SOLSC: Happy Birthday, My Friend!

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!

7 Responses to SOLSC: Happy Birthday, My Friend!

  1. Tam says:

    A great tribute for a dear friend on her birthday. Well written, from the heart slice.

    Thanks again for the Slicer Trophy. It is on my kitchen table right now next to my spring decorations–why not! The challenge is part of spring and celebration!

  2. the other ruth says:

    Wow. This is a powerfully written piece MH, and for a lot of reasons. I’m glad you wrote this in your friend’s honor, and even more glad that you didn’t lose her.

  3. This is a moving tribute to your dear friend. You are lucky to have each other. The line you repeated was both worrisome and reassuring at the same time (reassuring because of the word ‘almost’).

  4. elsie says:

    Friends are so valuable. I hope she is in a good place with her health these days. You are a good friend to be there.

  5. Deb says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your friend…precious. : )

  6. capewriter says:

    Beautifully heart-felt slice, Mary Helen, I’m so glad your friend has made it past the eating disorder — that is a toughie. Thank you for sharing such a personal piece with us. I’m thrilled that she has someone like you to be her support and encouragement :).

  7. Linda Baie says:

    Your repetition was so powerful, Mary Helen. I found my heart beating faster because I thought you might end sadly, but you didn’t! Your tribute to your friend is such a wonderful thing. I am assuming you have given it to her. Thanks for a Happy birthday for your friend.

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