Tag Archives: Friendship

We Went to the Marriott and it was Beautiful

Dec. 31 “92” (9 years old)

I went to the New Year’s Eve parade. It was so fun! Amanda came with us too.

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Amanda and I.

Jan. 13 “93”

Today was a waste of time in school. But at night, at 8:00, I had a snowball fight with my family (except for Sean). I’ve had a nice day today.

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Me in the snow: sitting on top of my Dad’s buried car.

Jan 25 “93”

I have a wart on my foot. I hate it. I have to put some kind of medicine on it to make it feel better. But it looks very weird on me!!!

Jan. 30 “93”

I am sleeping over Amanda’s house today. We’re having the time of our lives! Amanda is so crazy tonight. We are laughing our heads off!

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Feb. 15 “93”

I went to the ice show “Beauty and the Beast”! It was very fun! They had snow cones in a Chip cup! Then me and Amanda went to the Marriott! It was beautiful! The ladies room smelled like bubble gum! Me and Amanda are going there on Sunday.

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Don’t Give Up: It’s a Wonderful Life

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A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog post called “The Giving Up Disease,” which is about my struggle with depression and recent trouble finding the help I need. The response to that post was unbelievably immense and touching.

When I wrote “The Giving Up Disease,” I felt like I was almost at the end of my rope. The response I received made me feel like George Bailey at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life. It brought me hope. It gave me joy. It helped me face the following days with courage.

It made me truly understand that no man is a failure who has friends.

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That line always makes me cry at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life. It’s funny, because my husband and I both have our moments in the movie that make us cry. He loses it when George’s brother arrives and deems George “the richest man in town.” I lose it when when George reads the note from Clarence.

That line, that no man is a failure who has friends, holds so much more meaning for me now.

Thank you to everyone who reached out to me with words of love and encouragement. You literally saved my life.

Below are some of the responses I received from friends and family members. For the sake of brevity, I am only sharing initial responses. Many of these responses led to in depth conversations about mental illness and personal struggles that were honestly some of the greatest conversations I’ve had in my life.

I will share these responses anonymously to protect everyone’s privacy. I share these responses to show that people really DO care and that you are not alone if you struggle with mental illness.

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Hey Lisa, I just read your blog and I just wanted to let you know that I care about you. I don’t know if it means much, but you and your husband are two of my favorite people. I know we don’t see each other enough, but every time I see you I am so excited to be near you and just hang with you because I truly think you are great. I don’t have any expertise or advice for you, but I am always around. And for what it’s worth, I am always glad to see you and/or hear from you. Take care!

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Lisa- even though we don’t know each other well- just know that people are rooting for you to find inner peace and solace.

Pat yourself on the back for having that kind of self awareness and hug yourself for being the kind of person who recognizes the unhealthy characteristics that don’t help you grow, and teaching yourself through baby steps how to develop into the person you want to be for yourself and for others.

It’s a huge transition, especially when muddling through this transformative time while depressed- I am not quite in the same boat, but I’m in a similarly reflective transition in my life and it’s fucking rough when my worst enemy is myself- so I understand on some level (although I respect and appreciate that your journey and struggles are your own!)

Just letting you know that you have cheerleaders giving you big high fives- on your good days and bad.

~

Oh how I relate to The Giving Up Disease. So many years of battling with myself. I recently made a major life change and while so much is better, I found (surprise/no surprise?) that this shit still follows me, like its a part of me. I have been having such a hard time finding my self worth and recently conceded, after 31 years and with some help, that I need to seek medication to balance myself out. Each of us who deals with this obviously has a different story, but in the end that feeling of being alone is the same for everyone. So reading your words expressing so many of my own thoughts, while heartbreaking, brings a tiny ray of comfort that, in some way, we’re not alone in this. I won’t give up if you don’t. Much love to you.

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Lisa I just read your article. Wonderful writing. I cried because I deal with it too. Like you, I’ve tried lots of different meds. Sometimes it helps, sometimes not so much. At times I feel like I’m all alone and its gonna be that way forever… Hang in there my friend. And I will pray that you and your brother can work things out.

