Tag Archives: death

Easter: Terrifying Children with the Resurrection Story Since Zero A.D.

**************************************************************************************
Disclaimer: If you’re a devout Christian who takes offense when folks poke a little fun at Jesus (and baby Jesus, and the zombie Jesus), please skip this post. I don’t seek to offend or upset anyone in any way. I do not delight in your discomfort. But I’m possessed (
**************************************************************************************

My soon-to-be-kindergartner currently attends a Christian preschool. It came highly recommended and more attractive secular options did not present themselves when I went searching. Prior to enrollment, I’d explained that my family was non-religious (not to be confused with anti-religious, just not subscribing to, or practicing, any particular faith) and they assured me that was fine; they welcomed all faiths, beliefs and non-beliefs. And because our daughter was known to have a temper – and had once thrown a tantrum so colossal that, after 20 minutes, my husband wearily addressed her with, “The power of Christ compels you!” – we joked that maybe she could use a little Jesus. Just a little.

Over the course of her school year, however, staff changed, procedure changed, direction changed, and things got progressively more and more churchy. By Halloween we were told the children could dress up for a “fall festival” in the classroom, but only superhero, princess or animal costumes would be allowed. When I asked a staff member if it was okay for a child to dress as a bat, or a spider, so long as they didn’t cry “Hail Satan!” (which they did not think was funny), I was told, “That’s fine. Just as long as it’s not demonic or anything.”

Now, by this time my daughter was firmly engrossed in her pre-K curriculum, enjoying the hell out of her friends and teachers, and absolutely thriving. And considering I’ve been relatively happy with the staff overall, I couldn’t justify pulling her out of school just because, from time to time, a couple people said something that caused my eyes to roll heavenward (with a “Sweet Jesus, are you kidding me?”). We live in Arizona. Someone says something stupid and/or intolerant every 27 seconds. You learn to not sweat the small, silly stuff. And I didn’t. But that was before Dead Bloody Jesus.

Happy Bloody Easter! Where my eggs at?

Happy Bloody Easter! Where my eggs at?

Every day for the last several weeks my sweet five year old daughter has been coming home talking about “dead bloody Jesus.” She’s obsessed. The way all kids are obsessed with things dead and bloody; because it’s scary. “You know how Jesus got the blood on him and died? We watched two movies about it.” And, “Jesus was dead and bloody with a cross. Isn’t that sad? But we’re supposed to be happy.” And, “dead bloody Jesus” this, and “dead bloody Jesus” that. Yay Easter! Terrifying children with the resurrection story since zero A.D.

So, the other night she had a dream about Dead Bloody Jesus (of course she did) but, “It was okay! Me and my friends gave him a shot and he was all better!” And that, good sirs and madams, is indeed great news! Because I have to take this child in for immunization shots next week, and you know the old saying…….if it’s good enough for Dead Bloody Jesus…..

Happy Easter.

Advertisements

Dear Amanda

4/10/09

“Niki,

I wanted to let you know I did make it back from Texas. Was planning on heading back to the old rehab place but Michael is filing for an emergency hearing for full custody of Aidan. With all that has happened and my mom testifying against me chances are he will be granted custody of him. My mom was the one who emailed him to let him know all the problems we’ve been having.

I can’t even come up with enough energy to cry about it anymore. Maybe he is the better parent for Aidan right now. I don’t have a leg to stand on or a really good excuse.

I’ve been fighting my ex for almost 6 years now. Three years for the divorce and three and a half of Aidan’s life for custody. I can’t remember not fighting him for something, like my life back. Now it seems like he finally found the weak link in my chain and is going to take everything.

I’ll try to call but I’m not up to much except sitting with Aidan for the next week or so before some judge decides my life. I’m not ready for this or even sure how I will even get through this if it does go wrong. Starting over alone at 30 isn’t sounding too damn appealing right this minute. I’ll let you know what happens and hopefully it won’t be as bad as it seems right now.

Amanda”

5/24/13

Dear Amanda,

That was the last email you ever wrote me. And this reply comes very late. Four years late. Much too late, as you know, because I found out yesterday that you are dead.

Scott recognized your picture in a Facebook group attached to a profile with a different name. He clicked on that and discovered it was your mother, and the picture of you was in memoriam. It didn’t take him long afterward to find your obituary in the local paper, dated November 2012. It said you had succumbed to a “lifelong illness” and I knew immediately that meant you had drank yourself to death.

I wrote your mother and she confirmed my suspicion. Told me you’d passed away on Thanksgiving. My first thought was: “Oh God, her poor little boy.” My second: “Could I have made a difference? Could I have helped her?”

Because I didn’t help you. I didn’t think I could. And as you began to take more and more prescription drugs, lose more and more of your grip on reality and spin more and more out of control, I chose to distance myself. It’s not the first time I’ve quietly bowed out of the life of a drug addict and/or alcoholic; my best friend, my first husband….the list is long. But what I loved about those people is also what usually causes me grief, and a touch of guilt, like I failed them. Like I failed you.

And I know better. But my head knows lots of things my heart never will.

What I wish to tell you is that I love you. That I will never forget you helping me pick out my wedding dress, gifting me the best housewares, giving me a crib, changing table, playpen, stroller, alongside so many other items I hardly needed to shop for my baby (and you had the very BEST taste), our small adventure crossing into Mexico, those months we spent becoming close, before you started slipping away, I remember all of it. That your son and your dog Kujo were the kings of your world. That you were whip-smart, beautiful and so funny.

And I feel guilty as hell for having avoided you in the last years of your molten lava mess of a life.

But not only do I know there’s little I could have done for you (I’m out of the “saving people” business, leavin’ that one to Jesus, I guess), I also know that I was at high risk of enabling you – or, much worse, being sucked down with you. My propensity for self-destruction is a forever threat. My distant past is riddled with it, and ever since I became a mother I have worked terribly hard to remain as healthy a human being as my demons will allow. That means being cautious about those I get close to, and distancing myself from those that invite the “cray-cray.”

Still, I am so damn sorry your own demons ate you alive. Sorry for you, sorry for your family and my heart absolutely breaks for your son. And the news of your demise rattles me most deeply because I know if it weren’t for a small tweak of genetic wiring, and a few twists and turns of fate, your story and your end could very well have been my own.

I feel like I should be learning something from this, but as yet I’ve no idea what. I still think it’s a good idea for me to keep destructive peeps at arm’s length. But whatever the point is (assuming there’s a stinking point to all the pain in all the universe), I wish you peace. I hope you know peace now and that you’re properly prepared for your next adventure. For I believe in reincarnation, and I believe the name of that cyclical game is called “Don’t fuck it up next time.”

And you would have laughed at that.

Love Eternal,
Niki

1885_40544144590_8756_n