A PROMISE TO MOM (Based on a True Story)
"Remember, Carolyn," you must get a good education, my dear." Never fight inside the school or on school grounds." Promise me, my dear." Mrs. Hankins reminded her daughter.
"I won't," promised Carolyn in a reassuring manner.
Mrs. Hankins just didn't realize the excruciating agony she imposed upon her daughter. From as early as she could remember, she made Carolyn promise to get a good education. She feared the fact that if Carolyn got expelled from school, she would never be able to finish.
Mrs. Hankins was proud of the fact that her daughter never retaliated at Martin
Elementary School. Every day the students would shamefully taunt her because of her size. She was tall for her age, and yes, very plump. Carolyn's legs were always the objects of jokes and her obese body, dimpled here and there, gave her enemies a lot to talk about.
"Aaw, look at Ms. Fatty!" "Here comes Big Bubba." they daily chided her unrelentingly.
"'Would you like to go out to dinner, Fatso? Want to order three double whoppers? Liz Beckham would ask. It was her classic.
"Liz, I've told you over and over, "My mom does not want me to fight, and especially in school or on the school grounds." retorted Carolyn.
Carolyn remained true to her promise. Not only was she taunted, but hit on,
sometimes scratched and the recipient of blows and bruises which were evident on her body. Mrs. Hankins would go to the school and plead with the principal and teachers to ask the girls to stop hitting on Carolyn. If they happened to follow her home, Mrs. Hankins would come and and yell at them, "Leave my daughter alone!"
Beatings and mockery and being the butt of jokes became Carolyn's life. Just making it through a day at school was a real task. Every day she kept in mind her promise to her mother, and every day she was tortured more and more.
UNTIL....the seventh grade.
Carolyn had made it to the seventh grade. She was proud to be in Pinnington Jr. High. The moment she walked into her new school, she had a sense of new beginnings. She just knew her life could not longer be the same.
"Hey, Big Bubba! We see you passed to the seventh-grade. Did you crawl on your
elephant legs to get here? rang out Liz. It was the same Liz that kept her nose in the air, the same Liz that had given her so many licks she could never count them.
It was the same Liz who had made her life miserable and everyone in elementary school was afraid to confront her.
"Not today! Carolyn told herself, "And never again."
"Fatso, you better get use to your general whipping," mocked Diane. "Girl, you are a shame and disgrace to the human race- looking like some elephant who got run
over," she continued.
"Liz, you know my mother doesn't want me to ever fight inside the school or on the school grounds. I have told you this for the last six years."
"Baby girl," slung back Liz, "You gonna receive your induction whipping to the seventh grade today. Just wait till school is out."
"I can't fight on the school grounds," repeated Carolyn, "but I will see you after school."
The barrage of taunts and directed jokes about Carolyn continued, but Carolyn blocked them all out that day. She was tired of being the loser. Today, she
concentrated her mind on what she planned to do after school.
When the bell rang, all of Liz's friends gathered around her. They really looked up to the medium-sized girl who could fight like a boy. Nobody dared make Liz angry. Nobody!
As the students exited the building, Liz passed by Carolyn's locker and poked her in her side with a hardback book. "You ain't seen nothing yet!"
"And neither have you!" said Carolyn angrily. Already she was mentally and emotionally preparing for her long overdue emancipation from the teasing and taunting which had been her lot since Kindergarten.
The two girls left the school yard. Liz continued boasting of what she would do, and her friends joined in hooting out, "Yeah! Yeah! Fatso!"
Caroline looked over her shoulders. She was no longer on the school's premises. She had walked a good half of a block away from it, and now she grabbed Liz with her strong arms. Taking her down to the pavement in one quick move, she sat on top of her, and began pounding her head into the pavement while reminding her of the past.
"There will be no more of your jokes. There will never be any more of your fighting me. If you think I am going to continue being your punching bag the rest of my life, you are wrong." she told the body-nosed Liz.
Carolyn could see that her strength was far greater than Liz's, and there was the possibility she might kill her if she didn't get up. After she finished her speech, she released her. Liz's friends gathered around her. Nobody spoke.
"Anybody else need some help in recognizing that I am not going to put up with your teasing anymore?" Carolyn screened them.
Nobody spoke. They helped Liz up from the ground. One side of her head was already swelling.
"Don't mess with me anymore!" was the message Carolyn gave them with authority.
From that day on, Carolyn was free. Nobody in the school dared tease, taunt,or even try to make her the object of their joking. Instead some of the girls sought
her friendship. Actually, they were afraid not to.
Now this story is based on a true story. Carolyn, herself, shared it with me a long time ago. I wonder how many other obese children, teenagers and adults have gone through similar experiences?
Obesity poses more than just health problems. Obese children become the brunt of unkind jokes and rudeness. Many become misfits because of their genetic or inherited tendency to be obese. Some come from families where most of the family members are obese. Others have very slow metabolisms that causes large amounts of fat to be stored in their bodies.
Obesity is a precursor of diabetes, heart trouble, shortness of breath, and high blood pressure. It can also lead to early death. I have witnessed this im my family.
Obesity is no fun. do you really think people enjoy being obese and wearing clothes which must be purchased for overweight people? Many times these people are passed over by employers who are seeing "the look" in a potential employee. Some employers see them as high risks. The major organs, the heart, kidneys, liver and lungs, over time, become weakened. Obesity is not good.
Is there a cure for obesity? Does surgery work for everyone? What is working?
Those are some questions to ponder. I know of some people who underwent surgery. Their stomachs were made smaller and afterward they were forced to eat 4 or 5 small meals rather than 3 regular sized meals. They have lost their desired weight, and most claim they are truly happy, however one of them died during the surgery.
Working with a doctor, I believe, can help those who are faced with this problem. Eating restricted diets and cutting down on portion sizes will also produce good results along with drinking 6-8 glasses of water and engaging in a good exercise program. An effort must be put forth to shed those excess pounds. A longer life and better health will be the sure results.