Quarantine Day 56: NYC
We’ve had St. Patrick’s Day. Easter. Cinco de Mayo. Now the next holiday to fall prey to the Coronavirus is…Mother’s Day.
Which, frankly is such a travesty, because if you ask me, mothers are really the unsung heroes of Quarantine. They’ve been thrust into a completely upside-down existence, where overnight, they were thrown into the role of teacher, child care, disciplinarian, entertainment, peace keeper, chef, house keeper, and source of comfort for their children.
So moms, I salute you, and the selfless, thankless work you put in every day, quarantine, or not.
In honor of my own mother, on this Mother’s Day weekend, I wanted to share the greatest lesson my mom ever taught me. And believe me, there have been a lot: from her infamous one-liner that became my life’s motto: Just do the next right thing, to advising me to Shake the dust off and go create a life where I’m celebrated, to just living by example: how to love, how to be a friend, a wife, a mother.
But the greatest and most beneficial lesson she taught me is all about trust.
One of the most devastating things about anorexia is that you are litereally a walking billboard for your eating disorder. It is clearly visible that you are suffering: my skeletal body was a visible indicator to anyone and everyone, that something was terribly amiss.
And so as a result, people talk. People love to gossip, and when it’s something so “taboo” as an eating disorder — they just can’t help themselves.
My family is well-loved in our community, I’ll just go right out and say it. My brothers were the captains of the football and basketball teams, my mom ran bible studies with 150+ women, my dad is well respected in the business circles, and I grew up on stage in the city’s professional theaters. We were a visible family.
So at 78 pounds and literally destroying my life, my “fall from grace” in high school was juicy gossip to say the least.
But my mom never partook in any of it. She never spoke about me to her friends. She never entertained any conversations that people tried to have with her. She didn’t put me on any prayer request lists — which, we all know can be the Christian way to gossip about people…
No, she made a conscious decision that literally saved our relationship. She knew that if I were to make it through that period, and if our relationship were to ever survive, I would have to be able to trust her.
So even though at the time, I was lying to and manipulating her, and being so hurtful with the words I spewed in fits of rage, or as I was shutting her out — she knew that in order for our relationship to heal, I would have to be able to trust her.
So she never betrayed my trust through gossip.
And 12 years later, I was talking to her about that courageous decision, and she just looked at me and said,
“It was not my story to tell.”
Did my mom need support and encouragement and comfort during that incredibly difficult season? Yes, of course. Watching her daughter waste away before her eyes, she poured her heart out to Jesus every single day. Pleading with Him to save my life.
She was a vault when it came to what I was going through, and for that I am so grateful. And it truly saved our relationship. Because I knew I could trust her with anything.
Trust is one of — if not the — most important foundations of a relationship. It doesn’t matter if it is a friendship, a romantic relationship, a business relationship, a spousal relationship — at the end of the day, all we have is our word. An invaluable, precious commodity that I fiercely protect at all costs.
I’d say that one of my achilles heels (I have many) is that I am too trusting. I give people the benefit of the doubt almost to my detriment. But I want to believe that people are good, and worthy of trust.
Probably because I was raised in a family where I was never given any doubts otherwise.
I will never be able to thank my mother enough for that incredibly selfless gift that she gave me, those many many years ago.
She showed me through her actions how love looks, how it acts, and how it is a protective fortress of confidentiality and security.
Mom, thank you for loving me so well. I will never be able to repay you for the love you’ve shown me through every season season of life: the ups and downs, challenges and joys. I love you, and happy Mother’s Day.
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia. Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.
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