is not so much about what challenges come our way as it is about how we choose to face the challenges that we are given.  The choices we make, the gifts that we give, the mistakes that we learn from – these are what matter on this journey called life.  And so we continue to take one day at a time and one moment in each day because life is for living.  We choose to stay strong, live strong, keep the faith, and welcome YOU to join us.  Together, let’s turn the page and write the next chapter in our lives! Contact Natalie at natalieroesner@modernwidowsclub.com 

About Maureen Lynch:

My husband, Tom, was diagnosed with prostrate cancer at the age of 41.  We had two beautiful children, a daughter Katie in fifth grade and a son Michael in third grade.  It was devastating news to hear and we fought together for six and one half years.  He was strong and never gave up hope. Unfortunately, he lost his fight in September 2013.  We had many good years together and through it all he was a wonderful father and husband.  He set such a good example for our children.

 

The first year after I lost him, I felt like I was on autopilot, just trying to take care of my fifteen year old son and my seventeen year old daughter while my heart was aching.  I knew I had to be strong for my children and set a good example for them. I was fortunate to have a supportive family and friends but what really helped me was support from my friend Natalie.  She had lost her husband a year before me and was there when I needed a shoulder to cry on or just listen.  She really understood exactly how I was feeling.  I also had the support of Eileen who had lost her husband prior to Natalie.

 

The second year I felt I needed to try to figure out how to move forward and find a purpose.  Natalie had researched the Modern Widows Club and asked me if I wanted to help her lead a new chapter. She had also asked our friend Eileen.  I did a little research myself and realized what a great community that Carolyn had built and wanted to be a part of it.

 

I want to help other widows move forward in life because I know how hard it is to lose your best friend, love of your life, and partner.

 

About Eileen Tehrani:

My name is Eileen Gavin Tehrani, and I lost my husband to glioblastoma brain cancer in June of 2009. I have one daughter, and her name is Mary. She is 22 and is the light of my life. Mary graduated from Miami of Ohio in 2015 and is now working as a strategy consultant.

 

I came upon this group when my friend Natalie Roesner and I became so much closer under tragic circumstances. Natalie and I had always been involved in the community together, and our daughters became friends through show choir throughout middle school and high school. When my husband Firouz fell ill, it was only seven weeks from diagnosis until his death. Throughout that time, Natalie and her family were by my side.  My daughter even lived at the Roesner household while Firouz and I traveled from hospital to hospital for treatment. I can never thank her enough for her goodness to my family.

 

A few years later, Natalie’s husband Dan was diagnosed with cancer. Once again our families were intertwined by a horrible situation. My daughter looked at Dan as a father figure, and Natalie’s children as her siblings. Again we went through the whole scenario of losing a husband.

 

Another friend of ours, Maureen Lynch, who was also a show choir mom, experienced the same tragedy losing her husband following Dan’s passing. This unfortunate situation once again intertwines us.

 

Natalie, Maureen, and I know that we are not the only women struggling with this chapter in our lives, and we want to create an environment for like-minded individuals to support one another. Losing a husband is something one cannot understand unless they experience it themselves. Natalie, Maureen, and I, along with our children, have a forever bond that can never be broken.

 

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