My Ugly Duckling Phase


Growing up, I always envied my younger sister, Janelle. She was the pretty one of the family – Swedish, flowing blonde hair, crystal blue eyes, straight and slender arms and legs and a body that was completely disability-free. Like a Greek goddess, she possessed an air of poise and perfection, and everyone commented on how beautiful she was.

“How’s that looker daughter of yours?” my mother’s uncle would ask on the phone. We all knew what daughter he was talking about.


“You’re so beautiful,” my grandmother whispered in her calm voice.

“Oh, look at her. She looks so good,” commented a friend from our church.

They, of course, followed up their praise with compliments for me, but they always somehow fell flat – a hollow, empty cry into the dark, void night. A comment here about my bravery during my latest surgery. A pat on the back there for my third consecutive semester of straight A’s. I graciously accepted, forcing the beginning of a faint smile across my face, but I felt an arrow pierce the heart of my burgeoning young womanhood.

*Look for part two next week! xoxo

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