breaking out

‘Please don’t cry,’ I mumbled. ‘It’s a tree. It’s just a tree.’ And then it happened, full blown tears.’: Mom realizes teenage daughter’s meltdown was triggered by loss of father, ‘No matter how many presents I buy, nothing can heal her pain’

“My teenage daughter was standing in the tree lot, her face scrunched up, drawing in a deep breath. Oh for the love of all that’s Holy, she’s going to cry again. ‘It’s a Charlie Brown tree!,’ she shrieked. I rolled my eyes, wishing I’d indulged in a second glass of vino. I thought the worst had passed. Then she blurted out the words I didn’t expect. ‘My dad would’ve NEVER bought this tree!’ There it was. Her dad, who always made everything perfect, died. In front of her. While she held his hand.”

‘Almost there, almost there.’ I watched him struggle. I knew something was going on in his heart.’: Adoptive mom reminds traumatized son he isn’t ‘alone’ anymore

“That first summer he came, all I can remember is the rash that covered my body for 6 months. It was my body’s way of telling me it was too much. I didn’t know how to be a mama to a then 7-year-old. As I walked beside him, I told him he never has to do that alone anymore. He looked up at me with his chocolate brown eyes. ‘Mommy, it sure is much easier to carry things together.’”

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