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Just read your blog on depression and giving up things. Also about your relationship with your brother. I’m so glad you finally were able to get in to someone about your depression! Hope they change your meds to help you with the weight gain as I know how that feels. I don’t know if I ever told you that I take Dexadrine for my depression and then clonazapam, trazadone, and restoril to sleep. This has worked for me for 5-6 years and I lost 25 pounds. Lost another 35 by swimming year round at the local gym’s indoor pool. Then my doc moved to California to be near her only child. I was stuck with another doctor who took me off all of this last year. I said this has worked for me for years, and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it! His reasoning was that someday they probably will quit working. I knew he was just temporary and in a few months I got a lady nurse practitioner who works under a psychiatrist. Long story short, I’m finally back on what I was on as I had gained 30 pounds in 11 months. So I have lost the 30 plus 25 more as I have been eating healthy, dieting and been more active over the summer. They can give you dexadrine for depression that’s not responsive to other antidepressants. It’s called off label use. I take 10mg of extended release once in the am when I get up. The meds to sleep are because fibromyalgia pain keeps me from getting to sleep and to stay asleep.

If I was in your shoes with your brother I would write him a real letter about being sorry for whatever you have said to him that broke you apart from him, that you want to have a relationship with him and his family. Keep it simple, don’t make excuses and don’t bring up whatever caused the rift even if you were right and he was wrong. That’s how I would handle it and I hope I don’t sound preachy as unfortunately I can be pretty blunt. Love you and keep blogging! I admire people that can write so eloquently. Hugs girl!!!

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I just read your blog post and wanted to reach out with words of encouragement and prayer. I think I got a general sense from your post, but if you have specific prayer requests, please let me know. I don’t have any experience personally with depression, but I do know the challenges of family members, substance abuse, etc. I hope you can resolve the situation with your brother. It seems to be a major factor in your current state of mind. My experience is that God soften people’s hearts to hear your message when you’re ready to deliver it. For what it’s worth, I encourage you to reach out to him when you feel ready. Again, don’t want to be pushy/preachy. Only you know the details of the scenario. Will be praying for you! XOXO

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Good morning! I cried through most of your blog this morning. Don’t give up. I love you! This is the contact info. for the shrink my brother sees. I went to him myself and really liked him. I hope it helps!

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I wanted to let you know that I’m thinking about you and would love to get together if you are up to it. You can even just cry if you want to. The giving up disease sucks, but I don’t want you to give up.

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Hello old friend!

Although we haven’t spoken face to face in damn near 15 years, I’m glad we have been social media “friends”. It’s given me an opportunity to watch your life as you moved to the Midwest, got married, and made your triumphant return to the East Coast. I’m not a religious reader of Typical Broad, but when a headline grabs me, I do read them. I can relate to your recent posts over the past 8 or so months. I was having car problems at the same time you were and I shared in your anxiety as you drained your bank account to fix your car. I too struggle with my relationships with my family and friends. I also feel I live with depression, although I’ve never been clinically diagnosed or anything. The storm cloud that looms over my head is very real and can last weeks sometimes.

The reason I am reaching out to you now is because I found something that helps my depression and helps keep my weight in check (which at times is one of the contributing factors of said depression). Oh and it’s free and meets three times a week. It’s the work out group I go to. Every week I meet up with 300 plus other complete strangers to work out. The vibe and atmosphere of the whole thing is positive. You don’t slap five or shake hands, you hug people. It’s so fucking refreshing to have a complete stranger walk up, give you a big hug, look you in the eye and say, “I’m glad you’re here.” It’s positivity that I do not encounter in any other part of my life. The work out itself is very challenging, but at all times there are people rooting you on, for no other reason than because you showed up. There are people of all shapes and sizes present at the work out, so don’t feel like you’re to out of shape to attend this group. It’s for everyone. Most weeks this 40 minutes with complete strangers is the best part of my week, no lie. Tomorrow I’ll be leaving rain or shine. Please come with me tomorrow and check it out. Who knows, it could be the first step toward having a better handle on your feelings. I can pick you up at your home or we could meet somewhere first. Shoot me a text if you’re interested. I hope to see you tomorrow, and keep writing!!!

