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Monday, November 21, 2011

Who Would You Thank?

So many of us, fat and thin, spend way too much time moaning and complaining about what’s wrong in our lives. Let’s spend some time recognizing what’s right. Why don’t we all stand up and officially thank the people who have blessed our lives with their kindness, compassion, understanding, support, and encouragement?

One of the most incredible moments in an actor’s life is standing at the podium on Oscar night, making his or her acceptance speech. Unfortunately, they have a time limit, and have to come up with something eloquent in about two minutes, with a camera on them and about fifty million people watching, and their brains are understandably scrambled with excitement and nervousness. Remember Sally Field’s infamous “You like me! You really like me!” speech? It may have seemed a little bubble-brained, but who could fault her for being so effusive at a moment like that? Her truly grateful self came out for all to see.

If you were getting an award for being a fabulous fat person, who would you thank for helping you become the fabulous fat person you are? Who has made a difference in your life? Who has truly been there for you, given you strength, and encouraged you to ignore the haters? Who assured you that they would always be there for you if you needed them?

I didn’t have a lot of emotional support growing up. My parents were old-school, and they focused on work, money, and financial survival. They considered emotions incidental and usually bothersome. I don’t blame them – I know they did the best they could. But I never felt like I could rely on them emotionally. When I was being bullied at school, I always felt pressure from them to just “suck it up” and move on. They had no idea how torturous it was for me. The one person in my family who made me feel safe and understood was (and is) my older brother Glenn. He always took care of me and made sure I had what I needed. When I complained endlessly about how much I hated working a 9-5 job in the corporate world and desperately wanted to further my education (but couldn’t afford to pay for school), he footed the bill. Not to mention just making me feel unmistakably loved all my life. I don’t know what I would have done without him. He is an incredible person and I love him dearly.

The years I spent looking for my lifemate were very lonely and painful. I thought it would never happen. I allowed men to use and disappoint me because at that time I didn’t think I could get any better. Then I met the man who would become my husband and everything changed. I wasn’t used to a man taking me seriously and treating me with respect, and fucked up as it was, I tested his sincerity by putting him through all kinds of shit. I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back, I can see that’s exactly what I was doing. No matter what I did, though, he stuck around. We had our periods of separation – once for as long as a year – but I think we both knew as soon as we set eyes on each other that it was for good. Now when I look at him and think of the 20-plus years we have been together, I just shake my head and smile. Some things are just meant to be, I guess. I love you, sweetie.

And what would life be without a great friend? I mean a truly great friend who you can bare your soul to and are not afraid to look foolish with. One truly influential person in my life is my friend Christine. Strange as it is, her father is my mother’s “long-time companion” and we have known each other for many years. But we didn’t get to know each other really well until our mutual parents got together after my father passed away. We have shared many, many hours talking about life, the necessity of staying focused on the positive, and encouraging each other to reach our full potential. She has inspired me many times and made me feel rejuvenated when I felt nothing but completely depressed. Thank you, Christine. I love you and I am so grateful for your friendship.

What about your list? Who would you put on it, and why?

P.S. For those of you who have come into my life relatively recently (you know who you are), please don't be hurt or miffed that you're not mentioned on this list. It's not a reflection on a lack of value of you as well. I love you too. :) 


  1. you had the guts the balls the courage to change your life i had the money to spare i didnt drink drug or have a high or low maintinence relationship even with a car so the finance was no problem... for once i was able to do something positive with it i made fun of your hobbies and ambitions too i wasnt perfect im glad you didnt listen every time...i feel like i wanna say not in front of the guys like when your mommie kisses you when she puts you on the school bus i dont take thanks very well but i appreciate it...loved understood i cant talk about that im a guy i know you do too i know because you care enough to put up with my shit most of the time and try to change me for the better

  2. I always knew you cared, and when you paid for my schooling I can't tell you how much that meant to me and how grateful I was/am. You are an extraordinary person and I just hope that one of these days you get all of the accolades and love you deserve. You'll always have it from me, you are one of my heroes. I love you.