I met Lee Ann during Freshman Orientation at my second school, eleven years ago. We shared the occasional lunch and the occasional friend, worked at the same non-profit organization, and indulged in a few deep-type conversations in the years after we met. Lee Ann was even part of the skating “party” (a threesome) after which Pete and I connected. (I think of her as my fairy godmother.)
But for all the ways our lives had intersected, it wasn’t until recently that either of us began to understand how our stories had been so similar, how God was opening her and me in the same ways by different methods. When Lee Ann contacted me to ask for a shoot when I was in NoVa two weeks ago, My heart spun with what she shared.
She’d gotten a tattoo, the exact tattoo I’d considered getting, in the exact same place I’d considered getting one, for the exact reason I would have gotten it. And she wanted a shoot with a bit of depth, a bit of risk, and a bit of sensuality. She wanted it to symbolize how she has been learning to love her body – a body that betrayed her both with Lyme disease that nearly killed her and with simply being a woman’s body in the strict culture in which she was raised.
Lee Ann is an inspiration to me. She is taking one day at a time, living right where she is, carefully working around her health issues and adjusting to real life after years in a emotionally, spiritually abusive situation. She is one of the funniest people I know, and one of the most resourceful. She loves tea, warm blankets, and simple, home-cooked meals. She calls herself “the Martha Stewart of sick people,” and I giggle, because she just IS, creating a whole new lifestyle for herself, right where she’s landed.