Dear Sweet Girl,
You may have noticed by my funny accent that I’m not from around here. While I throw a “y’all” down often, I do say “coffee”, “water”, and “chocolate” much differently than the folks ’round these parts. I hail from the far off land of Long Island, made famous by Linda Richman of “Coffee Talk” and by some guys cousin named Patrick Sullivan (seriously, I’ve met like 50 people in my post-NY life that have said “OH! My cousin Pat Sullivan lives on Long Island! Do you know him?” People, Long Island has 7.5 MILLION PEOPLE. If it were a state, it would be the 13th most populous, after Virginia, and 1st in population density!!! And I bet every single person who grew up on Long Island knew someone named Pat Sullivan.)
Ok, so Long Island has been full of people for a long time, many who have moved from the city (Manhattan) and the boroughs to a more suburban, kid-friendly area. Lots of Catholics, and lots of Jews. Lots. I have the double whammy, having a Jewish father and a Catholic mother (I prefer to be called Catholish or a Jewlic), which is a common enough combo there. We were a secular family, though, and other than a quick visit into Catholicism in my tweens, I’ve been happily not religious. You are also not religious, have no idea what religion is, don’t know about God, Jesus, Allah, or any of the other players in the scene. Is this good? I dunno. I can tell you this: we’re good people, us. We treat people fairly, we do our best to think of others, we work hard to instill a sense of community and charity into you. Really, other than the fact that we rely on science for most of our moral and ethical decisions, we’re giving you the same lessons. But we do live in Texas, and some people might try to make you feel terrible for this. Here’s where you throw down some biblical knowledge on them and be all “Matthew 7:1, bitchez!” We’ll go over that soon.
But as they say, love, there’s no atheists in fox holes. When we were going through the battle-for-baby and subsequent IVF(s), we prayed the shit out of things. We prayed together, holding hands, to a god we didn’t know for some help, ANY help to have a baby. All through IVF #1, the miscarriage, the cervical cancer scare, IVF #2, the YOU, the pregnancy, the delivery, the everything. And then, we just kinda stopped. Especially when Papa got sick and moved in with us. Watching my dad die in our house should have made me want to pray. But I was beyond praying for him to get better, because we knew that wouldn’t happen, so I couldn’t very well pray for him to die, which is what he needed. Oh, baby, it was so hard. But while God gives some people so much help and comfort, he became an anvil to me. Yet another person that I had to act a certain way for. And some people will tell you that GOD IS GOOD! and FORGIVING! and LOVES YOU!, that really doesn’t matter. Because if there is a God, and I’m wrong about all of this, then fine. I’ll have that conversation on my own one day. But sweetie, don’t think for one second that the lady in line at Albertson’s gives a fiddlers fuck about you when she talks to you about being saved, and then gets into her car and cuts you off or texts in a school zone going 50 with a pro-life sticker on her SUV. The world is full of hypocrites, love. That’s one of the sad parts.
What you need is to find your own god. He or She or It needs to be where you find your comfort. Imaginary or real, if it comforts you, take it. Because the world can get mighty hinky and yucky sometimes, and sometimes you need to talk to someone who won’t talk back.