Compassion

‘Are these seats taken?’ He smiled kindly. ‘No, ma’am.’ His wrinkled hands are bruised. His bride, in a cable knit cardigan and white Keds, sits across the aisle. It’s a full flight.’

“I opened the pretzels for my daughter as he fiddled with the slick, shiny wrapper. I couldn’t decide how quickly I should offer my help. It was clear his violently shaking hands were not able to open this bag. ‘These are not senior friendly,’ he says. I know nothing more about him, but I need him to know this.”

‘You’d be SO MUCH prettier if you lost weight.’ I was 10. My siblings got juice, while I was only offered water. When we got into fights, ‘fatty’ was their low blow.’

“With a disgusted look, my own trainer asked, ‘Why are you SO overweight?’ I felt like I was just punched in my (fat) gut. I cancelled my gym membership and dropped out of high school. Ashamed and embarrassed, I just wanted to crawl in a hole and cry. I always felt in competition with my siblings.”

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