Christmas came and went. There was plenty of holly and jolly and a touch of melancholy (we are still grieving for my brother). I loved spending time with my family.
There was plenty of opportunity to remember how great God’s love for us is….so great he gave us Jesus.
All of this was shadowed by the dark, incessant nastiness of my eating disorder. The past month was a messy one for me in terms of recovery and I wasn’t surprised my day was shadowed by compulsions to restrict, difficulty eating, and thoughts of body and weight.
My whole family is gaining unhealthy amounts of weight. I worry. My 8 year-old nephew is alarming big with a very poor diet that may lead to diabetes.
I worry about my niece, now at the vulnerable age of 13. I cringe that she has grown up watching me eat salads and look frighteningly thin at times. What am I involuntarily teaching her? She has never seen me eat birthday cake or dessert or…really much at all. It breaks my heart. I LOVE her so much. She’s completely fine but I wish I were a better role model.
So my Holiday was shadowed by all of this craziness…because I was aware of it.
It did not outshine the good times.
I am stronger than I once was. Despite all the insanity I was able to be present. My shadow was there…but I was more than a shadow.
Maybe not the woman I want to be, but better than the woman I was.
And still crazy after all these years, dude.
There may have been an uninvited guest for dinner, but I did not set it a place setting. I fed it scraps from the table like the dirty dog it was.
- Were there any shadows during your Christmas festivities?
- Anyone in your life you wish you were able to be a better role model for?
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On November 4, 2009 my brother passed away unexpectedly.
One year later; today has been difficult. I am flooded with penetrating sadness, memories, and that deep sense of loss unique to each of us who loved him.
He is my hero. He is my Inspiration. He is my reason for carrying on this beautiful struggle to LIVE.
I think about him everyday.
And I have so much to write, so much to say….but today I just can’t fight my way through the fog.
Making this video helped.
I got the opportunity to speak at Greg’s service and what I wrote then was from my truest heart. I might let that speak for itself tonight.
I don’t believe my brother ever truly grasped how much I look up to him; and, as I’ve grown, developed a deep and profound respect for him. (He was a humble man).But…I know he knows now.
Greg is an inspiration to me and – our mother called it first – a real hero. And now, when I am doing life, and I feel lost…or afraid…or confused and weary…I still have him to look up to –and take a deep breath and keep moving.(And I better, too! He’s big brother, after all! I know he was a coach to many on the soccer field but he was kind of like my life coach…
When I was small and crying, he would come to my bedroom door and grab a small, pink porcelain bear he had made for me in art class. He’s kind-of wave it back and forth…like a white flag…and just stand there smiling. Within seconds we would both be laughing. I couldn’t resist.
Greg’s laughter –his spirit—it’s infectious. Right?
That image of him with the bear, smiling expectantly will be with me forever. I think we all have those images of Greg. And, in times of pain or when life might be getting the better of me (because I do struggle…I think we all do) —In those times, Greg’s spirit can help lift me up and make me smile. (And I better…he’s the big bro)
But I think he will be doing that for each and every one of us. We all loved Greg – and respected him.
He was a hard worker….ambitious and responsible. Greg handled his life very seriously –but—knew better than to ever take life too seriously. He made us smile a whole lot. With laughter and pride. And he’s gonna be able to keep us smiling.
He’ll have the biggest smile of us all.
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