Be a friend

When I was 13 years old my country fell apart.

I found myself a citizen of a new one. Same home, same town, but different name. We were now independent and with that came a new citizenship. Sadly my mother passed away a month before that. It was not until I applied for high school a year later that my grandparents realized I was living in my country illegally. Same home, same town, but due to my mother claiming me Yugoslavian and not Slovenian at birth I was now not eligible for a passport. It was nobody’s fault, just a written statement by a parent and I will be officially Slovenian. A technicality really.

Only I had no parents. I was not 18 yet so I could not sign papers for myself. I lived with my grandparents, but they were not my legal guardians. I was living in a same home, same town yet I was facing deportation. To a country that was torn up in war, a country I never lived in a day of my life. To say this was surreal is an understatement. And all because of one word, one line that I know my mom never imagined would cause me harm. But that is bureaucracy for you.

I was fortunate. My grandma is a persistant woman, she knocked on many doors and the Minister of interior affairs called on his staff to find a solution. They juggled some papers and I was once again who I was born to be, Slovenian. I even entered high school on time.

Many years later I fell in love and married an American. My husband is wise and helped me understand the importance of becoming naturalized. The day I stood with my right arm across the heart, reciting The Pledge of Allegiance to America I cried. Tears of pride and tears of joy. Mostly for knowing my family will always stay together, have a home and a country to protect and be protected by.

The most incredible thing about America is that each of us has a voice and we can make a difference. Galit, Leighann and Barbara have reached out to seek support for Mark and Fred in their quest to keep their family together. In the same home, same town, where they belong.

If you are not familiar with their story please click HERE and get to know them. When you do, remember that I once was a child facing the same uncertain future as Fred and his children are. It was the kindness of strangers who saw how stiff the law was and helped find a legal way to bend it that helped me. I really wish, more then anything today for Fred to be able to stay with his family.

Love is love. Families should stay together. This couple has devoted their love and lives to becoming a family. There should be no reason, not now not ever for them not to wake up and have cereal together every morning. Just like your family and mine.

Please see beyond politics, your beliefs and your opinions. Sit down and write the letter to

Secretary Janet Napolitano
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528

just like I did, telling her how your world would come crashing down if you had to be separated from your children, your family. How we must find a solution for Fred. You are a voice that can make a difference and Mark, Frédéric, John, Claire, Jacob and Joshua need voices.

Thank you for being a friend, you just never know when it might be your turn to need one!

My first dog

This morning I was tweeting back and forth with Vicki about my very cool dog. Of course I was, as always, grateful for having Big M. Vicki is a super cool, wanna be her, kind of blogger that I stalk. That is why I get a little giddy when she seeks my opinion. Reading her blog you will understand why. So CLICK away.

As I was saying ( sure at least two hours elapsed since you ditched me to read Victacular), we were on the subject of getting a dog. I have one, she wants one. Let me explain to you why I am a subject matter expert:

Ever since I can remember I wanted a dog. My grandma was trying to persuade me a while ago to have more children. Being an only child myself, she was going to send me on a guilt trip with “remember how you always wanted a brother”. Yep, grandmas are slick like that and mine was trained by her mother. We have a long tradition in my family of annoying, manipulative women. I looked at her with pity, she must be loosing her touch.

“When did I ever ask for a sibling?!” I asked.

“True, all you ever wanted was a dog” my grandma admitted.

And she should know. At any given time I was bothering them for a puppy. I would work it into conversations, request for it as a birthday present and talk about it when I wasn’t begging for it. It must have worked, because they caved in and got me a parrot.

I know, I asked myself the same question. I wanted to like the parrot. But you cannot walk it or play fetch with it. Believe me, I tried. That is how one day it flew out of the opened kitchen window.

To replace the parrot, they bought me a turtle. I know, I am starting to see a trend here too. The turtle, in difference with the parrot, liked going for a walk. That is how one day it climbed out of the vivarium. Found her a few weeks later under my closet. We agreed it was for the best to donate her to the ZOO.

As if bird fiasco number one was not enough, I got a pair of lovebirds next. They were really in love. We had mad amount of eggs to prove it. The female finally gave up. I am not sure if she took her own life or suffered during egg laying. Male followed a few days later. Sadness, I presume.

You would think by now my grandparents would bite the bullet and get me a dog. No, next was a cat. That in all fairness stayed with us a few years. We thought he was male and called him Mickey. It would walk me to school every morning and come back to our 4th floor apartment every evening. But no matter how much the cat exercised, he kept getting bigger. Until one day we woke up to four kittens. Lucky for us Mickey was a fine name for a female too.

Once the kittens were old enough, mommy Mickey ran off with her lover. I kept one of her kittens. Who fell off the balcony. No, they don’t land on their paws. I can tell you that for sure, because a stray one I brought home a week later followed the same path into the abyss.

Surely with this unlucky streak of pets we were all going to give up the quest. AND BUY ME A DOG. No, I got a tank full of guppies. We installed a faulty water heater and woke up to a mass graveyard. And that was the day grandpa said I was getting a dog. Seven years and too many fallen pets later, I had a shaggy dog of my own!

He lived to be fourteen. He was my best friend. And my grandparent’s loyal companion.

What can I say, they should have bought me a dog in the first place.

So that is why I said to Vicki today when she starts negotiating for her Corgi to ask for a yak first. Then agree to settle for a pony. By the time they get to a small dog, she will seem reasonable to her husband. And if that tactic fails, I will be posting Top Ten Listicle on Monday just for them, about how Big M is the coolest dog ever. Then she can laminate it and pop it on the fridge. That is sure to seal the deal. Stay tuned.

This post was linked to Lovelinks #11.