Love

‘No Jack! No doctor!’ I hold him tightly, feel his heart beating. It is heart breaking. I question why I put him through what feels like torture.’: Mom thankful for affectionate siblings who help calm autistic brother, ‘It just melted my heart’

“I have had to physically put myself between our boy and the floor so he doesn’t hurt himself by banging his head in frustration. It is heart breaking. I make sure to bring Jack to all of his siblings’ visits as well. WHY?! These rare moments. ‘Oh Jack, I’m not hurt. Give me a hug!’ She assured her anxious brother. ‘See Jack, Maddie is okay.’ Olivia whispered into his hear. It quickly became a sister sandwich. How beautiful is that?”

‘A stranger approached, startling me by placing her hand on my shoulder. ‘Can I do anything to help? Would you like me to buy you a coffee?’: Mom ‘surprised’ by young mother’s kind gesture, ‘I wasn’t as alone as I felt’

“Bloodcurdling screams. My daughter’s lungs could shatter glass. A grandma approached us. She wanted me to scoop up my inconsolable daughter and comfort her. I’ve done that before, but at this point, my daughter was too far gone. As much as this woman wanted to intervene and help, she didn’t know my daughter.”

‘Her father walked into my office, completely lost. His daughter was spiraling. She just needed someone to believe in her, so she could believe in herself.’: Police officer forms beautiful friendship with troubled teen, ‘I refused to give up on her’

“His daughter had started to drink and hang with the wrong crowd. She’d received her first official charge for destruction of property. He had no clue what to do with her. ‘I’ll meet with her.’ As she walked into my office, my whole life changed. She would come to challenge me, as I would challenge her. A bond would be formed that helped both of us become better people. I refused to give up on her. She was in need. She wanted to be better.”

‘Your dad thought he could hit me, but you will NEVER hit me. I’ll kill you first.’ She was a 400-pound woman. I was a 9-year-old child.’: Woman survives child abuse and PTSD, repairs relationship with abusers, ‘I was born a SURVIVOR’

“She had me by my pigtails. She cornered me into our closet using a man’s belt to spank me. A friend saw her, and told her if she ever hit me again, he’d tell his dad. Later my mom tried having me committed to a mental hospital. After a 24-hour sit in at the ER, a doctor came in. ‘There is nothing wrong with you, except the fact you need to get away from your mother.’ I wanted a mom who WANTED to be my mom.”

‘I was doing her laundry FOR her. She was watching me fold her thong underwear. She just stood there holding the baby! This is ridiculous.’: Mom urges others to remember helping means doing so with ‘no strings attached’

“I was sitting at a coffee shop and overheard (I was eavesdropping) two women behind me. One was complaining about her daughter-in-law who’d just given birth to her grandchild. ‘I offered to help, but this ridiculous!’ she said. Here’s the thing. I’ve learned if we really want to help, we just show up. We ring their doorbell and start unloading their dishwasher or play with their kid while they take a shower. We shove a lasagna in the oven so they don’t have to think about dinner.”

‘What if Matthew doesn’t come home this time?’ I watch him struggle to breathe. I gasp for air, screaming as my mother holds my shaking body.’: Sister advocates for brother battling Cystic Fibrosis, ‘I will stand beside him in this fight, forever’

“My tears soak the sleeve of her sweatshirt. A sharp, strong pain runs through my chest. For the past 19 years, I have watched him swallow hundreds of thousands of pills. ‘What if Matthew gets sicker? How much time does he have?’ I finally decided I was tired of watching. Life gave me the greatest gift of all: a brother. I will stand hand-in-hand beside him in this fight.”

‘Are you her nanny?’ ‘Did you kidnap her?’ I had a mom call me her Au Pair at gymnastics. We get stared down.’: Single black mom adopts 2 white siblings, is constantly judged by strangers but urges, ‘Love goes beyond skin color’

“When I tell them I’m her mom, they reply with, ‘Ohhhh. She must look like her dad then.’ In line at stores, I get stared down. I say out loud to Elizabeth, ‘Mommy loves you!’ And she replies, ‘I love you mommy.’ That makes the people so confused. You can see their brain cells burning with confusion. Whenever she misbehaves in public, people stare so hard to see how the ‘nanny’ is going to handle it. Sometimes I say, ‘You can stop looking. I’m her mother.’ Then, I was notified she had a brother. I thought my family was complete, but I was wrong.”

‘They were born like this. There is nothing we can do.’ They were tied to beds, drugged, covered in bruises. I couldn’t accept that answer.’: Woman helps dozens of abused, disabled children find loving homes, preaches ‘every child has value’

“I entered the orphanage. Hundreds of children were living there, but the halls were silent, expect the occasional wail or moan. I saw skeletal bodies, empty eyes, smelly diapers. I heard doctors calling them ‘disasters.’ One child had a sack of fluid coming from the back of her skull. It was her brain, and it was leaking fluid. Children were covered in cigarette burns. I couldn’t believe my eyes. And I couldn’t look away. I knew I had to help.”

‘I would claim, ‘Oh yeah, I hurt myself. I’m wearing a hard brace until it heals.’ I never told my parents I wrote a suicide note.’: Woman known as the ‘girl with one arm’ hides prosthetic for 2 years, finally realizes, ‘they knew I was different, they didn’t care’

“I lived in a small town in the deep South. I was 15, the age where acne, boy problems, and all that fun stuff was going on. To make matters worse, I was born missing my left forearm. I wore my prosthetic to school for 2 entire years without removing it for gym class, soccer practice, nothing. For 2 whole years, that mind game would go on, leaving me feeling suicidal on my 17th birthday. I woke up feeling like I was done with living. It was a bright, sunny day. I sat in my room writing out all the reasons I didn’t want to be here on this planet. I broke down in tears. I knew I had to make a choice.”

‘Life gets loud. Pay attention to the nudges in marriage. The cues. Don’t ignore them, don’t fight them.’: Woman urges ‘you can’t put your spouse on the backburner’

“‘Okay. Bye.’ That’s what our marriage needing work sounded like. It’s wasn’t an, ‘I love you.’ It was a big ol’ red flashing sign. After 3 children and 20 years together, careers, and attempting to maintain a home, marriage became an afterthought. We function better when we are in front stage. Centre stage. Every time.”

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