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The last time I saw my “little” sister she weighed over 400 lbs. Even when she was a little girl, she was always a little on the “plump” side but never really overweight. Now she was grotesque. When she moved away from home, she got involved with a man, a monster really, who abused her. She finally left him after she found out she was pregnant and he tried to beat her into a miscarriage. When she got out of the hospital, she moved to a small town in New England where she knew no one and no one knew her and gave birth to her only child.

As far as I know, she never went on so much as a date after her son was born. She was determined to raise that boy right. She never wanted him to experience the poverty, violence and chaos that had always been her lot. She was overprotective in the extreme and dogged his every move to make sure he worked hard, stayed out of trouble and did well in school. But, every year she grew a little bigger. Everyone harassed her about her weight. But, she didn't seem to think it was a big deal. She was only really concerned with raising that boy to be a good man.

Mission accomplished.

Yesterday her son, my nephew, graduated from college. I'm sure she was very proud since she never finished the tenth grade. I'll never know exactly how she felt since today I got “The Call”, the one that part of me has been expecting since I saw her last. Yesterday evening my sister collapsed at work and died of a “massive heart attack.” She would have been 47 this July.

We all have to live—and die—with the consequences of the choices we make. My sister chose to be fat or a least chose not to do anything about it. On the other hand, she wanted to be a good parent and succeeded. At the very least she was a much better parent than hers' were.

A lot of us are trying to lose weight. Our reasons range from frivolous want to desperate need. But, we all share a desire to eat well and optimize health. There are many who desperately need this WOE but don't want it. Tonight I'll say a prayer for them and the people that will miss them when they're gone.

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When Life Gives You Lemons
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