Kindness

‘Mom, my hip really hurts.’ She spiked a fever. I went to bed that night screaming, ‘Please don’t take my baby!’: 16-year-old girl diagnosed with Bone cancer, shows up to prom ‘proud, bald, and beautiful’

“Mattie complained pain was radiating down the back of her leg. ‘Welcome to the club. You’ve inherited our family hip problems!’ I really didn’t think much of it. Then, a light bulb went off. ‘Don’t you think it’s strange she’s just 16 and has this much pain?’ After blood work and an x-ray, we learned the fateful news. I looked at my sweet, beautiful girl and could not believe it.”

‘You’d be SO MUCH prettier if you lost weight.’ I was 10. My siblings got juice, while I was only offered water. When we got into fights, ‘fatty’ was their low blow.’

“With a disgusted look, my own trainer asked, ‘Why are you SO overweight?’ I felt like I was just punched in my (fat) gut. I cancelled my gym membership and dropped out of high school. Ashamed and embarrassed, I just wanted to crawl in a hole and cry. I always felt in competition with my siblings.”

‘In 1997, at the lowest point in my life, I snapped and bought a gun. I was almost a school shooter.’: Man overcomes abusive childhood, bullying, says ‘kindness’ stopped him from doing ‘the worst thing imaginable’

“When you’ve been told you’re ‘worthless’ enough times, you’ll believe it. I had no home and often slept outdoors. The isolation and bullying became unbearable. I wanted to feel an emotion other than pain. I wanted to feel, for once, like I was in control. If I’d possessed a rifle, I would have been a killer. If I’d known love, I would have never wanted a rifle.”

‘An older man said to my sister, ‘Let me get a taste of that.’ He was sticking his tongue out and wiggling it. She instantly turned red. She was 12. He laughed and I did, too. I don’t know why, but I did.’

“This is what it REALLY means to be a man. It’s kissing my wife’s stomach and telling her she’s beautiful, even with her c-section scar and stretch marks. It’s telling my daughter ‘Honey, OWN that Jersey’ when she comes home from school crying after a boy told her to take it off because girls ‘don’t play’ sports.”

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