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My Mother: 99% Amazing!

Monday, July 25, 2011

My mother died 3 years ago on July 29 and I think I have a big case of anniversary-itis. I really miss her although we had a tormented relationship off and on because she had grown up with an eating disorder of some sort.

But first: let me stress: my mother was generous, a great humanitarian, she gave of herself to others (stints in the Peace Corps, and volunteering in "The Killing Fields" with Catholic Relief Services, and doing all she could to alleviate poverty and illness in the world). She was witty, cultured, loving, intelligent and she taught me so much about how to live well and how to appreciate the arts.


But....
Her relationship with food was very bad. She weighed 98 pounds when she was pregnant with my youngest sister, which no doubt led to the baby's premature delivery.

Stop and think: What kind of woman is proud that she had a goal of being 9 months pregnant and weighing less than 100 pounds????

My mother, her sister, and their mother were more horrified by overweight people than they were by intolerance, bigotry, or character defects. Their emotional response was probably that a thin murderer was superior to an overweight saint.

But I know that if they had stopped and analyzed it, they would have felt differently.

This is not the most important thing to know about my mother, but it's one of the things that can characterize a woman of any size: the fear of fat, the fear of fat people, the shame of having overweightfriends or relatives, and the propensity to equate general virtue with slenderness.

Please do not think I am critiquing my mother; I am just trying to understand how a woman of so many gifts could live under the tyranny of Fear of Fat (not that she ever got fat). It just seemed as if it was a shadow life that prevented her from 100% pleasure in the very good life that she did have.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SPEEDY143
    I know people like that... I guess there's always that 1% of "whatever" that we all struggle with. Mothers and daughters... not always the happiest of couplings. I'm sorry for your loss. It's wonderful that you loved her in spite of her faults emoticon I hope you felt loved as well emoticon
    3609 days ago
  • CTUPTON
    But you are not your mother. I know you are eating for health and strength. good for you! Chris

    emoticon
    3610 days ago
  • CONNIER64
    emoticon don't let bad memories get you down.Take care of yourself emoticon emoticon
    3610 days ago
  • CHARLIESGIRL69
    Yes there are people like that. Limited views and thinking is their problem though not yours.
    3610 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5178852
    I've seen that trait in people and it isn't pretty.

    Take care of yourself this week and don't self destruct in grief. You mentioned just one of your mom's characteristics. Focus on some of the nicer one.

    hugs,
    Karen
    3610 days ago
  • NOTIMENASH
    How true
    3610 days ago
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