‘Hours after we kissed, he dropped to the floor. He had a heart condition no one knew about.’: 26-year-old widow travels the world to show late husband ‘the places he had wanted to see’

“When the medics came in, they didn’t have that ‘okay, we have this under control’ look on their face. When I reached the hospital, I had no idea how to fill out the paperwork. I couldn’t tell you any of the answers. ‘Tell me what’s going on,’ I said to the doctor. He did just that, and it wasn’t looking good. I became a widow at 26.”

‘She’s so beautiful.’ ‘Yeah, RIGHT. She’s Christian! You don’t have a chance.’: LGBTQ couple thrives despite hate, claim ‘love is so much stronger than words’

“Then, she slid in my inbox! ‘I dare you to come outside and kiss me.’ We met at the stairs, looked at each other, her hand softly grabbed my face. Her lips felt like my missing puzzle piece. Everyone told us it wouldn’t work, that same-sex couples were an abomination. I’m so glad I didn’t listen. When you know, you know.”

‘I adopted a deployed soldier. I knew he’d be my husband. People thought we were nuts.’: 10 months after ‘random selection’ pairing online, couple says ‘I do’ after emotional military homecoming

“I signed up through a website where you ‘adopt’ someone who is deployed. I figured, ‘Why not help someone serving their country?’ We exchanged a few emails. Just small talk. As the days got closer to meeting him in person, I got nervous. I was hours away from meeting my potential husband. My heart just knew.”

‘There’s no way it’s contractions. I’m only 20 weeks!’ Tears rolled down.’: Woman says goodbye to twin son after ‘devastating’ stillborn delivery

“I remember feeling pain, but I was pregnant with twins so I didn’t think too much about it. I could hear nurses laughing in the next room at the sound of another baby’s heartbeat. I sat there, waiting. Then, the nurse came. ‘Your son’s heart stopped.’ I sat in silence. I just wanted to go to sleep, wake up in the morning, and have everything be okay.”

‘The bride who refused to cover her birthmark.’ People wonder why I’m not ashamed.’: Woman with nevus birthmark celebrates her ‘distinctive look,’ reminds us to ‘love ourselves’

“At church, I made eye contact with a lady. She gestured for me to remove my birthmark from my face. I ignored her, but every time I gazed her direction, she’d make the same gesture. At the end of the service, the pastor asked if anyone had final remarks. She stood up. ‘I want the young lady to remove what’s was on her face.’ I was 9 years old.”

‘None of this would be happening if my dad didn’t die.’: Widow feels guilt that teenage daughter is ‘absolutely right,’ learns to ‘forgive herself’ for not ‘saving’ husband from terminal cancer

“I had an argument with my teenage daughter. Through her tears, she said the one thing I have been dreading. I knew it was coming, but when she said it, it still took me to my knees. I was speechless. But you know what? She’s right. She is absolutely right. It’s not the same after her father’s death.”

‘He wasn’t walking or talking. I chalked it up to an overactive sister who adored getting everything for him. The pediatrician agreed, so I left.’: After autism diagnosis, Mom ‘mourns the loss of a son I never had, but will never stop fighting’

“I left the office with a smile on my face. I brought my son back to the car and teared up as I put him in. I refused to cry in front of him. I couldn’t show him I was scared. ‘Autism.’ As soon as they said it, my breath caught. I acted cool and collected. I acted like it was all to be expected. I acted. For everyone else’s benefit.”

‘Help!’ I banged on the wall. My parents were downstairs. I reached for my nebulizer, but quickly realized something was wrong. This is when I remember feeling very calm and a sense of peace.’: Young woman learns ‘lesson’ after near-death experience from whooping cough

“Before bed, my dad asked if I needed to go the the hospital. As a stubborn 19 year old, I somehow talked my way out of it. I told him I was ‘fine’. The next thing I remember, my parents were rushing downstairs. They immediately tried to put my nebulizer mask on, but for some reason I was pushing it away. I woke up in an ambulance. I still feel guilty about that night.”

‘The subject line read, ‘Down Syndrome Baby.’ My heart skipped a beat. That very morning a precious baby boy was born.’: Cancer survivor adopts ‘special gift’ son with Down syndrome after infertility from endometriosis

“When they had learned he was diagnosed with Down syndrome, they did not feel comfortable. I responded with, ‘Yes, yes, and yes!’ My lunch sat uneaten on the counter. I told my son, ‘You are going to be a big brother!’ With the biggest smile on his face, he shouted, ‘Yahoo this is the best day EVER!’”

‘I’m that bad mom at the playground looking at her phone. You assume I’m on social media. Nope, I’m working!’: Mom’s immense guilt over being a ‘stay-at-home-working-mom’ despite others thinking it’s a ‘perfect situation’

“The best time of day is coming. Nap time! Except this doesn’t mean relax, shower, or nap. It means a precious 2-3 hours of work! This is when my time clock actually starts. I race to my computer to pick up where I left off, hoping the toddler won’t take a short nap and completely ruin the day.”

