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‘I was so scared of my daddy dying. I hated watching him throw up and not feel well. I knew in my heart I could help him. I just knew it!’ 10-year-old girl starts ‘secret’ plan to save father’s life 

“The weekend before New Year’s, we got the shock of our life. The phone rang. Skeptical, my mom IGNORED it until I convinced her to answer. ‘Could you use a kidney tonight?’ Watching my daddy sit in the dialysis chair 4 days a week and get 2 big needles in his arm made me sad, but I never gave up! I was determined to help him.”

‘An overwhelming feeling came over me. I put my car in park and ran upstairs. After 20 seconds, a faint line appeared. Suddenly, I am bawling. I told myself to calm down.’

“The timer went off. I patted my belly. ‘You did it! Well done!’ It was time to take the first step in doing what I’d been thinking about for quite some time. When the nurse walked in with those papers, I went straight to the bathroom and sobbed. I walked toward the dreaded exit. I had to say goodbye.”

‘There’s no quick fix. There WILL always be a next panic attack, a next day of self-harm or cloud of doubt. I started to feel I wasn’t enough for him. I couldn’t pray away the dark times.’

“There’s nothing I want more than to see his beautiful smile. But part of being in love with someone struggling with mental health is dealing with the ugly. It’s true what they say. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. But there’s also a damn dimmer switch in that tunnel too.”

‘During my pregnancy, my dad came to me in a dream. He was holding a baby boy wrapped in a pale blue blanket. He walked towards me. It’s the only memory I have of them together.’

“We had chosen to wait on finding out the gender until birth, but I knew when waking up that the little boy inside me would be a boy. I’ll never hear you tell him you love him or sing him to sleep. He will never see you on the sidelines, cheering him on. But I know you were taking care of him before it was my turn to.”

‘The ambulance will be here soon. Want me to go with you?’ He was a stranger, all alone, with a bloody gash above his eyes. His friends were nowhere to be found. ‘Well, if you don’t mind.’

“‘I’ll pretend we’re dating.’ When the ambulance got there, the EMT suggested I get his number. ‘He’s cute!’ I hadn’t gotten a good look at him under all the blood and sweat. Maybe she was on to something. As they wiped away the blood, I could see his sparkling eyes.”

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