Life After Death

Life After Death

Here's to two kids who had no idea that life could change so quickly.


When I was twelve, the world ended for most kids my age when our parents found our notes (that's right folks, we talked shit with pen and paper back in the day), or our parents found our report cards with C's in History because Heaven forbid we go over the "Declaration of Independence" again.

Most of us stressed about those God-awful essay prompts that asked middle schoolers, "What is one thing that has made an impact on your life?" Like how is a middle schooler supposed to have something to say other than they won some contest for *insert extra curricular activity here*.

Ironically, I was a twelve year old with an essay that caused an after-school meeting with my mother and English teacher. I guess when talking about death, I wasn't supposed to have so much to say.

I was eleven years old when something inside of me died...I don't know if it was my faith in God or maybe the loving world my parents made me believe was ruined or maybe I was just introduced to the real world. Either way, I wrote about it and my teacher pulled me aside. I won't give you the version I wrote out for my teacher but here's what happened:

Four family members went on a road trip. One came back.

I have written this story many times. I have cried, screamed, cursed at God, and took glass shards to my skin. (I did it once and it really hurt more than I thought it would so never do that again but nonetheless, self-harm is NOT OKAY).

I think I saw pain everywhere I looked after the accident and I just didn't care to try to make it better. I reached out to my mom and she shoved me to my cousin Joshua (the one to survive). I reached out to my brother and he wasn't there, he was with Joshua.

At the time, I think the family majority vote was, "Alyssa is closest to Joshua so she can make him happy... you know since he just lost his mom, dad, and brother." Truth be told, I only saw Joshua a couple of times prior to this incident. And another truth is... I was scared of him. I felt like everyone was thinking I was going to make him happy and if I didn't.. then he wouldn't want to live anymore. I was scared of him because I didn't know how to make him want to live while he was laying in a full body cast.

I wanted to be with my mom but she... wasn't there. I would wander off and find her in a corner crying. Other times she would be there getting ready for work and she looked like a ghost of my mother. For a little while, I think every aunt cousin, grandparent, and even my parents were slowly dying inside.

It has been a long time since they passed. If I could write an essay about how this impacted my life at twenty-four instead of twelve, then I would say:

I am no longer afraid of love.

Losing so much in an instant taught me that every moment I have with my family and cherished friends is a blessing.

I have come off very strong in my life and this is why. I am not going to hold back because along with not being afraid of love, I am afraid of not having the opportunity to tell someone what they mean to me.

I hope one day Joshua understands that his life saved all of us. I hope one day Joshua understands how much we love him.

I pray one day Joshua understands that I, Alyssa love him more than he could ever imagine.

Being able to become* his sister is the greatest blessing God has ever given me.

This is for my grandparents, my parents, my brother, and Joshua.

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.


Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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For Camille, With Love

To my godmother, my second mom, my rooted confidence, my support


First grade, March. It was my first birthday without my mom. You through a huge party for me, a sleepover with friends from school. It included dress up games and making pizza and Disney trivia. You, along with help from my grandma, threw me the best birthday party a 7-year-old could possibly want.

During elementary school, I carpooled with you and a few of the neighborhood kids. I was always the last one to be dropped off, sometimes you would sneak a donut for me. Living next door to you was a blessing. You helped me with everything. In second grade, you helped me rehearse lines for history day so I could get extra credit. In 4th grade, you helped me build my California mission.

You and your sister came out to my 6th grade "graduation". You bought me balloons and made me feel as if moving onto middle school was the coolest thing in the entire world.

While you moved away from next door, you were a constant in my life. Going to Ruby's Diner for my birthday, seeing movies at the Irvine Spectrum and just hanging out, I saw you all the time. During these times, you told me about all of the silly things you did with my mom and dad, how my mom was your best friend. I couldn't have had a greater godmother.

In middle school, you pushed me to do my best and to enroll in honors. You helped me through puberty and the awkward stages of being a woman.

Every single time I saw you, it would light up my entire day, my week. You were more than my godmother, you were my second mom. You understood things that my grandma didn't.

When you married John, you included me in your wedding. I still have that picture of you, Jessica, Aaron and myself on my wall at college. I was so happy for you.

Freshmen year of high school, you told me to do my best. I did my best because of you. When my grandma passed away that year, your shoulder was the one I wanted to cry on.

You were there when I needed to escape home. You understood me when I thought no one would. You helped me learn to drive, letting me drive all the way from San Clemente to Orange.

When I was applying to colleges, you encouraged me to spread my wings and fly. You told me I should explore, get out of California. I wanted to study in London, you told me to do it. That's why, when I study abroad this Spring in London, I will do it for you.

When I had gotten into UWT, you told me to go there. I did and here I am, succeeding and living my best in Tacoma. I do it for you, because of you.

When I graduated high school and I was able to deliver a speech during our baccalaureate, you cheered me on. You recorded it for me, so I could show people who weren't able to make it to the ceremony. You were one of the few people able to come to my actual graduation. You helped me celebrate the accomplishments and awards from my hard work.

When your cancer came back, I was so worried. I was afraid for you, I was afraid of what I would do without the support you had always given me. When I was in Rome, I went to the Vatican and had gotten a Cross with a purple gem in the middle blessed by the Pope to help you with your treatments. It was something from me and a little bit of my mom in the necklace, the gem.

Now, sitting so far from you away at college just like you wanted me to. I miss you. I wish I was there to say goodbye.

I'll travel the world for you, write lots of stories and books for you, I will live life to the fullest for you.

You are another angel taken too early in life. Please say hello to my parents and grandma in Heaven for me.

Lots of love,


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