SOLSC: Happy Birthday, My Friend!

March 22, 2012

My dear friend, who makes me smile, is brilliant, delightful, and amazing. I have taught beside her, mentored her in writing workshop, and laughed at lunch. … I almost lost her once.

My Friend has been the teacher of Wes and Elizabeth. She encouraged them to reach beyond the moment, stretch their thinking in all subject areas, and spread their creativity. … I almost lost her!!

Her thinking has pushed me to strive for the best. She honors me by inviting me into her class, by asking questions, and sharing her dreams. Her famous words with total belief is “You can do it, Mary Helen!” … I ALMOST  lost her!

You see, for as confident, passionate, steadfast teacher that she was (IS), inside a monster of unbelief, doubt, and ugliness ate away at her physical self.

My Friend began to lose weight, a feat she and I both struggled with. She is beautiful with the always perfect hair, the fun outfitting to match, and a passion that all can achieve. Her smile and belief uplifts your soul. But for a while,  her self-image did not reflect that and thus, she allowed the eating disorder to take over. … (I almost lost her!)

Her skinny body was hidden in her clothes, but her heart and pancreas couldn’t withstand it. She ended up at the hospital, frail and fighting.  … I almost lost her.

The Butterfly is the symbol of FREEDOM from eating disorders

I remember how shocked I was. People speculated and I denied it. Not my friend. I remember trembling as we headed to the hospital. My three kids made cards and included pictures of them to bring her cheer. I even framed a picture of me, smiling. I remember being by her bed, her face beaming as I told her that I needed her. I NEEDED her!   … I almost lost her.

Several months passed and life was uncertain. With help and belief and prayer, My Friend overcame the monster and healed.

I almost lost her but didn’t!

I’m so grateful!

Happy Birthday, My Friend!