silent

‘Can you move out of the way?’ Everyone in the store stopped what they were doing, looked up. It was the first voice I’d heard in 20 minutes.’: Woman details ‘awkward’ shopping experience during pandemic, ‘This has changed us’

“Suddenly I could see people’s eyes. Almost all had masks on. No one was chitchatting or smiling. Was that a cough? I swear I just heard a cough? Yup. Glare. She should not be out in public right now? There were no couples, no one leisurely strolling around with a cup of Starbucks in hand. Not today.”

‘May I hold him?’ He looked as if he was taking a nap, his face sweet like an angel. His body was cold.’: 3-year-old boy tragically drowns while celebrating at grandparents’ lake house, ‘This can’t be happening. This isn’t happening’

“‘Momma, Levi fell in the water.’ I expected to turn and see him splashing. He wasn’t. The minute I saw his face, my heart sank to the pit of my stomach. ‘This can’t be happening. This isn’t happening.’ I had to fight. Water was coming out and his belly was full. I breathed in his mouth. I heard a voice from a man off the water say, ‘don’t blow too hard – it could hurt him,’ so I turned him on his side. I couldn’t give up on my baby.”

‘Who is this naked girl on the screen? She looks a lot like me. Wait, wait, wait.’ My fingers began trembling.’: Sexual assault survivor speaks out against stepfather’s abuse, ‘I finally have power again’

“I found a video file. In tears, I kept repeating to myself I was strong. The camera was planted upside down and was sitting on a brown bookcase, hiding between books in my room. I watched myself on the screen. ‘What the heck. What the heck. What the heck?!’ My thoughts began to race. I had so many questions.”

‘Lathered in sunscreen, poolside, I suddenly realized my son wasn’t with me. My eyes hit the shallow end. I spotted a toddler completely submerged in water. The world stopped. I plunged in.’

“I was not the mother to make this kind of error. The mother who looked away. ‘If he’s alive, he’d be kicking, fighting.’ Why wasn’t he fighting? I pulled him onto the cement and thrusted my hand against his back. Fingernails pink, skin pale, lips discolored. His white knuckles gripped my neck. ‘ANDREW. Andrew, please come back to me.'”

‘The Hidden Blessing of Single Parenting.’

“The moment we realize this blessing is more than recognition, a future spouse, friendships, prestige, or money, is when we can finally begin to understand it. Because it isn’t anything tangible or even visible to people around us.”

 Share  Tweet