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‘Will I look like him?’ The plane landed. Instant panic struck. My parents never wanted me to find out about him.’: Woman ‘finally complete’ after emotional reunion with biological father, ‘He’s the piece I’ve always been missing’

“I lost my adoptive father and mother only 2 weeks before. Between all the madness, I finally found my biological father. I was told he was ‘the town drunk.’ I was never supposed to know he existed. I heard the plane fly over the dark sky. My stomach suddenly dropped. ‘Please remain seated,’ the pilot announced. I took a deep breath and turned my teary eyes. An average height man locked his blue eyes on mine. Both our smiles began to rise. This was the moment I’d dreamt of my entire life.”

‘Why are you involved? Isn’t it depressing?’ I was dying and it wasn’t the cancer. It was the state of my life.’: Woman survives esophageal cancer, jumpstarts organization to help others

“I was separating from my husband, all the while wondering whether I was going to live or die. I was sharing a room with a woman who’d been told, ‘You have an incurable blood disease. Death is certain.’ I recall shrinking beneath my blankets, not wanting to bring attention to myself on the other side of the thin layer of privacy hanging between us. She told them ‘I have no family to call,’ and when the doctors left, we sat there in silence. I knew I was destined to do more.”

‘Donald, will you wash my hair?’ I sunk into the tub, defeated. He heard my desperate plea through the bathroom door.’: Woman urges ‘ask your spouses for help’ after husband’s act of kindness

“You know those kinds of days where everything that can go wrong does? Yesterday was that day. I’d gotten no sleep before the littles began stirring. The rest of the day was a blur of school lessons, cleaning, runs to multiple stores for ONE thing. Supper was a complete FAIL. I needed to wash my hair because, let’s face it, one can only use dry shampoo for so long, but I hadn’t any energy to muster for that daunting task. Then a thought silently crept across my mind: ‘Ask Donald.’ I had to lay my pride aside.”

‘It’s okay, Chris,’ my mother said to him. ‘I’m here.’ My father was groaning in immense pain. Tears fell onto my jeans.’: Woman finds true meaning of marriage during father’s battle with cancer

“As I leaned toward the mirror, slipping mascara onto my lashes, I heard more grumbling. I froze. I was stuck in their moment with no place to go. ‘I’m so sorry,’ my father said. I sat on my bed, the door cracked open. I was a self-absorbed, twenty-something at the time, bouncing back and forth between two men like a rubber ball. But this moment struck me. Tears fell onto my jeans because I finally realized something—THIS is marriage.”

‘Why doesn’t she leave?’ She thinks if she just tries harder, if she’s a better wife and mom, he wouldn’t get so angry.’: Domestic abuse survivor pens PSA, ‘we need your love, not judgement’

“He has threatened to tell the judge she is a bad mom and will take away her kids. He has taken away her money and convinced her she cannot make it on her own. He has told her if she tries, he will kill her or her family. He has brainwashed her to think it’s all her fault.”

‘She had a holiday announcement planned ‘just in case.’ She doesn’t have life growing in her belly, but she has hope in her heart.’: Woman applauds all women waiting to become mothers ‘even when our bodies fail us’

“The holiday season is freshly fading, and that means pregnancy announcements have rolled out on social media. Here is to ‘that’ momma. The one who is still waiting, looking at one evil line on a pee stick. The one grieving a life she was so in love with. The one who has children of her own, but so desperately wants to give her husband a child with his DNA. The one who is tired of trying, and sad she is starting to give up.”

‘I’ve failed. I can’t do this. I’m too old. No one will ever want me. I’ll never be good enough in anyone’s eyes.’ Mom recalls struggles as a single mom, urges ‘You are made for more’

“I see you: It’s early morning. Your hands grip the edge of your kitchen sink; head slumped as the last few peaceful moments of the morning diminish to dust in the rays through the window. You grasp for air in your lungs. Razor waves of all the anxiety in your life grate against your throat with each breath you take. I know you’re tired.”

‘I was separated from my husband, left a toxic job, and lost most of my friends. Then I thought of the women in my life.’: Woman realizes she is a ‘strong woman’ because she was raised by ‘stronger women

“My great grandmother had 9 children. My great grandfather had spent time in prison for bootlegging, and drank heavily. How she was able to keep it together with 9 kids, no money and an alcoholic husband and stay sane is completely beyond me. My grandmother then made something of herself after losing her husband. She was determined. She was beautiful but tough, sometimes just downright mean, but she was who she was and if someone did not like it then, ‘they can leave.'”

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