My buddy Fran will always remembered as “The Fat Lady.”
Not as the nice lady.
Not as the kind, generous, smart woman.
Not even the hilariously, funny one.
Just the big ole’ fat lady.
Franny was morbidly obese. If I had to guess, I would say she weighed 400-500 pounds. She got around just fine though, tooling around in her black Chevy pickup, nothing stopped her. But it was fat that killed her in her early fifties, and she knew full well it would be the death of her.
Laying in a hospice, on Mothers Day a few years back, she watched my 6 year old daughter Grace twirl around in her pink sparkly princess dress, while Fran clapped her hands with a huge smile beneath her oxygen mask. Her hands, arms and face were a scary blue-purple, something I had never seen on a person before. My daughter took note of it for a brief second, before she went on entertaining the hospice crowd.
Even as Fran was struggling to take her next breath, she enjoyed life. She enjoyed people, and those of us that bothered to get to know her, found a dear, dear friend. What a gem she was.
I think everyone should be required to befriend a fat person. I am sick of all the discrimination and just plain meanness. I mean, where the hell has our compassion gone?
Do fat people bring out our fears?
Are we afraid we will be one of them some day?
Do we just not like looking at them?
Do we think we are somehow better because we are simply lighter?
Fran died just a few hours after we visited her that day. I realized today as I write this how much I miss her.
We were an odd pair the two of us. The ex-model and The Fat Lady.
We always had this unspoken understanding that we were the same inside. I have no doubt we both knew this with our heart and soul.