‘You guys go to the coolest places!’ The comment stopped me in my tracks. I rarely leave the house; I put makeup on once a week, and with 2 toddlers, outings are usually cut short.’: Mom reminds us that ‘no one is living the life they post on social media’

“My kids were having a bad day. I threw in the towel and left the party, secretly crying. I sobbed, snapped a photo. I could barely pull myself together. No one is living the life they post on social media. Stop comparing yourself.”

‘I didn’t remember I had my shirt off. ‘Mama, can I take a picture of Bowie?’ I vaguely remember shifting him on my hip so she’d see him better.’: Mom felt ‘disgusted’ after postpartum photos, says it’s ‘normal to mourn your body’

“Alas, a picture was taken. I scrolled through the 50 she took of us and I was not thrilled with what I was looking at. Why? Because of my stomach. The little house this baby grew in was the reason for my disgust. It took me 3 days to even look at those pictures again.”

‘You need to go home to your wife, not be in here with me tonight,’ mom told her newlywed doctor. She was their favorite patient. They loved her determination to fight.’: Daughter feels ’emptiness’ after her mom’s 15-year battle with cancer

“She was my best friend, my go to for everything. Our dream was to go to the beach and have a cabana boy for the day. On her 60th birthday, I made our dream come true. Unfortunately, she couldn’t put her toes in the sand as she was in a wheelchair, but we had the perfect day, cabana boy and all.”

‘I think I am meant to know you.’ My grandpa didn’t recognize us anymore. This disease transformed him into someone else.’: Woman shares ‘fond memories’ of granddad with Alzheimer’s

“I’d been toying with the idea of having him immortalized on my body. I wanted to keep him close to me, and we all knew how important fishing was to my grandpa. But I had a partner that wouldn’t ‘allow’ me to get tattoos on my body. Luckily, I kept the idea within me until I found true love. Each day I see my tattoo, I am reminded of this huge bond I had with my grandpa.”

‘What would we do if someone started shooting?,’ I wondered in church. I could feel my heart racing.’: Mom says her fear can be ‘crippling’ following mass shootings, but knows there will ‘always be light’

“Where were the exits? How would I protect my kids? I hate that my mind was in a place of fear in church of all places. I often run to the grocery store or Target with all 3 of my kids. How will I protect them if someone started shooting? How can I keep them safe? How can I teach them to protect themselves? Fear can be crippling. But there will also always be light.”

‘Zac isn’t here. I’m going to look for him. To check the ditches.’ My heart stopped as I let those words ring in my ear.’: 20-year-old widow loses husband in motorcycle accident only 11 months after marriage

“‘Why don’t you just ride with Trevor? I’m sure he’d wait for you,’ I told my husband. ‘Nah, it’s okay.’ I attempted to kiss him, but his helmet was in the way. He started up his bike and blew me a kiss. Then I remember being frozen. It was weird. Like something stopped me in my tracks and made me turn around to watch him leave.”

‘You look so much more beautiful with a black eye.’ My entire life revolved around staying alive. There was no tomorrow, no next week. Just the now, and an escape plan.’: Young woman escapes domestic violence, finds love with ‘selfless’ man

“Leaving meant dying and staying meant torture. My mornings consisted of figuring out how much time I had to dry my eyes and wash the blood off before work. How much time I had before he came home to get on my hands and knees and pray for my life. On average? 11 minutes. Then the abuse clock started again. It’s not easy loving a domestic violence survivor, but my partner makes it look easy.”

‘Right now is not your time. You’re meant to help other people.’ A 10-minute reign of terror broke out: Shooting survivor recalls ‘resources’ she’s learned from past trauma that helped keep her alive

“From the moment we got around the corner, things felt off, eerie. As this man came closer, I realized something was very wrong. ‘You’re going to come with me and do what I say,’ he said, holding me. I would do whatever it took to keep my daughter safe. If I get a feeling, I listen.”

‘On my wedding day, I asked both my mom and dad to walk me down the aisle. I won’t let divorce keep us from being a family.’: Woman’s separated parents set aside their differences, come together in ‘surreal’ moment on her ‘big day’

“One weekend, when I was 8, my mom sent me to my grandparents’ ranch. When I came back, my dad was gone. No explanation. No reasoning. He just wan’t in my life anymore. It wasn’t until years later, over lunch, when I found out he tried to bring me a birthday cake every year since the divorce. I never got to see them.”

‘Once you adopt, you’ll get pregnant.’ I hated that comment. My period was late. ‘No. I’m not wasting money on a test.’ But I took one. And I was PREGNANT.’: After struggling with infertility, woman is now mom to 2 infants born just 1 month apart

“After struggling for YEARS to have baby, we were going to have TWO! Our friends planned a gender reveal party for our biological baby and at the party, we also announced to everyone that a birth momma had chosen us to be parents to her baby. You should have seen everyone’s faces.”

‘We were going to name her Annie.’ She called the morning of her flight asking for taxi money. ‘She never boarded,’ the airline told us.’: Woman uses failed adoption as inspiration to help other families afford to adopt

“This expectant mom knew we were the right family for her baby. And so we leapt. She sent pictures of her ultrasound with sweet messages like, ‘That’s your baby in there.’ I let myself fall hard and fast. To say I was wearing my heart on my sleeve is an understatement. My heart was showing everywhere. It was an open target…free for the breaking.”

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