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I read your blog yesterday and didn’t really know how to reach out. I know you have a ton of support, but if you ever need me I’m here. I understand. I really do. I don’t talk to people a lot about how I’m feeling, but I go through a lot of the same. I’m so impressed and envious of your ability to reach out and be so open. Just know you have so many people in your life, and none of us will ever leave you high and dry. You’re one of my best friends and I love you like whoa.

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Please hold on, I know peace will come soon.

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I’ve struggled all my life with depression, anxiety, body dismorphism and eating disorders, but suicide has never been more than a fleeting thought. However, I had an uncle commit suicide 18 years ago, and 2 family members who have fought suicidal and homicidal thoughts more than once. Unless you’ve swam in those waters, you can’t begin to fathom the pain involved. It’s the only escape in sight. Of course, on the outside, it’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem, but that’s on the outside. My uncle killed himself a week before his youngest daughter had her first child. Another farmer we knew hung himself in the family barn in the midst of a months long drought. It rained at his funeral. Do you remember Elizabeth (name changed)? Her 34 year old son recently shot himself. Impending divorce, left 2 small kids. Elizabeth knew of the marital discord, but not his suicidal ideations, though the wife and his pastor did. Don’t know where I’m going with all this, I guess it’s the “you’re not alone” theme. But please know I’m keeping you close at heart and on my mind.

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Don’t give up! After 5 years of ineffective meds I finally found someone to listen and and prescribe, and it was worth not to give up (not that I wasn’t tempted). We all love you and are here if you ever need a loving place to land.

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Thanks for sharing this, Lisa.

Even though it wasn’t a relationship as close as brother/sister, I have had to do the “reconciliation e-mail” a few times in recent years to people whom I’ve had fallings-out with (is that the correct way to say it?).

The version of myself 5 or 6 years ago would’ve been pretty haughty about tucking my tail between my legs and extending an olive branch; I know I justified it to myself as “Well, I’m right and they’re wrong, and that’s all there is to it.” But after a while I realized that I’m not as infallible or beyond reproach as I once thought I was; part of growing up and getting older for me meant that I had to start recognizing these times from the past where I’ve spectacularly failed people and acknowledge to myself that I could’ve handled the situation better. Then, telling the other person as much in an e-mail or a letter or however was the next step. I just said how I felt at that moment, without trying to make too many excuses for myself. “I know that I said things to you that were horribly hurtful. It came from a place of hurt and confusion inside me, but that’s no excuse – I was way out of line to say those things and I’m so sorry. I hope you can one day forgive me.” Obviously, that’s a very condensed and anonymized version of how I used it in my situations, but I think you get it.

In my personal experience, it’s worked probably 75% of the time, at least to open up dialogue again and get things back to civil. For that 25% where it didn’t quite go as expected, I at least knew that I did all I could possibly do to make amends, and that it’s in the other person’s hands at that point.

So the point of all that is that with regards to “how” to approach your brother again, just remember that it’s totally true that “time heals all wounds,” but that’s only half of the story – you have to do some of the healing too, both for yourself and your brother as well. Please don’t take this as disrespectful, because I can’t figure a different way to say this – but if you’re looking for a sign, you’ll look forever; there might not ever be one. Sometimes you’ve gotta make your own way.

Good luck, you can do it for sure, and you have the strength to do it too.

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I have been reading your blog and you should be confident that you are a wonderful person. Identify yourself as a beautiful person, Christian, hard working, sincere, intelligent, and friendly. Those stand out about you to others. Focus on all your positive attributes. Don’t examine everything you do. When I think too hard about things that upset me, it can get my thoughts twisted. Power of positive thinking. Know that I have you in my prayers and you were always a person that kept me strong with your loving way of helping others. Remember your health is first and don’t too much on yourself. Sleep and keep stress to a minimum, because that is key. I love who you are.

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Thanks for writing the stuff you do. It helps knowing I’m not the only one who struggles and puts up a front to save face with people I don’t even give a crap about. I feel like life would have been so much easier before TV, movies, plays, and Facebook. Those happy people? They’re a lie. I don’t think anyone gets together with their whole family or all of their friends and truly laughs like they do in movies on holidays. I don’t think that level of happiness exists. It’s all fabricated. Hope you’re doing well.

