Photography and Text by Remy Haber
Sanna’s eyes tell a story. A story of faith and love, a story of hunger and emptiness. For someone her age, he eyes have seen more than most ever should. While most teenagers measured their years in the thrill of growing some inches or watching their frames change from diminutive to well-rounded, she measured them in how many ribs she could count when she stared in the mirror. Eating – and not eating – was punishment for sins she couldn’t fathom, but ones for which she was always accountable.
Sanna tried to extinguish her demons on her own. “I’m determined, I’m healing,” she would say, trying perhaps to convince herself more than anyone else. But even on the days she could convince herself that her disorder had crumbled like the pastries she hid in the pantry, it had all but disappeared.
She struggled silently, though. For all the pain Sanna felt, she desired to heal those around her. As she saw it, self-love could not be achieved until those around her, too, loved themselves. And when Andy walked into her life, this was no different.
Andy had watched Sanna for years, quietly loving her from afar. Neither he nor she knew that they both shared a similar past, fraught with pain, and once they came together they taught each other to love. Not just the good parts of one another, like Sanna’s beautiful eyes and biting sense of humor, or Andy’s warm heart and handsome face. Rather, they learned to love the broken parts of one another, the ones that were healing and the ones that might never be fixed. The ribs in the mirror, the crumbled pastries, and the undying compassion for others. Love, to Sanna and Andy, meant being accepting of self and other, perhaps the best healing of all.
Photography and Text by Remy Haber, Copyright 2016.
About The Author: Remy Haber is a senior majoring in History at the University of Pennsylvania. Class of 2016.