It's hard to come from a family that wants to devour each other. In the animal kingdom, it is an acceptable practice: a form of natural selection to thin out the herd. In my family, it was done for sport. I grew up watching my family bicker, argue, and back-stab each other.
At twenty-three, I gave birth to my first child, born in the middle of summer. Typically, women are ecstatic when they give birth, especially to their firstborn. I was not. Due to my situation, I did not leave the hospital with my baby. In fact, the moment the hospital staff told me I would not be taking my son home was the moment I fell into a deep, dark place. It would take me years to get out of it.
During the Christmas season, my mind wanders to my mom, Patti. In 1996, she got the worst news of her life. She had cancer, and there was nothing anyone could do for her. She was given three to six months, but she told the doctors she would survive longer because she wanted to make it to Christmas. Seven months later, at 7 a.m. on Christmas morning, she passed away. My mom struggled with obesity her whole adult life, and on her death bed she called me to her and made me promise I would start doing something about my weight and not wait until it was too late like she had. Of course, I made my promise to her, and I meant it.