holidays

‘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.”

‘She had a holiday announcement planned ‘just in case.’ She doesn’t have life growing in her belly, but she has hope in her heart.’: Woman applauds all women waiting to become mothers ‘even when our bodies fail us’

“The holiday season is freshly fading, and that means pregnancy announcements have rolled out on social media. Here is to ‘that’ momma. The one who is still waiting, looking at one evil line on a pee stick. The one grieving a life she was so in love with. The one who has children of her own, but so desperately wants to give her husband a child with his DNA. The one who is tired of trying, and sad she is starting to give up.”

‘Let’s raise our cold coffee mugs for every torn piece of wrapping paper we’ve picked up in the last 48 hours.’: Woman pens appreciation letter to moms who worked hard to make Christmas magical

“For every piece of cardboard we’ve folded to fit in a garbage bag (tetris has nothing on us, mamas). For all the months spent thinking about, searching for, and finally finding the most perfect gifts. All the time spent tracking packages from Amazon. We’ll never get this Christmas again. This one right here, right now. For next year, our little hearts will be another year older, another year wiser.”

‘How about you actually help? Since you know, my nipples are inside the mouths of 2 of their sisters.’ Awkward silence.’: Mom urges empathy for parents of young kids, ‘This stage is hard too’

“I’ll never forget visiting my dying father with my 4 daughters. My 18-month-old wanted to play with a doll her 2-year-old sister was playing with. It turned into tug-o-war, both girls screaming at the top of their lungs. I was nursing their 3-month-old twin sisters, struggling to figure out what to do. A family member proudly stated, ‘Just wait until they’re teenagers!’ How is that helpful? I couldn’t even hold back my smart mouth.”

‘If only the kids would listen and I had time for my marriage.’ I could see what I wanted in the future.’: Woman learns true hope is not found in future endeavors, but is actually ‘derived from what I already have’

”If only my life could keep up with my constantly changing standards and expectations.’ That last one hit me hard. This year, the sweet light of the Christmas tree hasn’t felt so magical. In fact, I’ve been feeling a little hopeless. And it has taken so many empty mornings for me to realize my hope has been misplaced all along.”

‘She wanted a dog so bad she couldn’t see straight. So, he got her a fake one. She loved it just like she said she would. For 48 hours.’: Widow recalls touching memory of late husband with daughter on Christmas, ‘This is what grief looks like’

“On Christmas morning, she found her hidden puppy. She loved it like she said she would. For 48 hours. My husband was not a dumb man. He knew he needed to return the $300 robo-pup after she lost interest so quickly, but was still concerned her heart would break if she noticed the canine was gone. So, he did the only thing a sane man could think of. He tore a hole in the side of the box and told her he ran away. He would do anything our sweet daughter wanted him to do. Until he couldn’t any longer.”

‘You are our baby!’ We bought an ornament to remember the special day of becoming Daddy and Papa.’: Dad recalls how meaning of Christmas changed after adopting baby

“I spent Christmas Day staring at Sunset Boulevard, saying to myself, ‘I wish I was back in New Orleans.’ It was my home. And in just 10 years, from that very moment of despair, my husband and I would be welcoming our newborn daughter home. Now, every choice we make revolves around her. Every holiday is about her.”

‘When I’m out with you, I’m all in. I can dance, wine taste, make small talk. But then I’m done. I have an escape plan.’: Woman explains difficulties of being an ‘extroverted introvert’ during the holiday season

“I really like going out and hanging out with people, but it takes me days to recover from it. I need to lay on the couch to recoup from the mental toll it takes. People exhaust me. When my husband drinks, he becomes an energizer bunny. Me? The more I drink, the more tired I become. Once I hit that wall, there is no turning back. I am done-done-done. I can only be social for a set amount of time. If that time is up, I have an escape plan.”

‘Mom! You’re never going to believe this!’ She knelt beside me. ‘What is it, darlin’?’ I led her to the tree. ‘Look, momma!’ She saw it too.’: Woman reminds us to keep holiday magic alive, even when we’re ‘tired, on 4 hours of sleep’

“Our teacher tasked us with making little wreaths out of mini pretzels. We worked hard on those. I reached in to grab it, and instinctively knew something was wrong. My heart sank. My little eyes filled with tears. My mom said she loved it anyway. I cried myself to sleep, waking the next morning to sounds of Christmas carols from the kitchen. I shuffled towards the Christmas tree. Was it real? Could it be? I ran to the kitchen, tugged on her pants. ‘Well, look at that,’ she gasped, just as surprised as me.”

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