Dear Mr. Chipmunk

You were no doubt displaced during the stump grinding of the gigantic oak, however, I feel that you have not adequately thought through the move to the flower box behind the porch. You see, the flower box is inside the fence. I recognize that the fence presents no barrier to you, but it’s there to stop the dogs from terrorizing the neighborhood. You’ve moved inside the fence and now they live to kill you. Seriously, they want you dead. You might have thought they were kidding when they chased you behind the rain barrel, but they weren’t. They won’t forget you are there and they won’t stop watching. Actually, thanks to you, my girls are getting along better than ever. They are even working together to kill you. That’s heartwarming in some ways, but I’d rather not have to pick up your lifeless body just so they can bond a little. Please move outside the fence or maybe to the neighbors yard. They don’t have a dog. Meanwhile, I don’t want to be an alarmist, but in the interest of full disclosure, this has happened before. See exhibit A. Then close up shop and go.

Best wishes,
The Lady Who is Trying to Save Your Tiny Little Life

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

Viewings and Funerals and Bad Impulses

I’m going to a viewing today for a former student of mine. It’s a particularly hard thing to do, not just because he was a former student, but because he was a sweet boy and I worked with his father. When you work in a school, the children of coworkers are often the children you know best, because they are the kids you see most often. Like you, they have to attend every event and they are there early and often leave late. So you know these kids and you usually like them. 

I liked John. He was very likable. Everyone liked him. He was that guy, not a star, not a clown, just a good, solid guy that everyone liked. His father adored him. We all understood why. 

What’s more difficult to understand is John’s death. He died skateboarding while holding on to a friend’s truck. I feel certain that if someone had asked him if that was a good idea, and he’d thought about it, he would have said no. He was not a stupid guy. He’d been accepted into college to study nursing. He’d been doing ride-alongs with the fire department to get his EMT. He was bright. He was going places. He had a plan. Then he did something stupid and died. 

Impulse. It’s amazing it doesn’t kill us all. Why the human brain between the ages of 12 and 25 seems to periodically lose it’s sense of self-preservation is a scary wonder. Those of us, who survive those years, sometimes forget how dangerous they can be. It’s a miracle any of us survive and a tragedy that some of us don’t. John’s death is a tragedy.

Today will not be a good day.