moving forward

‘I found an older couple on the street, walking and holding hands. ‘Is this how it is all going to end?’ I worried how hard it must be to be over 65 in this crazy time.’: Woman says ‘we’ve been given the gift of time with our loved ones’

“Running through the streets in the midst of the coronavirus felt like time had turned back 25 years. I ran by a group of neighbors standing a few feet apart, talking and laughing like they had all the time in the world. I passed by a man spraying his bushes, a woman jumping rope in her garage. Everything had slowed down.”

‘I involved myself in a forbidden relationship. It was the savory, alluring fruit hanging from the only tree I was prohibited to touch. Yet, we gravitated to each other.’: Woman divorces husband then loses mom to cancer

“‘It doesn’t look good. I’m sorry.’ Her words echoed through my head, but I dared not let them sink in. Instead I collapsed against the waiting room wall. She had been healthy my entire life. She never smoked a cigarette. She didn’t drink alcohol. When the surgeon exited those double doors, removed her mask and looked at me, I could see it all over her face. My mother didn’t make it through.”

‘I promised I’d never divorce him. I was an Evangelical Christian woman. I wasn’t about to give that up because my disturbed husband couldn’t stop screaming at me.’: Woman leaves her abusive pastor husband after 10 years, ‘I never looked back’

“I hid big, dark, angry, broken feelings from the world. If I acknowledged their legitimacy, that meant I had to acknowledge that my husband–the megachurch pastor–was my abuser. And I was his victim. No, thanks! I’d much prefer to pretend everything is fine and our family is blessed.”

‘My heart was pounding. My husband had been gone for 3 years. I’d completely written off ever finding his phone.’: Widow’s discovery on late husband’s phone solidifies she’s ‘marrying the right guy’

“As I scrolled through his pictures, what I saw stopped me in my tracks. A few weeks before his death, Chase had gone to a basketball game. There was only one member of the team showing in both pictures. It was Nick, my fiance and now husband. I’d always had the feeling Chase approved of Nick, but this seemed like a message from Heaven that I was on the right path. I was marrying the right guy.”

‘I can’t see him like this, Mom. Take me home.’ I laid my head on his chest, sobbing. ‘Chase, I love you so much.’: Wife’s ‘life altering’ journey since husband suddenly died in his sleep

“I remember walking in the house at 4:15 a.m. with the most empty feeling I had ever felt. I knew our son would be waking in a few short hours and I wasn’t ready to face reality so soon. I went to our bathroom, filled up the tub, and sat in a hot bath as I cried the little tears I had left. Then I went to Chase’s closet, pulled out his favorite sweats and a big oversized sweater and crawled into bed with his pillow. The sheets and everything smelled like him, and right then and there, I didn’t want to wake up.”

‘Nobody else will ever love you.’ I tried to jump out at a stop sign. But I was stuck. This was my ‘destiny.’: Woman overcomes traumatic childhood, abusive relationship to find her ‘soulmate’

“My father took his own life when I was 5 years old. I remember sitting on our front porch, hugging my mom as the paramedics wheeled him out of the house. I remember living at my grandparents’ house for a while after ‘he left.’ My family decided to keep what happened a secret. I continued to believe what my mom would tell me.”

‘Right now is not your time. You’re meant to help other people.’ A 10-minute reign of terror broke out: Shooting survivor recalls ‘resources’ she’s learned from past trauma that helped keep her alive

“From the moment we got around the corner, things felt off, eerie. As this man came closer, I realized something was very wrong. ‘You’re going to come with me and do what I say,’ he said, holding me. I would do whatever it took to keep my daughter safe. If I get a feeling, I listen.”

‘Our son’s entire 18 hours and 16 minutes of life, he was never alone. He was fiercely loved, deeply cherished, and widely celebrated.’: Mom turns loss of son’s ‘fleeting life’ to Trisomy 18 into ‘something of value’

“We were going to travel, tackle, and triumph over every inch of this world. I asked myself one very important question, ‘How can I transform my son’s fleeting life and too-soon death into something of value?’ I thought I lost the chance to have a great adventure with Cole when I lost him, but I think our great adventure together is really just beginning.”

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