This morning I was feeling very happy…pretty much smiling from ear to ear…
I was emailing back and forth with a colleague, Dr. Deah Schwartz , creator of the workbook and DVD, “Leftovers; The Ups and Downs of a Compulsive Eater“. She lives in California. I live in Ohio. Yesterday, during a phone conversation about the 2013 Binge Eating Disorder Association Conference, we accidentally discovered that we went to high school together on Long Island; we were even in the same homeroom at Hewlett High School! Big school, but such a small world! (Later, I’ll write about Deah and I sharing identical memories of school weigh-ins and excruciating back-to-school-clothes shopping trips.)
A few hours later, I’m reeling…
I called another high school friend; Frieda…to tell her all about Deah…and instead of sharing my fun news, I heard something shocking. Frieda told me she has just been diagnosed with Acute Leukemia…she is at City of Hope , feeling sick from chemo, in prep for a bone marrow transplant. In tears, she told me she can’t believe that one minute, two weeks ago, she had a back ache and now she is fighting for her life.
Frieda and I met in junior high and were camp counselors together during the summer. I’ve written about Frieda before in this blog. She’s my health conscious, “normal” eating friend who once asked me if her ‘addiction’ to kale and mangoes made her an emotional eater. It doesn’t :-). Every time I buy kale, I think of Frieda. She introduced me to it and taught me how to cook it. I got ‘addicted’ to it, too.
If asked to describe her, I’d say Frieda is one of the most content, grateful people I know. The daughter of holocost survivors, happily married with two great kids, she once told me day-to-day irritations all got put into perspective when her 5 year old daughter survived kidney cancer.
Still, for good reason, Frieda feared cancer. Her sister died of it a few years ago; first diagnosed at the very same age as Frieda is today.
Life turns in a dime. Today, I’m reminded to live in the moment; with gratitude and love…and with all those day-to-day irritations in perspective. This moment is what we’re guaranteed. It’s a gift!
I’m going to make Kale for dinner tonight. Frieda, my dear friend, I know you are in skilled healing hands…and you in my prayers…
Ellen Shuman is a Life Coach who specializes in empowering people who are working on emotional and binge eating recovery. She is the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Eating Disorder Treatment, President of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), and Co-Founder of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”, email@example.com