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This last one is from my Mum. It’s hard to keep her anonymous for obvious reasons when you read this.  I’m sure she wouldn’t care if I shared what she wrote to me, so here it is.~

Lisa:

I just finished reading your latest post on Typical Broad.  I can’t even tell you how incredibly sad this makes me.  I know this relationship thing with Paul has really hurt you.  It hurts me as well.  You two were so close.  I think you should try putting some of this post in a letter and send it to Paul.  I’m sure he misses your relationship as well.

I am sorry I didn’t get to talk to you this week.  I think I have phone phobia.  Don’t know why.  Maybe Dad & I should come up there some night this week or maybe you can come here for the weekend so we can talk about this.

What kind of insurance do you have?  (Family member) may be able to help.  She is a psychologist. She has also suffered from depression herself.

Please don’t give up.  Let me know what we can do to help you.  We could come up some day and clean your house if it would make you feel better.  If we left here at 5am we could be there by 7 before you would leave for work.

Dad hasn’t read this yet.  He is still sleeping but I’m sure he wants to help too.  We love you so much ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

~

Dad came up to meet me for dinner one evening after I posted my blog. We had a long talk that was very encouraging. He urged me to look into a better health insurance option for 2016. He said even if it’s more expensive, it will be worth it in the long run and I wouldn’t have to deal with the run around that my current insurance company has forced me to go through (I found out from a friend in the industry that many places don’t take my current health insurance).

He also told me to take things one step at a time and not to stress myself out. Get plenty of sleep. Don’t worry about getting to the gym for the time being (I lamented to him that I hadn’t been to the gym in quite a while). Focus on your inner self. That’s what is important. Your exterior doesn’t matter.  What’s in your heart is what matters. You’re a beautiful person because you have a beautiful SOUL.

Also, put yourself first for a while. It’s not selfish to take care of yourself. Also, just because you’re not getting along with Paul now doesn’t mean it will be that way forever. A lot of siblings have disagreements, but then things are eventually resolved. Don’t worry about it. Focus on getting better first, then focus on making amends.

We’re here for you. We love you.

This is the basic gist of what Dad told me. As we left the restaurant he put his arm around me and reiterated that he and Mum were here to help me with anything. Even if it means going through and comparing insurance plans together for the next year. Whatever I need. He and Mum would be there.

~

If I missed anyone, I sincerely apologize. Some people talked to me in person, on the phone, or via my husband, so I don’t have a record of what they actually said. But I am so grateful for everyone’s support and love.

I feel like the richest woman in town.

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Fun With Dick and Jane

This is Part 2 of a series of throwback journals. Read Part 1.

Warning: Some mild sexual content (Don’t read this, Mum).

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4/8/01.

Fuck Dick. Fuck him for being so God damned obedient to scripture. Today he asked me if I “pleasure myself” and I said yes. How stupid can I be? I shouldn’t have even told him.

He started going off about how scripture says that it’s wrong and all. Well I don’t care. I don’t see the big deal. I’m not hurting anybody. Not even God.

SIN, SIN, FUCKING SIN. Everything to Dick is a sin.

He needs to loosen up. We went to a movie tonight and he kept trying to cover my eyes during the nudity. The movie showed only a little flesh. Not even significant parts. I just wanted to yell at him in the middle of the theater, “FUCKING STOP!”

Christ, I’m a big girl. I’ve seen a bunch of nude bodies in movies, paintings, and real life and I’m totally fucking over it. Looking at a body doesn’t even turn me on at all… it’s just a human body. It’s beautiful and all, but I’m not going to get all wet over it or anything. I simply see a human body as art. As a work of art by God.

Who is Dick to tell me what’s right and what’s wrong? I don’t know, but I can’t help but listen to him because I love him. My love makes me weak and therefore I barely argue with him. I just get depressed. Like I am right now.

I know he’s right. I know God’s right. But sometimes I don’t like what God likes. I can’t help it. Some rules were meant to not be abided by. I mean, why can’t God understand this?

4/19/01.

I’m so lonely. Nobody calls and I have practically nobody to call. Perhaps I’m exaggerating, but it seems like nobody likes me anymore. I’m so scared of losing everybody.

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1/1/2002. New Year’s Day.

