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    Posted June 22, 2010 by
    Cleveland, Ohio
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Anniversary of a death

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    Sisterly Love


          "Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me".  It's a common phrase we have all heard when growing up, but just how true is this statement?

         Children today grow up in a world where they are brutally honest, a time when bullying and unkind words are not so uncommon.

         It all began for Mary, my younger sister, with a few hurtful words in grade school.  At the time, Mary was rather overweight for her age and struggling with her own self esteem issues. An assignment for a class was to come up with some type of commercial to present in front of other students.  One student suggested that the group do "Slim-Fast", with Mary being the person before their diet, and another, very slender girl being the result after the diet.  Mary took such words to heart, and this was the beginning of what would be an extremely long battle with the eating disorder  Bulimia.

         Over the years, Mary tried to hide her bulimia and spiraling depression.  She would constantly deny the fact that she even had a problem, and began to engage in a pattern of lying and even shoplifting.  Mary went to intense therapy on a weekly basis, but continued to deny everything.  Her relationships with family and friends became strained, until finally Mary was hospitalized due to her condition.  She had passed out in a grocery store because there were not enough nutrients in her body.

         After endless hours of therapy and a final admittance to her problem, it was decided that my sister was headed to Portland, Oregon to undergo intense hospitalization and therapy through the Kartini Clinic.  After her  two month-long stay, it seemed that things were starting to look up and Mary was beginning to fight back.  She became happy once again, and was building back relationships that were beginning to fray.

         All seemed to be getting much better until December of 2007.  Mary, a high school senior at this time, came home from taking her final exams and took a nap downstairs in the basement.  Our mom came down an hour or two later to find her unresponsive and already removed from this world.  Despite the fact that she was doing so much better, her heart had gone into a fatal dysrhythmia.  All the years of damage had proven too much for her body to take, and it just shut down.

          One of the hardest things in this world is losing someone you love. For me, it was my only sister.  Today, our family has dedicated a backyard water garden to Mary.  We decided to do this because she loved to go sit out there everyday, and saw the true beauty in nature.  My parents also go do presentations at our grade school for the middle school children on Mary's story and the dangers of hurtful words and actions.

         Every year, on December 20, our family goes to visit her grave site, and eats at her favorite restaurant.  It's just a nice way to keep her memory alive, and know that we are always thinking about her.

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