Family

‘He said, ‘I can’t do this,’ and left. I got a late-night call from the pastor. ‘He’s gone.’ As soon as he said it, I knew. He lost his battle with PTSD.’: Woman loses Army veteran boyfriend to suicide, ‘I was terrified to be a single mother. It’s not supposed to be this way.’

“As a combat veteran, he faced mental illness. We agreed to tackle everything as a team. I was pregnant again, but this time everything shifted. He left. I was so confused and hurt. ‘Where did he go? Is he okay?’ I found out he was living two completely separate lives, lying about his marital status. My entire world turned upside down. But I still couldn’t find him. I searched. I drove around aimlessly. ‘He is gone.’ As soon as he said it, I knew. My heart started pounding. ‘Oh my gosh,’ I said over and over again. The man I love took his life.”

‘I send mind blowing messages that get him going. ‘Hey, buy the super absorbent pads, it’s raining Niagara Falls over here. And the baby vomited in my mouth, so some mouthwash, too.’: Mom hilariously recalls differences in sex life after you have children

“Dirty talk for me as a mother now is looking at my husband like I’m Post Malone (frizzy flyaway hair included) who’s smoked a few too many J’s with the sultriest voice I have and say, ‘I’ve showered today,’ flicking my nana undies at him. And him giving me the nod replying, ‘How tired are you?’”

‘Wen, we’d like to adopt you.’ My body was burned and abandoned on a doorstep. I was given a second chance at life.’: Burn survivor adopted from foster care system, ‘I’m so lucky to be alive and in a loving family!’

“It all started with a fire. My biological parents had bills to pay. They gave me up, knowing they may never see me again. A family reached out. I had no idea what adoption was. They didn’t look like me or talk like me. Why were they handing me gifts? Why were my foster parents crying? I didn’t know what was happening. How could I? I was only 6. Soon, I was taken away.  Little did I know that plane ride would change my life forever. I was halfway across the world.”

‘I go hunting. This is a picture of me hunting tonight. No guns. No animals. But I assure you, I am hunting. Let me explain.’: Woman’s version of hunting is self care, husband supports her, ‘He knows I need it’

“Sometimes during the week, I’ll be exhausted. Just completely worn out from the day. I’ll come home, and Adam will have supper cooked. Usually, I clean up the dishes, and we take turns with baby baths/bedtime routines. But I have a complete pass on responsibilities when I really need it. All I say is, ‘I’m going hunting.’ Adam just smiles and nods.”

‘Oooh tough week? What happened, honey?’ I was 15. Women I’d never met were commenting on my weight.’: Woman discovers intuitive eating, self-love after struggling with weight for years, ‘My children will see a vibrant, smart, STRONG woman’

“’Really? That’s what you’re going to eat for breakfast?’ I vividly remember holding my two pieces of cinnamon toast in my trembling hands. Every single one of my siblings had already toasted their bread, buttered it, and sprinkled it with cinnamon and sugar. Yet, I was the only one singled out by my grandpa. Age 15, I began attending meetings every week with my mother. Strange adult women would applaud and beam at me. I was given jewelry to celebrate my ‘hard work.’ Women twice my age would ask what my ‘secret’ was.”

‘I miss you already, my baby. You used to need me so much. I cherish the times I was the one to feed you, hold you, calm you. Time is a funny thing.’: Mom warns ‘it goes by so fast’

“So tonight, while you were sleeping, I went to your room and counted your freckles. I gently tangled my fingers in your curls. I listened to you breathe. I sat beside your bed and tried to meet you in your dreams. We laughed and sang in silly voices until it was time for me to go to my own room. I whispered, ‘I love you,’ in your ear. I knew from the beginning you were going to grow. I had no idea how it would simultaneously rip me to pieces.”

‘Please God, give her back! We already knew, she’s gone. I was weak from grief.’: Mom recalls loss of daughter, uses music to keep her memory alive, ‘No matter what I’m singing, I know she’s there, because she is my song’

“It was just me and Alice at the hospital. There was a soft glow from the bathroom, the door barely cracked. She laid on my chest, we were just there together, soaking each other in. Time stood still. She was so feminine, petite. I say, ‘I know whenever I sing, you are there,’ and I truly mean it. It’s as if I am sharing my beautiful, perfect daughter, and that brings me joy. I would find her singing to herself in her bed. I knew we would be connected through music forever.”

‘I’m having a hard time finding the baby’s head,’ the doctor said. ‘Were you bit by a mosquito during pregnancy?’: Mom births miracle baby with microcephaly, ‘He brings us endless joy!’

“I went for my routine check-up with my OB. The vibe of the room felt off. My doctor asked, ‘Have you been out of the country while pregnant?’ So many questions went through my head all at once. Is my baby alive? Is he okay? How’s his head? How many fingers and toes does he have? I was already in love with him, but so scared. And then I felt it. ‘This baby isn’t going anywhere.'”

‘You are GOOD FOR NOTHING!’ I sat in the bathroom, crying, asking, ‘Please, send me a new dad. Please!’: Young man creates his own adopted ‘family’ after surviving traumatic childhood, ‘We may not have the same bloodline, but they gave me life’

“My dad was the disciplinarian at home. DO NOT MAKE DAD ANGRY. I don’t remember hearing ‘I love you.’ From my dad. Ever. He was brought up in the traditional ‘macho’ way. He’d constantly tell me, ‘I had it MUCH worse than you growing up!’ But then something really weird began to happen at school – it made me feel warm and fuzzy. I was validated and encouraged by teachers. Wait, what? A hurricane of hormones was wreaking havoc on me. I was an angry teen who needed to fill the hole in my heart.”

‘In the middle of Target, I had a stabbing thought, ‘You didn’t turn the oven off.’ I’d never felt panic before. This was panic.’: Mom insists ‘anxiety will not win’ after suffering panic attack

“I hear a faint call, ‘Mom…Mom…. MOM!’. On the third ‘mom’ I was snapped back into reality. ‘MOOOOOM!’ A louder fourth one came out 2 inches from my face. I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t hide it. I sat on the floor in the middle of an aisle in Target and started bawling.”

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