Don’t Take My Donuts Away Just Yet


Submitted 8 months ago
Created by
Kerry Krieger Clifford

I’ve been thinking lately about control. The rush of adrenaline when you take it, and the strange sense of freedom when you let it go. 

In the spring of 2002, I lost a co-worker to a terrible car accident. She hit a patch of ice on a shady curve, hit an oncoming car, and was thrown from her Subaru. It was so tragic, and it was alarming personally because we were both itinerant teachers. We spent the better parts of most days in our cars. It could have been any one of my co-workers, or it could have been me.

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I remember feeling resentful any time I talked to anyone about the accident because they would inevitably follow up with, “was she wearing her seat belt?” I felt like they were trying to blame her for this terrible thing at a time when I was feeling so sad and vulnerable. But I came to realize that they weren’t looking to place blame; they were looking for some sense of control in a scenario that was making them feel vulnerable too. If Cindy wasn’t wearing her seat belt, then we are protected from having this same thing happen to us if we remember to faithfully buckle up.

Now, 16 years later, I’m seeing a lot of it again. People wonder if any of us have control over whether we get cancer. If you don't have a family history, maybe you feel a bit safer.  Some suggest that magnets might somehow keep the tumors from forming. Others propose that the magical cure lies in dandelion tea. If so, what the hell am I doing still drinking coffee??

Sharing a morning cuppa with Dalton and two dinos at the Hartland Diner

The glut of information available to us today is a double-edged sword. Can I find a website that says that a creemee a day will keep the cancer away? Well, yeah.. sort of. Can I find a parent who thinks that I'm a terrible mom because I’m not going vegan-paleo-sugar-free in the hopes of maybe, possibly extending my life by an uncertain length of time? I’m sure that I can. Thank goodness that none of them live near me. Beyond some very obvious direct relationships like tobacco and lung cancer, what I’ve learned is that there is very little that is definite in the world of medicine.

While it seems like life would be easier if the difference between healthy and sick was more binary, it would also be far less interesting. If I knew that giving up sugar would end my cancer, it would probably be easier to make the sacrifice. Instead, I’m going to continue the search with my kids for the world’s ultimate donut, and we’re always going to try the best foods in the ballparks without checking any nutritional charts. That's how we have been making some of our richest memories. But yes, I am also going to cut back on the sweet stuff at times when it’s not an essential element in our joyful journey. And maybe I’ll give up the occasional afternoon chai for a cup of green tea, but I’m pretty sure that you can’t convince me that eliminating my sacred morning coffee ritual will make my life better.

When you go to Citizens Bank Park, you eat cheese steaks. Duh.

I’m so grateful to my team, both professional and personal, who I believe will always tell me the truth about what my options are and how much they will affect my path. Nikki is here by my side, holding a giant plate of comfort cookies. And Heather, Jen, and Mindi will be ready to pour me a glass of wine when we get together tonight. But they’re also each ready to slap that stuff out of my hands the second my nutritionist suggests that I have the power to change my life by giving them up.

That time I went to visit my HS bestie and she made us our favorite -- Black Forest Cake. It's not WHY I love her, but it doesn't hurt. <3

As for me and my boys, you'll find us this summer trying out the CHUBurger at Coors field and hunting down the best donuts that Denver has to offer. This is one rare instance where your advice would be welcome. 

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