unconditional love

‘You are an excuse to be goofy at a time when the world is not. You are chubby-cheeked hope for the future, a constant reminder that life goes on.’: Dad shares ‘fairy tale’ IVF birth, ‘All that matters is the family we choose’

“You are a child of the COVID pandemic. When we wake you up from your crib, you look at us with such electric excitement that it is impossible not to start each day with love. You have shown us how to surrender to stillness, to stand together through fear, and to see the beauty in every moment. You are our reason to play and dance and keep smiling.”

‘You shouldn’t own a nice truck like that if you’re asking for help with medical funds.’ They don’t know about the 8 appointments a week.’: Mom to two medically complex children says ‘we are not going to stop our lives’

“Sophia often passes out. Her lips turn pure white and she vomits for 30 minutes. She injures herself, others, and pets. Her brother performs injurious behaviors too. It is a daily struggle with feelings being hurt and many tears shed. Everyone always says, ‘I don’t know how you do it.’ It’s simple. I do it because it’s what is best for Sophia and Grason. We are not going to stop our lives.”

‘Stop, you’re holding him too close.’ I ignored them, rarely letting go. I assumed everyone was this fiercely protective.’: Mom shares battle with postpartum anxiety, ‘I had no idea why I was suffering’

“Night upon night were panic-filled dreams, cold sweats. I’d frantically fumble through the sheets in search of my baby, who I was convinced I’d rolled on in my extreme state of exhaustion. Everywhere we went, I envisioned horrible things. I became the mother who hovered beneath the play equipment and fed only pureed food in fear he would choke. My mom friends stopped trying. Offers for play-dates and coffee meets ceased.”

‘Be careful not to startle him with sudden sounds.’ ‘A loud sound could kill our boy?!’ We were terrified.’: Baby boy with extremely rare LQT Syndrome, Microcephaly, Deafness defies all odds

“While rocking Azariah to sleep for his nap, he went stiff in my arms. I turned the light on and things changed drastically. He started to convulse and foam at the mouth. I ran downstairs and called 911. Two minutes went by and he was turning blue. I lay him down and gave him 3 breaths. ‘How in the world did this happen to OUR son, why OUR son?’ No one else in the world was known to have the same genetic deletions.”

‘I screamed, ‘I love you! Please don’t leave me!’ She’d changed her tampon. She started seizing and stopped breathing right in front of me.’: Mom loses daughter to Toxic Shock Syndrome, ‘My beautiful girl was a fighter’

“It was my daughter’s 19th birthday. She wasn’t feeling well, but still wanted to go out to dinner. When we got home, my baby was sick to her stomach. She was completely out of it. Something wasn’t right. I hug her saying, ‘It’s okay, the ambulance is coming.’ Then, all of the sudden, she looks at me, takes a deep breathe, and closes her eyes. I held her as she took her last breath. I didn’t want to let go. I prayed God would take me instead.”

‘I miss you already, my baby. You used to need me so much. I cherish the times I was the one to feed you, hold you, calm you. Time is a funny thing.’: Mom warns ‘it goes by so fast’

“So tonight, while you were sleeping, I went to your room and counted your freckles. I gently tangled my fingers in your curls. I listened to you breathe. I sat beside your bed and tried to meet you in your dreams. We laughed and sang in silly voices until it was time for me to go to my own room. I whispered, ‘I love you,’ in your ear. I knew from the beginning you were going to grow. I had no idea how it would simultaneously rip me to pieces.”

‘I looked at him and said, ‘Have we been loving each other wrong?’ After 10 years, my husband and I finally learned how to.’: Couple learn to appreciate each other’s needs

“My husband was distracted by his phone at dinner. I got a little upset. ‘How could he not know how important date nights are to me?’ When we got home, my husband got upset at the growing pile of dishes. ‘I’m sorry, but it’s not a big deal.’ Then, like I’d tried to explain about not having one-on-one attention, he tried to explain why the dishes made him feel not appreciated. For the past 10 years, we’ve been loving each other the wrong way. Loving someone the way you want to be loved doesn’t always work.”

‘We keep pulling the sled, even when they don’t need it. We carry them when they can’t carry themselves.’: Mom pens sweet analogy to motherhood, ‘just keep pulling mama, even when the sled gets heavy’

“I went for a walk in the snow the other day. My children insisted they could walk themselves, that they didn’t need the sled. But I pulled it anyway. After we walked a bit longer, they both grew tired and climbed in. Sometimes, they climbed out. But they always returned. And I always kept pulling. This is what motherhood is. We keep pulling the sled of support. Even when they don’t need it, we are there to help them keep going.⁣”

‘We still have to invite uncle Tommy to Thanksgiving.’ I will not be part of a family who chooses my abuser over me.’: Rape survivor ‘thankful’ for second family who takes her in during the holidays

“For years, my anxiety was high during the holidays, my emotions an all-time low. Nobody knew the cause. After I came out about my sexual assault, my family didn’t know what to believe. My uncle was a ‘great guy.’ When, the shock wore off, my mom hugged me. ‘Everything will be alright.’ Yet, she continues to invite him to every holiday. No one should have to exist in the same room with the one who makes them want to vanish within it.”

‘Mom, I’ve decided something.’ My teen son came out as an atheist. My response? I simply said, ‘Okay.’: Christian mom accepts son’s lack of faith, ‘love is our spiritual center’

“Our family is deeply, extremely religious. Christianity shapes our values, traditions. My son seemed surprised by my reaction. Perhaps he was expecting a big, long argument. He was bracing himself for battle. I have none to give. LOVE is our spiritual center. I could not be prouder of the man you’re becoming.”

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