Atheism isn't a choice. It's a realization and once I fully understood that realization, my lack of belief became a cause for celebration. Atheists are often portrayed as doubting, unhappy people, but actually losing religion is a joyous thing, the real light at the end of the tunnel.
I don't know why or when it happened, but I don't remember a time when I wasn't afraid of heights. Even so, I do remember diving from the "high" board at our municipal swimming pool and I did enjoy riding the Ferris wheel and roller coaster when the carnival came to town. As I grew older, though, the fear became stronger, until finally I had no choice but to keep my feet firmly planted on the ground.
The snow had just started falling and it was the first time I had ever driven in snow. The party was at a house rented by several young men. One of them owned a female dog that was half Golden Lab and half German Shepherd. Another had a male dog that was half Doberman and half Greyhound. The two dogs got together and ended up with a family of 7 puppies. The boys managed to find a home for 6 of them, but there was one left over.
A miscarriage left me with the understanding that abortion would never be a good choice for me. Even so, I believe the decision to end a pregnancy or carry it to term—yes or no—belongs solely to the woman it concerns and to nobody else.
It is very hard to let go after eight years of loving someone. I never thought of a dog having a stroke, but Bailey was always full of surprises.