My New Year’s Eve was depressing. Rebecca, Jenn, and Melissa didn’t invite me out with them because apparently I “don’t drink anymore, so [I] wouldn’t want to come.” I still drink, just not as much as I used to.

I don’t care. I just wanted to spend time with them. But they decided to not invite me out with them anyway. They’re so fake that they can’t even admit they dislike me. They’ll probably pretend everything is okay the next time they see me. Fucking cowards.

Then I got into an argument with Dick over this and he concluded that he was, quote, “Tired of [my] games. Bye.”

I cut myself a few times, took a few Sominex, and went to bed around 9:30. I didn’t care about the New Year. I didn’t care about watching the ball drop on TV. I didn’t care about eating Chinese food and staying up until midnight to ring 2002 in… I had nobody to experience it with anyway.

I hate everyone except my family. They’re the only ones who care. Not even God cares anymore.

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1/2/02.

I miss Dick. I want to call him, but I don’t know if I should because he’s the one who hung up on me. Therefore, he should call me back.

I have such a big pride issue. I feel like I will be giving in to some weakness I have for him and will therefore allow him to walk all over me. I don’t want that.

But I love him.

I think it is love. I imagine myself spending the rest of my life with him. I’m so scared that if I don’t spend the rest of my life with him then I won’t find anybody else and I’ll be lonely forever.

I don’t know what to do except cry. I don’t want to be alone. I’m so afraid to lose him. Will anybody ever love me like this again? Will I ever love again? What is love?

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1/7/02

Top Things That Are Bad About Dick:

  1. He’s pushy.
  2. More than half of my friends don’t like him and think I shouldn’t be with him.
  3. He doesn’t appreciate the things I appreciate.
  4. He criticizes me all the time.
  5. He has incredibly high expectations that I can’t live up to.
  6. He doesn’t know how to do anything domestic, such as laundry, ironing, or dishes.
  7. He can’t tolerate my mood swings.
  8. He thinks I’m trying to offend him when I wear something he doesn’t like.
  9. He has bad taste in movies and music.
  10. He doesn’t understand me.
  11. He is chauvinistic.
  12. His mother buys his clothes for him (he doesn’t know his own sizes).
  13. He drives crazy when he’s mad and won’t slow down when I ask him to.
  14. He gets mad over trivial things.
  15. He complains that I never call him, even though he knows I hate talking on the phone.
  16. He gets jealous easily.
  17. He thinks he should have more priority than my friends.
  18. I can’t act like myself around him.
  19. A lot of his friends are superficial, ignorant assholes.
  20. He gets mad when I don’t invite him out with my friends.
  21. He makes it a point to hang out with my friends without me, even though they’re MY friends.
  22. He gets horny and expects me to “take care of him,” because if I don’t, I don’t love him.
  23. He is trying to convince me to attend school somewhere nearby, even though I totally don’t want to.
  24. No one makes me feel as bad or guilty as he does.
  25. He can’t accept the fact that sometimes I have a bad day.
  26. He thinks I “can’t deal with life.”
  27. He’s arrogant.
  28. He thinks that just because a guy has a nice car and is attractive, he will have no problem getting a girlfriend.
  29. Whenever I tell him about another guy, the first two questions he asks are: “Is he bigger than me?” and “What kind of car does he drive?” Like it matters.
  30. He sees nothing wrong with women who dress like prostitutes, even though he wants me to dress appropriately for church.
  31. He thinks I’m “weird.”

Part 3 will be posted next Thursday, documenting when I made the best decision of my life: leaving Dick.

 

12 Times I Cried During Fried Green Tomatoes

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This weekend I was sans husband, which I always turn into an opportunity to watch a girly, sappy movie that he would NEVER watch with me. So as I was flipping through VUDU, I happened upon the Academy Award nominated film Fried Green Tomatoes, and was like, OMG YES.

While I was watching, I thought, This will be something I could write about: 5 Tear-Jerking Moments in Fried Green Tomatoes. Which was going fine until I burst into tears 12 FREAKING TIMES. (I know, I know. Typical broad…)

Here are the 12 moments from Fried Green Tomatoes that moved me to tears. (Spoiler alert for those who haven’t seen the film. But if you haven’t seen it I’m totally judging you right now. GET ON THAT.)

