small acts

‘I whipped around fast. ‘You leave him ALONE.’ He covered his ears, flapping his arms. The man snickered under his breath.’: 70-year-old woman thanks special needs mom for opening her eyes to autism, ‘You taught me patience and kindness’

“There was a grown man in his 40s. Something was off about him. He didn’t speak, but made a lot of noise. He was moving around, weaving in and out of the aisles. When he got to the checkout line, he got very animated about candy bars. An old man behind us snickered and under his breath said, ‘Hurry up.’ I would have never known if it wasn’t for you.”

‘I sat up half awake. ‘Where is she?’ My husband woke up and looked confused. ‘Who?’ I said, ‘Shiloh. Where is Shiloh?!’: Baby with Cri Du Chat Syndrome survives after battling to stay alive 122 days in NICU, ‘I am so privileged to be her mom’

“He said in a gentle voice, ‘Can we talk to you both in the conference room?’ I knew we were going to receive life-changing news. ‘What more could go wrong?’ I wanted to not be me. Most moms dream of that euphoric moment when their precious baby is delivered into their arms. I did too. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the dream. I got the nightmare. The daughter I had dreamed up was gone.”

‘I jokingly exclaim, ‘Where’s the better half?’ With a trembling voice, she says, ‘I don’t have him anymore.’ My heart sank.’: Man shares touching act of kindness for elderly neighborhood woman after husband dies

“‘Ma’am?’ I said as I approached her. I rushed down to the street, already feeling tight in my own chest. Tears streamed from behind her large sunglasses. Not another word was spoken. We hugged. Big hugs, like she was my mom or my grandmother. She sobbed into my chest and said, ‘I’m just trying to do the things we used to, so I still feel like he’s around.’ We never exchanged names.”

‘I was 14 and pregnant. ‘Would you be willing to meet?’ 9 years after she was born, my birth daughter’s family encouraged her to hug me. I didn’t want to let go.’: Woman shares perspective as an adopted child, birth mom, and adoptive mom

“I chose an amazing woman to be the mother of the child I birthed. And yet, I no longer knew how to approach her. Nine years after placing my daughter the adoption agency called me with news that would change the rest of my life. My birth daughter’s family had contacted them to see if I would be willing to meet.”

‘It was a simple act of kindness she didn’t have to offer, as I’d never even met her in person. But she did.’: Act of kindness provides strength to let go and heal after loss of fiance

“I kept these wedding dresses hanging in my closet… a reminder of all the things in life I wouldn’t get. A reminder I was angry. And sad. And I had every right to be, because I was robbed of my happily ever after. If I couldn’t have it, I was going to hold on to every single piece I could.”

‘Doctor…please believe us. Our son is not OK.’ He looked at us like we were crazy. ‘He looks perfectly fine to me!’: Mom urges ‘trust your gut’ after son’s Stage 4 Neuroblastoma misdiagnosed, cancer cells detected during ‘cancer-free hospital party’

“Pepe let out the most painful cry I’d ever heard. Cries of, ‘Mommy, I’m hurting.’ Days passed. He developed an uncontrollable cough. It was written off. The doctor looked at us like we were the sick ones. ‘Are you SURE this is the baby you describe as so sick?’ The next afternoon, I had a voicemail. ‘Hello, Ms. Zapien. Please get a hold of me ASAP!’ I felt the blood drain from my body. A mass the size of my fist was pushing down on Pepe’s left lung, and they were forming all over his little body.”

‘I’d been holding back tears all morning. In public, they fell out. A sweet friend saw me go down. She was behind me in seconds.’: Widow urges people to talk about mental health and be ok showing grief in public

“She comforted me while I fell apart. And then, it happened. What always happens when I let anyone see any emotion other than ‘ok’: I got irrationally mad at myself for crying in public. Losing my husband and becoming the soul provider for our daughter has sent me into a deep panic.”

‘You’re not special enough to be my girlfriend.’ I cried. He was embarrassed by my prosthetics.’: Amputee learns to own her uniqueness, ‘My life isn’t normal, but I wouldn’t have it any other way’

“The technician noticed something wrong with my legs. They were shaped like a boomerang. I only had 3 toes on each foot. My feet were turned inwards and pointed down, and my ankles couldn’t rotate. The doctors gave my parents a choice: ‘Amputate her legs or never let her walk.’ When I got pregnant, I wasn’t physically prepared for what was to come. I had no idea how it would affect my body, let alone my prosthetics. I was terrified.”

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