The Day of the Lucky Three-leaf Clovers

A field of clovers

Photo Credit: Shannon L. / Found on Yelp, Filoli: Photos

[Throwback Thursday — Originally published April 2014]

After spending a few hours playing outside with my son, once we were getting tired and I was trying to prepare myself for the fight to get him back inside, I sat down on the ground. I glanced at the grass all around me and realized most of it wasn’t actually grass; I was surrounded by clovers. (How I’ve lived here for about a year and just figured that out, I’m not quite sure.) So, while I was letting my son soak up the last bit of direct sunlight for the day, I started searching for the all-elusive four-leaf clover.

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I Did Not “Kill My Baby”

[Throwback Thursday — Originally published March 2014]

It astonishes me that so many people throw these words around: baby killer. Of course, these are typically the same people who find and advertise studies that say most women regret their abortions, or are intensely depressed after said abortion, or any other (usually false) statistic they can throw at you.

"Women DoNT Regret Abortion"

Photo Credit: Dave Fayram / Found On: thinkprogress.org

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Real Addict vs. Imaginary Addict?

[Throwback Thursday — Originally published March 2014]

I’ve had several people tell me I’m “not really an addict” in the past few weeks. Some were strangers, others were old friends, a few were barely acquaintances, and one was a very close family member. And their reasoning? Because NA did not work for me; because I don’t work the traditional 12 steps and have pursued my recovery along a different route.

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My Christmas

I’m going to tell you about my Christmas.

I’m not religious. At all. Whatsoever. I’m actually agnostic. It’s not that I hardcore don’t believe, but, well, I don’t believe either. If that makes sense.

In other words, I’m not ruling out that there is a god. Maybe there is. It is a possibility, yes. But I haven’t experienced this god, so I don’t believe. Yet. Maybe I will someday, maybe not. But right now I simply don’t.

I don’t have anything against you if you believe. I think it’s great — I think religion can be life-saving for many people. Just don’t try to push your beliefs on me and we’ll be the best of friends.

I’m not religious but I celebrate Christmas.

Why? Is it for tradition, or family, or the love in the air?

No. It’s for the motherfucking presents.

There, I said it.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. I still have traditions and still enjoy the love in the air. But really, I simply adore to give my loved ones presents. And I know I can do this any time of the year, but I choose to do it on Christmas.

I’m one of those people you hate, because I’ve turned your sacred holiday into a consumerism one.

And you know what? That’s my prerogative. That’s how I do things.

I like shopping for my son (and others) and hiding the presents and wrapping the presents and seeing the look of joy on his (and others’) face(s) when he (and they) tear into the wrapping paper. I like wasting paper, since we just throw it out anyway. I like spending too much money and getting shit people don’t need, because when else are they going to get it?

Before I had my own family, my Christmas used to be about family. Going here and going there and waking up at the asscrack of dawn and rushing out of the house without my coffee.

I hated it. I hated fitting in every single person in one damn day. I hated sitting there, poor, watching them open gifts from every single other person but me. I hated the awkwardness of seeing people I hadn’t for a year and telling them what I was up to and getting judgmental glances.

So I stopped it. That may make it sound like Christmas is for me, but it’s not. It’s for my son.

I celebrate Christmas to spoil my son with everything he doesn’t need and everything he wants, which may or may not involve seeing a few other family members as well, on our own time.

This is my Christmas.

My Christmas is going out on Black Friday, because why shop on another day if I’ll probably find better deals on this one?

My Christmas is donating one (or more) of those toys to a toy drive for kids in need.

My Christmas is going through all of my son’s old toys and donating half of them, too.

My Christmas is waiting to get a tree until the middle of the month, because why keep that enormous thing in the house for more than two weeks?

My Christmas is slowly, over the course of a month, wrapping way too many presents and keeping them hidden from my toddler and somehow finding places for them all under the tree.

My Christmas is waking up whenever the hell we wake up — sometimes early, sometimes late — and opening our presents immediately.

My Christmas is taking some time to let my son play with his new stuff, and enjoying it with him.

My Christmas is realizing that so many other people don’t have it as good as we do, and hoping for them that some day soon they will.

My Christmas is then, after we’re settled with all our nice new stuff, calling our family to see if they want to see us (if we’re not too late).

My Christmas is materialistic. I admit it. But it’s also about my family. Not yours. Not your traditions, not your religion. It’s mine.

Ironically, this is not my photo. (Photo Credit: Alain Matthes / texexample (CC BY 2.5)

Ironically, this is not my photo.
(Photo Credit: Alain Matthes / texexample (CC BY 2.5) )

Decisions on Death

I had my dog put down yesterday.

On one of my best friend’s birthdays.

My son was in the room with us, but I regret not reminding him to say goodbye. He thinks Coco is sleeping at the doctor’s.

I had them make me a clay pawprint.

And I can’t help but wonder whether I did it out of convenience or necessity.

Coco was 16 years old. She lived a long, full life for a dog. There was never a dull moment. She had a glorious time, and I loved her with everything in me.

But the last few months were hard, even when there was nothing wrong. The last two days were the hardest.

I told myself I was prepared. I told the vet I was prepared. How on Earth was it possible that I was so prepared?

I wasn’t. I completely shut down and lost it once the euthanization happened. I’m pro-euthanasia. But this just seemed horrible.

She had no say. What if she wasn’t ready to go? What if I acted too hastily? What if she would have pulled out of it? She’s pulled out of everything else, after all.

I can’t help but wonder if I did it for her comfort or mine.

It’s hard work to take care of a dog. It’s something I’ve been struggling with lately, especially with my mental health going all haywire.

It’s even harder to take care of an aging dog with seizures. What if she still had good years left in her, but I cut them short because I was so hasty to be rid of the responsibility?

Would I have done the same thing to my son? To stop his suffering? Was she even suffering?

I know she was. Her last two days were spent seizing and sleeping, seizing and sleeping. But she seemed so alert and . . . okay otherwise. She seemed like Coco, but more loving. Maybe she knew what I was thinking.

I think it’s going to take a long time to get rid of this guilt. Part of me knows I did the right thing, but another part — a part I cannot control — will always wonder. Did I do this to alleviate her pain or my own?

Am I wrong, either way?