My last post Fran The Fat Lady, has generated quite a bit of discussion, so we are going to keep rolling on this topic;
Obesity. Morbid Obesity. Fat. Overweight. Whateveryouwanttocallit.
While writing about Franny on Saturday afternoon, my husband walked in the room as asked what I was up to.
"I am writing about Fran." I said. We both smiled.
My daughter Grace was sitting beside me absorbed in her book, until she heard us talking.
"I remember her!" Grace said.
"You do?" I replied, a bit surprised because Grace was like 5-6 when she did her ballerina routine for Fran a few years back at the hospice.
"What do you remember babe?"
"She had purple skin."
She had purple skin.
Grace didn't see a 400+ pound woman stuffed in her death bed, her tired lungs struggling with each breath. She didn't think about how Fran looked different than most people she knew. She just saw Fran.
Fran, the nice lady that was always happy, smiling, bringing over little, fun gifts an oxygen tank trailing behind her.
Fran, the one our neighbor helped out of her Black Chevy pickup, so she could deliver to us a box of Krispie Cremes (one missing).
Fran, the lady mama always sat by at holiday parties, and spent time engrossed in conversation or laughing her ass off at some crazy joke that was told.
This reminded me of a related experience we had at the grocery store when Grace was only a toddler, and my son Sid was just an infant, cozy in his little carrier hooked on top of our steel cart. I had bought this huge load of stuff.
"Is there a bagger that can help me out to the car?" I said to the elderly cashier.
"Sure," she said flipping on her lighted, blinking sign to signal the bagger he had a customer.
Suddenly, she switched the light off, and looked to me with a serious face.
"Actually, the only bagger we have today has a birthmark on his face…it might scare your kids," she whispered, nervously glancing back over her shoulder to see if he, monster boy, was coming.
"We're good" I said with out hesitating.
Out came a nice young man, obviously self conscience as hell, covered with a large purple birthmark on his face and neck.
I didn't even blink. I slid over and let him push the cart. My little Siddy kicked his feet, happy as a clam in his baby seat facing the monster boy. I reached for Gracie's hand and started walking beside him, trying not to glare back at every person in the store who was at the poor kid.
We chit-chatted our way to the car, monster boy unloaded, and I got the kids tucked in their car seats.
"He had a different face," said my girl.
"Yep, everyone is different, that's what is cool about the world."
A different face.
What a testament to the fact that we teach our children acceptance. We somewhere, somehow learned from someone to be discriminating and intolerant. Then we learned to like it.
I vote that we reprogram our prejudice, mean spirited, self righteous minds back to childhood.