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Happy

‘As our boys stood at the finish line, we saw something ignite inside them. They began jumping up and down!’: Mom finds ‘magical’ hobby for autistic twins after 15 years of searching

“My boys are twins and both severely autistic. They can’t have a job, make friends, or drive a car. But we noticed early on that they had a special gift: running. My husband and I thought, ‘Why are we standing on the sidelines watching them? We want to do this, too!’ Their excitement was contagious.”

‘I got a message on Facebook from our local fire chief. ‘You need to call us immediately.’ My heart stopped.’: Community rallies to help couple after shop destroyed by reckless driver

“‘He was going 90 mph. He hit the trailer, the shed, and drove through the entirety of the 40-foot building, and landed on your desk before fleeing.’ I shivered. If I wasn’t on vacation, I would have been right there, in that spot. ‘How can we survive this catastrophe?’ Soon, a couple stopped us. ‘We’re getting older. We’d like to give you something for free.’ I stopped. My breath hitched. I took a few moments to repeat the words in my head.”

‘Your chest looks so flat. What have you done to yourself?’: Young woman battles with weight, self-esteem after abuse, now uses her voice to protect women

“During 5th grade, at my father’s office party in some big hotel, I went upstairs to play hide and seek. A completely drunk stranger started following us. When the rest of the group hid behind the sofa, the man pinned me down. After he was done, I ran downstairs to my parents. We were all crying and pointing upstairs. All the adults searched for the man, but he had left the premises. I packed more than 33 pounds. They would warn their kids, ‘Stop eating. Do you want to look like her?’”

‘Look, she’s eating something!’ I hear the whisper. I feel the cold gnawing at the bottom of my stomach. I hate it and I love it.’: After 12 years battling anorexia, ED survivor learns to accept new plus-size body

“My brother makes me a sandwich when he sees I didn’t eat lunch. My bones poke up under my skin. ‘Please eat it,’ he begs. ‘You need to eat.’ It is so sweet of him, so I eat a few bites. But when he leaves, I give the rest to the dogs. They leave no evidence. Nothing in the trash for my dad to find when he empties it, nothing to clog the toilet. I have become clever in the ways of secret self-destruction.”

‘Poor kid, having to pretend two ‘apes’ are family.’ They say we are mixing pure and dirty blood.’: Woman’s second marriage to black man makes her learn ‘people don’t understand the value of love over skin color’

“Women have approached my son at the park with my husband and said, ‘Honey, where is your mommy? Do you know him? Do you need me to help you find your mommy?’ He’s assumed to be a criminal while I’m always viewed as the saint, a woman who adopted black children out of the goodness of her heart.”

‘My friend thinks you’re cute.’ A co-worker handed me a napkin with a phone number on it. ‘My family doesn’t know I’m gay.’: Woman loses partner to stage 4 lung cancer

“One night, my wife couldn’t lift her legs up the two steps on the front porch. She was carrying a bag with a t-shirt in it. The weight of it was enough to make her fall. I went out to find her hunched over, completely unable to move. She stayed there, crying and yelling, ‘Just leave me out here! Let me die!’ I knew something was wrong. In the freezing cold, I dragged her. ‘How do we tell the kids?’ The numbness was unbearable.”

‘A 3-legged dog and a one-armed wife? We even each other out!’ Sandy was always meant to be mine.’: Woman with anxiety disorder, limb difference finds ‘angel’ therapy dog

“One day, Sandy sat by my bed. I hadn’t walked 50 steps in over a year. She was DONE. ‘What’s up, Sandy?’ She looked right at me and barked! ‘What is it?’ She barked again! I said, ‘Oh, please. What in the world are you doing?’ She was egging me to get up, to move. She wouldn’t quit until I walked. Once I took just a step, she stopped and laid down! Sandy started me on my journey back to life. She took away my fear and, in return, let me give her something I so desperately needed: unconditional love.”

‘Maybe it’s time to change your major.’ I couldn’t turn to my parents. I’m happy I didn’t listen to that advice.’: Daughter of Mexican immigrants becomes first generation graduate, inspired by brother’s illness

“During our phone conversation I remember him telling me, ‘Mija, I am so proud of you. I knew you would get accepted!’ It’s moments like these when I am happy to share with my parents because I know they are not only my accomplishments, but theirs as well.”

‘We chose RV life, RV life didn’t choose us!’: Family of 4 upgrades to an RV, ‘The only word we could use would be ‘freeing.’ You don’t realize how much things weigh on you.’

“The questions started to roll in and the eyebrows started to raise. ‘You live in what?’ We decided to live full time in our RV, for multiple reasons. We wanted to try it out. Going through our items one by one took a lot of weight off of us. We felt like we could breathe again. We could easily question, ‘What happens after this?’ The beauty is, we don’t have to know all the answers!”

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