Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday - the day late for a reason edition

I feel like I have been doing an inordinate amount of apologizing lately.

I spent most of yesterday hiding in my hole, and when I peeked my head out for a second, I immediately realized why hiding was a better idea. There was so much terrible awful filling my newsfeed on Facebook that I logged off.

In fact, I haven't really been online much since Friday. It's been nice, if I am being honest.

We are so busy this time of year with Halloween that I hardly get a second to think straight, let alone sit down and write anything coherent.

I woke up this morning and decided to write though, for however long I can, before I have to get to my EMDR appointment. PTSD can suck my ass.

I'm sitting in a coffee shop right now trying to get this done.

Of course, on the way to the coffee shop this morning, I passed my mom's dog. Her actual dog. It was the first time I'd seen her in over a year, even though the wonderful family that took her in lives fairly close to us. She was out for a morning walk, and I had to do a double take. Then the lump formed in my throat and I was fighting back tears.

Because it's not just about the dog.

Grief is complicated. I could attempt to explain it to you guys, but I honestly feel like so much of this is just stuff that you have to live. Or not. If you didn't have to encounter this particular version of grief, I would truly be happy for you. It's not simple with my mom, but very little ever was. I had no logical reason for thinking that things would be different now, and yet for some reason I allowed myself to believe that. I know better now, even if it took seeing a cocker spaniel out for her morning walk to drive it home.

Diabetes can kiss my ass. It can get all up in there and suck it.

Little boy has been running high, which makes sense because he's on the tail end of a cold. That's literally all it takes to make me flinch. His numbers aren't scary high, but they are high enough to keep me on edge.

Having kids is stressful enough.

Having one with a potential life changing condition like this one, terrifying.

There's really no other word for it.

We are handing out full sized comic books for Halloween instead of candy this year. It started as a nerd solidarity thing, but now I am grateful that my husband came up with the idea because I hate, hate, hate trying to keep candy in the house and constantly telling him that he can't have it. He's five.

He understands, sort of, as much as he possibly could.

But he's still five, and he should be allowed to be a normal five year old and go trick or treating or snag some from the family stash and not have everyone in the house panicking and running for meters.

It's not fair, dammit.

This is what happens when you are trying to be a good guy
In the very brief moments that I was on Facebook yesterday, two things came to my attention.

This was the first one.

Back in the town I grew up in, I still have tons of family and friends. It's not anywhere near being a small town since the population is well over 100,000 people now, but it is a small town if ever there was one.

Everyone knows everyone, and on the off chance they don't actually know someone, they know someone who does.

That kind of thing.

So when a Caringbridge link popped up and it was a name that seemed vaguely familiar, I started racking my brain to figure out how I knew the guy. His younger brother is one of my brother in law's best friends. He's a firefighter. He's a good guy.

And he's on life support right now because he tried to intervene in a late night altercation between a young man and his girlfriend.

He was sucker punched, knocking him unconscious immediately. The perpetrator wasn't done though, and proceeded to kick him repeatedly until he was chased off by some other guys. I don't know all the details, and the newspaper reports are patchy at best, but it sounds like he had a cardiac arrest in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. He's in a medically induced coma right now, on a ventilator, and just about every bone in his face is shattered.

The guy who did this to him was arrested yesterday, but right now none of that matters. Trying to find a reason for why this happened doesn't matter right now.

All that matters is the man laying in an ICU room fighting for his life because he tried to do the right thing.

All that matters is his wife and the children who haven't been allowed to see their father because of how bad his condition is right now.

All that matters is the fight he has ahead now.

This small town that isn't one, this group of people who aren't even confined by a geographic area anymore, we're pulling for you Jason.

Be strong and fight.

It's not about the's about the responsibility
The second thing that popped up in my newsfeed yesterday, this.

A three year old boy accidentally shot himself in the head Monday in a town close to here, and was declared dead shortly thereafter. 

A three year old.

You can have all the gun debates in the world. All the endless conversations that loop around and circle back. Argue about capacity of magazines and limits on ammunition. Talk about background checks. You can debate the impact of violent video games, movies, shows, whatever.

At the end of the day, ALL THAT MATTERS is that those who purchase and own weapons do so responsibly.
Paramount on the list of things that define a responsible gun owner - keeping weapons away from children.

Lock them up.

This little boy is dead because someone left a loaded gun where he could reach it.

It only takes a second to change a life.

It only takes a second.

He's gone now.

Earlier this month, a 12 year old boy took a loaded gun from his parents home and brought it to school, where he killed a teacher, shot two students, then turned the gun on himself. 

Had that gun been locked up, away from his hands, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

He would be alive, that teacher would be alive, just like this little boy would be alive.

Quite often in these cases, the parents of the child who wielded the gun are not charged with a crime, under the theory that they have to live with the guilt already for their role in the death, and they will certainly carry that guilt - of that I am sure.

Before the incident, though, guilt wasn't a factor. It wasn't a deterrent. It didn't alter their storage of the weapon. I'm sure that, as with most things in life, the parents of these children just assumed that it wouldn't happen to them. Until it did.

They have to live with the guilt, yes.

I'm not sure that's enough.

I'm not sure what would ever be enough.

How do we demand and require parents to be responsible, not just in this area, but in a whole laundry list of areas?

If you can answer that question, you just might save lives.

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