I don’t want you all to think things with my mom were all bad. They weren’t and I know she did her best. My mom truly was quietly beautiful. She wasn’t one to have the latest fashions. She only owned a few pairs of shoes. My love of shoes came from my dad ironically.
My mom had a beautiful smile, laugh, and singing voice. Her voice wasn’t loud and boisterous but her singing was beautiful all the same. She had a gentleness about her. When many people were judging others, my mom was trying to lift them up. She would have clothing and other items in her car that she would give to the homeless. When my mom still lived in her home town, she volunteered with the food pantry. Many times she would deliver foods to people who many would turn their noses down at. Not my mama. I guess in her own struggles, she recognized how much loving we needed in the world. Unfortunately she did not believe she deserved any of that love herself. Abuse does that to a person. As much as I tried, I was unable to help her.
My mom was one of the hardest working people I knew. As tiny as she was , she could use a rotatiller and even spent an entire day digging a tree stump out of the ground by herself. This was no small tree stump either. It had to have been somewhere between one and two feet wide. I was always in awe of her strength.
One of her many talents was cooking. She could throw ingredients together without a recipe and the house would smell amazing. The food would be amazing too. Always seemed so ironic that for a woman who barely ate, she could cook with the best of them. Now some of her friends remember a truly homemade chocolate cake she made. They now have renamed it Patty’s chocolate cake. That makes me so proud.
My mom was also talented in crafts and had the best green thumb around. All I can grow is weeds. She planted daisies just for me. I always loved the simplistic beauty of daisies. Before her eyes got too bad, she would do counted cross stitch. Later on she took up crocheting and made all sorts of scarves and blankets. They were all beautiful, like her.
I miss her every day. We butted heads a lot. I would not listen to her putting herself down and just agree with her. I couldn’t. That aggravated her a lot. Before my mom passed she wanted to find a way to let the world know how horrible anorexia is. I have racked my brain. I have no idea how to help anyone. If I could not get my mom to see how this disease was killing her, how could I get a stranger to see. Many families like mine are in denial or don’t want to rock the boat. Neither approach worked. Also, I wanted her story to be more than about her eating disorder. To me she survived. I am sure I shocked you by saying that but think about it. My mom suffered horrific abuse and developed anorexia in elementary school. She could have easily been strung out on all sorts of drugs, homeless, or even in prison. My mom did her best and succeeded in being a contributing member of society. People loved my mom. People respected my mom. In spite of the demons that took her away from us, she succeeded in being better than her circumstances could have created her to be. Now she is at peace. Somehow, I hope in writing a memoir or something I can honor her wish of telling the truth. Eating disorders kill. More than anything, I also want everyone to know, she was so much more than her anorexia. She truly is a beautiful soul.