#16 Amanda

 "Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people move our souls to dance. They awaken us to new understandings with the passing whisper of their wisdom. Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon. They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints in our heart, and we are never ever the same" Flavia Weedn

I walked into the room with you and we were peering into the steel bars that was my son's crib in the hospital.  He had pneumonia and was in Chippenham Hospital under an oxygen tent most of the time.  I met your Mom in the lounge. There was actually a room at the end of the hall that I could go sit in and smoke or read or what ever it was that I wanted to do in there. Sit.Stare.Share.Glare.  She said she had a daughter here that was sick, had Anorexia.  It was 1985 or 1986 at the time.

My son was a baby and you were 19.  You didn't weigh too much more than him.  You were shockingly skinny and didn't look a thing like the picture your mom showed me that was only 2 years ago when you graduated from High School.  I didn't know what Anorexia even was when I met you.

I was skinny then.......very skinny.  A size 1 at the most.  People asked me if I was "anorexic" I didn't know if they were kidding or serious half of the time.   Weight dropped off of me even though I had not long ago given birth to my son.  I dabbled in things that gave me energy then.........I had 3 children and my husband worked "B" shift. 3-11.  I raised those kids by myself, had pets and babysat, not to mention "rebated" many hours a day. (couponing by snail mail, no electronics) and sent real letters and coupons and mail in rebates daily.  I was busy, sugar, caffeine and ephredra along with nicotine and any other no-doze type thing that I could find to do was what I did.   BUT I ATE MEALS TOO.........I lost weight and never starved myself of nutrients nor chemical.

There you were.  You wouldn't swallow vitamins "because they had hidden calories." and "Lettuce" was your drug of choice.  You cried for them to take out the IV's as they had to restrain you to keep you from ripping them out.   Days past and you were allowed to walk down the hall with your pole.  You wanted to, you wanted to exercise those calories off.  They wanted you to build some muscle back.  You had atrophied.

You were 19,  I was 23 or 24.........I was skinny but .......you were about 77 lbs and dying.   I asked you if you wanted to hold him and you smiled and nodded, "yes."  I handed him to you and you held him close to your heart and he smiled.  It was beautiful yet very very sad.  I smiled from within............until your Mom appeared at the door........horrified.........."NOOOOOOOOOO" she said.  then quietly sad, "she will drop him her muscles can't take the weight.  He is a baby, he trusts that no one will drop him."  She began to cry and took my son from her arms.

I couldn't help but be sad that this girl , this young girl, would never have children.  Her muscles and female organs had shut down along with her kidneys.  This had been going on for too long.

The next day the waiting room was empty.  I didn't see her mom, I thought she must be feeling bad about what happened. I didn't bother them until the next day ,  I went down the hall to find you ......the room was empty..........you went home.



  1. So sad. But good. I am glad you slipped Shane into Amanda's arms. I think...perhaps...she met him in that better place. Love you. Spent the day at CJW: the pictures hit me hard.