love

‘To the dad at the bounce park, thank you for teaching your child to interact with someone ‘different.’: Mom to son with Down syndrome shares stranger’s act of kindness, inclusion that made her ‘heart swell’

“Your boy took off with the ball Cedar was playing with. You didn’t do what every other parent has done: give the ball back to the child who is different, apologize, and go. This felt genuine, special. You sat down next to Cedar and taught your son to roll the ball back and forth. You saw my little boy loved this so much. Yours was unsure, but you kept showing him how happy mine was. Cedar giggled and clapped. You did, too. I watched in amazement.”

‘Am I really going to be a dad?’ He smiled. ‘You aren’t mad?’ We were too young to have kids.’: Mom suffers PTSD after son is stillborn, ‘they couldn’t find anything wrong’

“He sat on the couch next to me. HE STARTED CRYING! As soon as I stepped on the linoleum, I felt a HUGE gush! A puddle of bright, red blood. His face turned white, his eyes were huge. ‘Has he moved at all today? Could you feel him?!’ I felt my heart shatter. I had one job. All I had to do was keep my baby safe. This can’t be real, it’s a nightmare. ‘Taylor…I’m so sorry.’ We studied him so we wouldn’t forget anything. He was perfect. It actually surprised me.”

‘This doesn’t make any sense!’ I made a proposal. The only valid excuse for backing out would be death. Otherwise, we show up.’: 44-year-old best friends vow over a ‘pinky promise’ to remain connected

“Here we were, both married, raising children, praying, volunteering, and fully engaged in our own lives ­­–– living about 2 miles away from each other. Despite our proximity, we would hardly see each other. We were 44 years old, and made a commitment over a pinky promise. I’d say that’s pretty serious.”

‘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.”

‘We turned off the lights in the classroom, closed the blinds, and laid quietly in the corner. I was so scared.’: 9-year-old recounts ‘chaotic scene’ hiding in classroom after Saugus High School shooting in Santa Clarita

“‘This is not a drill!,’ their teachers yelled. My daughter answered the phone. Her voice shook as she described a chaotic scene. ‘We were outside lining up. I saw my teacher running toward us in high heels. Then she yelled at us to run to our classrooms.’ She is just 9 years old. She and her friend grabbed hands, darted into the nearest classroom, and peaked through a crack in the blinds.”

‘Why bother? Nothing’s left.’ I was a washed-up, homeless junkie injecting meth into my arm.’: Veteran launches organization to end veteran suicide after battling addiction, ‘your life is worth living’

“When that picture on the left was taken, I was in the height of my meth addiction. My only concern was my next high. It’s how I dealt with the war and the loss of my father. I burned every bridge and friendship I’d ever made. I didn’t think there was anything left of me worth saving, so why bother? I was wrong, so wrong.”

‘Can I take a candle bath and listen to soft music?’ My boy had a tough day at school. ‘Of course, baby.’: Mom learns children need mental breaks too, ‘we forget our kids need their own self-care’

“‘Yes, of course baby.’ I lit a few candles, got some orange juice and apples to snack on, and turned on music. He quickly calmed down, finding peace in whatever was going on in his little mind that I struggled to understand. I sat in the hallway, my head in my hands in tears. We all need a break at times, even our children.”

‘How could you do this?’ I look at your Facebook profile before I tell your mother you’re dead.’: First responder shares heartbreaking practice to humanize victims, ‘I owe it to you’

“You’re a nameless body. I know nothing about you. We’re trying desperately to save you but right now, all I am is mad at you. Maybe you were texting, or popped a Vicodin at the campus party and should’ve Ubered. In 5 minutes, I’m about to change your mom and dad’s lives. So, I pick up your faded driver’s license, flip to Facebook. I owe it to them to remind myself it is a person I’m talking about.”

‘Watch what you eat. Work harder in the gym.’ I started purging. To be better means to be smaller.’: Young woman overcomes eating disorder, uses her recovery to help other young women change their way of thinking

“‘I feel fat’ was one of my most commonly used phrases growing up. Most people worry about zits and grades, I was worried about staying alive. ‘You didn’t fight for so long to just give into the eating disorder now.’ Six months later, a woman walked into the store. She lit up. ‘Oh it’s you, you helped my daughter!’ I had no clue who she was. ‘My daughter is the one you talked to six months ago!’ Not only was she doing better, but she was ready to share her story ‘like the girl in Lawrence.’ How proud it made me.”

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