Friday, September 11, 2015

Ruthie June

On the cusp of the anniversary of 9/11, I found myself rather introspective. The day started out with some terrible news: the boyfriend of Sandy, one of my co-workers, had a stroke and died instantly the day before. I've know Sandy for over twenty years. Despite being extremely attractive, bright and personable, she always seemed to attract "different" guys. This last boyfriend had been her steady for about three years. I recalled meeting him a couple of times at work-social events. It seemed that Sandy, after years of searching (she was divorced many years ago), had finally found "the one." They were apparently planning a future together. So sad.

I was cruising around Facebook when I came across a woman I knew back in high school: Ruthie June. Ruth was a year older than me and was, for lack of a better description, quite a package. She was cute, had a great figure, was smart and extremely funny. To top it all off, she had a funny nasal voice which just seemed to make her even more adorable.

Ruth graduated from my high school and I immediately lost track of her. I spotted her a year or a few years later and could not believe my eyes. The girl who had the long, tapered killer body was gaunt beyond belief. Upon seeing her I immediately felt like crying. She had been one of the first women I knew that appeared to have anorexia nervosa. We are talking about the late 1970's here -- a time when the disease seemed to expand among women in the United States. The death of pop singer Karen Carpenter in 1983 really brought the disease to national attention.

Anyway, I have not seen Ruthie June since that horrible day in the late 1970's. However, earlier this evening I was able to track her down on Facebook. The good news is, she has had a successful career in the medical and teaching professions and appears to have lived a good life. I felt pretty damn good seeing a picture of her that reminded me more of that beautiful girl I knew in high school and not the dangerously thin girl I saw a few years later.

As I wrote this post, the September 10 morphed into September 11. With so much sadness surrounding this day, I am glad that I found something tonight to remind me of the good part of this life -- and to remind me to not take each day for granted, for as we know, our life can change in an instant.


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