Thirty Years Ago

It was early April 1983.

I was 14.

I was a freshman in high school (Clear Creek) (Go Wildcats).

I had a best friend (Beth).

I had my first boyfriend* (Jerry).

I had my heart set on becoming a Cavalier (that was the drill team).

I was jazz hand deep in learning the dance every afternoon after school for the upcoming try-outs.

It was "Separate Ways" by Journey.

Just so you know.

I liked my group and the Cavalier officer** that was teaching us.

I was pretty wrapped up in, well, me***.

See sentence #2.

My mom had an appointment with a new doctor.

Have I told you that my mom was an anorexic?

In 1983 this was a new thing.

Or maybe it was an old thing with a new name.

But people still didn't talk about it.

And truth be told, neither did we.

Not really.

Of course my mom denied being anorexic and we believed her.

She was in treatment for it but still believed she was not a *true* anorexic. (We even watched The Best Little Girl in the World made for TV movie and she kept saying she was not like that.)

A few days, maybe a week, after that diagnostic appointment, I wore my dark green dress with the puffy sleeves, beige sash and itty bitty cream flowers (that was the style) to my mother's funeral.

Thirty years ago.

*Boyfriend as in we went to church functions together, double dates and oh yeah, his junior prom (my mom had seen me in my dress, a giant white meringue hoop skirted scarlett o'hara number, but missed the actual event since it was in May) (that was the first miss in what has now become a very long list of misses).

**Her name was Liz Breslin and she died in a car accident the following year, her senior year.

***And I guess you could stay I still am. ;)


  1. Oh Holly! I just read that standing here at the bank and had to make myself not cry in front of everyone. My aunt was anorexic as well and died a couple of years ago. It is a very tender subject for me, having watched her in horrible health for 40 years. I am so sorry you lost her so young. The way you wrote this was just beautiful. Really. Thanks for sharing those memories.

  2. Beautiful expression here. It makes my heart ache that she missed so many wonderful moments.

  3. So very beautifully written, Holly. And, oh! Those 30 years of misses are utterly heartbreaking. <3

  4. oH HOlly - so heartbreaking.
    beautiful job writing this.
    I know she is looking down from heaven proud of the wonderful woman & wife & mother & friend you are.

  5. Heartbreaking...thank you so much for sharing.
    big hug to you from a fellow Texan and runner.

  6. I don't believe any anorexic really believes that they have it, it's part of the illness, a distorted picture that they see in the mirror. This makes me so sad that you missed out on so much with her, and that her illness caused her to miss out on so much with you and your family.

  7. Love you lots and I know your Mom is so proud of you......

  8. From reading your blog all these years :o) I knew your mom passed away when you were young, but I had no idea she was anorexic. I'm so sorry and I know the thirty years of memories and life without your mom have been hard. She would be so proud of the wonderful wife, mother and woman you have become.

  9. I am so sorry Holly. your sweet mom...it is so so sad. big hugs to you.

  10. I had no idea, Holly. I am so sorry. Hugs to you.

  11. I'm so sorry for your loss, and all the misses since.

  12. Oh Holly. My heart just breaks reading this. I lost my mom at 32, which was way too young, but I can't begin to imagine losing her at 14. She would be so very proud of you. Thank you for sharing your story.


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