we are love

‘One minute ago you were glued to my side, now there’s enough space between us to fill the Universe. Be patient with me as I learn to let you go.’: Mom pens touching letter to her tweenager, ‘I hope my love will always bring you back for more’

“I dreamed about you before you were even a possibility. I dreamed of you when the doctors and tests said no. I dreamed of you while I carried you in my heart and soul. And then, suddenly, you were there. Your tiny hand wrapped around my finger in an empty hospital room, looking up at me with big eyes, asking me to love you. Be patient with me as I learn to let you go.”

‘If you start to feel like you don’t like it, you can tell me to stop,’ I said. ‘I don’t like that,’ he practiced.’: Mom turns playful tickling with son into consent lesson, ‘We all deserve to enjoy living in our own bodies’

“My 3-year-old asked me to tickle him. Tickling is one of those activities that can move quickly from fun into boundary transgression. I wanted to connect with him playfully in the way he was asking and model safe physical experiences at the same time. It’s not one serious, awkward conversation. It’s not The Sex Talk you’ve known and dreaded. It’s a foundation built over years.”

‘When he died, everyone reminded me ‘once an addict, always an addict.’ After 5 years sober, he bought a pill he thought was Percocet. I’ll never know why.’: Mom of 5 says ‘life after addiction can be so, so beautiful if you let it’

“I fell in love with a man who never put anything before our family, especially not a pill. I am reminded every day, ‘He made a choice. He didn’t have to take that pill, whether he knew it was laced or not. So, stop being sad.’ His life isn’t celebrated the same. His death wasn’t mourned because of how he died.”

‘I went on countless job interviews, but I didn’t ‘look the part.’ The second they saw me, the whole vibe changed.’: Woman with Nemaline Rod Myopathy embraces disability, ‘I want to be seen for the smart, fun, boss babe that I am’

“After graduation, I was excited to take on the world! That feeling quickly died. Every employer assumed I wasn’t qualified. I didn’t have a specific ‘look,’ or I didn’t fit the part. I realized I didn’t want to work someplace where I would be judged by the way I look, not by the work I contribute. Appearances matter, but they matter even more when you’re disabled. And the hardest part about being disabled isn’t being disabled. It’s fighting to be seen as an equal.”

‘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.”

‘I’m a sucky wife some days. He gets the leftovers, life gets the main dish. Most nights, I’m asleep before he even graces the bedroom.’: Woman ‘thankful’ for husband who ‘doesn’t ask more of me than he knows I can give this season’

“I don’t have that same twinkle in my eye. I can no longer give him my full attention like I used to. My energy goes into playing hot wheels and throwing together loads of laundry. We share half-hearted conversations as we each scroll through stupid Facebook videos at the end of a long day. I pour so much of myself into every area of my life that my husband often gets the drips of what is left. It’s not fair. But I’m thankful.”

‘There’s no way I can say goodbye?’ I had 2 options: die or let my daughter die. I picked myself off the bathroom floor and went numb.’: Woman survives nearly-fatal molar pregnancy, loses daughter

“At 15 weeks pregnant, my OB called and left a voicemail. Something was different in her voice. ‘You’re the sickest patient on the whole Labor & Delivery floor.’ Little did I know, that voicemail would spur a chain of events I could never have imagined. ‘It’s rare, aggressive, and will threaten both your lives.’ I walked myself to the bathroom, shut the door, and sobbed on the floor. All of these feelings of guilt started to pour out.”

‘The sonographer whispered under her breath, ‘Thank you, Jesus.’ Confused, I looked up to her wiping her eyes. My ‘dead baby’ was alive.’: Baby miraculously survives suspected miscarriage 

“I asked the ultrasound tech, ‘What are you talking about?’ There was so much blood. I made peace with the fact that my baby girl was gone. My D&C to remove the remaining fetal tissue from my womb was already scheduled. She turned on her machine, positioned the doppler on my belly. I was flabbergasted. My ‘dead baby’ was alive. The doctor came in and stared down the ultrasound photos in confusion. ‘There is no explainable way your baby survived.'”

‘My hubby snapped this photo while I fell asleep sitting up, breastfeeding our 2-week-old twins. It’s the most unflattering image, but it makes me proud.’: Mom to twins reminds us how ‘amazing’ the female body can be 

“Exhausted doesn’t fully describe this photo. I was sneaking in a nap while healing from 2 types of births: Baby A vaginal, Baby B cesarean. My body was working non-freaking-stop to make all the milk for these boys. People ask, ‘How do you do it with 4 kids?’ I shrug and respond, ‘Moms always figure it out.’ Even when we have no clue how, we make it work. We’ve got a drive within us that is unstoppable. The funny thing is, I’d do it all over again.”

‘I knocked on the door. ‘I remember everything you did to me.’ We drove from California to Texas, just so I could look him in the eye and say it.’: Sexual assault survivor fosters 26 children, ‘I want to bring them hope’

“I remember my grandfather always calling my name, looking for me. While most kids were dreaming of graduating high school, I was piecing together horrific memories. I remembered the smell of the burnt orange carpet when I’d hide under the bed. I remembered the knick-knacks on the dresser I focused on to escape what was happening. Many people ask me, ‘Why in the world do you continue to do foster care when your own biological kids have left the nest?’ The answer is simple: I’m meant to love people through their pain.”

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