1. When Buddy dies.

This scene sets the tone for Fried Green Tomatoes being the most heart-wrenching movie EVER.

2. When Idgie and Ruth throw food from a train to a shanty town full of hungry people.

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The looks on the faces of kids catching the food totally did me in.

3. When Ruth leaves her abusive husband.

Watching Idgie, Julian and Big George protect Ruth from her abusive husband and help her escape led to ALL THE FEELINGS. This is such a progressive scene. You have to understand that this movie takes place in the Deep South during the 1930s, where domestic violence was likely tolerated and ignored because it’s “a couple’s business.” But the true friendship and love from Idgie, Julian and Big George give Ruth the courage she needs to leave Frank.

4. When Ninny Threadgoode tells Evelyn about her special needs son.

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Ninny explains to Evelyn how a doctor encouraged her to send her son Albert to be raised in a special home because he would be “too much of a burden” to raise. Instead of being a burden, Ninny says that Albert ended up being the joy of her life.

5. When Idgie and Ruth show kindness to Smokey Lonesome.

Smokey Lonesome is a homeless transient who doesn’t have a friend in the world. That is until Idgie and Ruth show him (likely) the only kindness he’s ever known by giving him a place to stay and treating him with dignity.

6. When Buddy Jr. loses his arm.

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This scene is so reminiscent of the initial scene depicting Buddy’s accidental death, so it’s hard to not become teary-eyed. And I just can’t stand to see a hurt kid cry. I used to make fun of my mother for crying when one of us kids was hurt. Now I’m the same way. Oh, genetics.

7. When Evelyn finds out about Mrs. Threadgoode’s house being torn down.

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Evelyn learns from Mrs. Otis’ daughter that Mrs. Threadgoode’s house has been condemned and torn down. Nobody tells Mrs. Threadgoode, because they don’t want to break her heart. But Evelyn knows this is wrong. Elderly people shouldn’t be treated like children. Later, Mrs. Threadgoode finds out about her house and is hurt that nobody told her about it.

8. When Ruth dies of cancer.

Okay so I had to straight up stop the movie at this point to ball my eyes out. This scene is so heartbreaking and real. It reminds me of when my mother lost her best friend, Anne, to cancer. She was only 46 when she died, which may be about the age Ruth is when she passes in the film. Ruth leaves behind a son who was about the same age as Anne’s daughter. There is nothing right about a person dying so young.

Love never dies. No matter how long it’s been since you’ve lost someone, they are still alive in your heart. Ruth’s death in Fried Green Tomatoes reminded me of that.

9.  Evelyn’s quote about how she’s changed because of Mrs. Threadgoode.

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“Someone helped put a mirror up in front of my face. And I didn’t like what I saw one bit. And you know what I did? I changed. And that someone was Mrs. Threadgoode.” Did I mention how fantastic Kathy Bates is in this film? Her character comes such a long way and I cheered her on throughout the entire film.

10. When Evelyn believes Mrs. Threadgoode is dead.

When Evelyn mistakenly believes Mrs. Threadgoode is dead, she says to the nurse taking down Mrs. Threadgoode’s things: “She may just be another patient to you, but she was my FRIEND! And I LOVED HER!” Oh man. *sniff*

11. When Evelyn tells Ninny, “You’re the reason I get up every morning.”

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I love Evelyn and Ninny’s unlikely friendship.

Do yourself a favor in this life: Befriend an elderly person. They’re the wisest people on earth, they’re often pretty funny, and they have the BEST stories.

One of my first jobs was working with the elderly serving lunch at local senior centers and delivering meals on wheels.  This moment between Evelyn and Ninny made me miss working with the elderly. Little old ladies and gents would often tell me what a difference I made in their day without realizing what a difference they made in MY day. What a blessing that was.

12. The ending.

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People may die, but love never dies. The note Evelyn finds on Ruth’s grave at the end of the film reinforces this. So many hearts.

The novel Fried Green Tomatoes is also fantastic. It’s been many years since I’ve read it, but I remember liking it very much.

So if you haven’t already, watch Fried Green Tomatoes or read the novel if you’re in the mood for a wonderful story and a good cry!