teacher

‘They found something. I don’t want to ruin your Christmas Eve.’ I sat with my head against the closet, ruined.’: Woman loses husband to Stage 4 Stomach Cancer after multiple misdiagnoses, claims his death ‘saved 3 family members, daughters’

“For 8 months, I watched him deteriorate. Why was this happening? I had everything I ever wanted. Two beautiful, healthy girls and a husband that loved us. I’d go out to eat and look at the family next to me eating dinner and start to cry because I knew we would never be able to go out to dinner as a family again. The hands-on dad that took his girls everywhere could no longer even take the noise of the girls being home.” 

‘Step right up!’ my teacher said. I half shook my head no, turning pink. I slowly rose, my legs glued together. The floodgates opened. I was 5 feet from the board when someone shouted, ‘OH MY GOD!’

“Queue the tears. Oh, those embarrassing tears. I was mortified. I’d never been given the period talk. My parents were too uncomfortable to explain. And to make matters worse… you guessed it. I was wearing white jeans. WHITE. I never expected what would happen next. Not in a million years.”

‘I was cussed out by parents who wanted to attend field trips but missed the THREE notes that went home. When they did attend a trip, they sat on their phone the entire time. The filter comes off now.’

“I’ve had parents tell me I’m not allowed to tell their child ‘no.’ Watching them come in… dirty clothes… chaos at home… and knowing they need more than you can give them in a classroom of 21, with less and less support, multiple languages spoken, several different disabilities… it breaks you.”

‘If I drink beer, maybe they’ll like me.’ ‘Maybe if I smoke this.’ Their words cut deep. I was desperate for acceptance. When it wasn’t enough, I stopped going to class and flunked with all F’s.’

“I thought the bullying would stop when my mom died of cancer, but it returned full force. I remember being yanked off my feet by my ponytail, blood running down my leg. I still wasn’t good enough, so I dropped out. When I returned to school at 31, a mother of 3 kids, I thought the same failure awaited me again. I was absolutely terrified.”

‘They are ours forever,’ I told my husband as tears ran down my face. ‘We have twins. They’ve been moved due to limited beds.’ I read that text a million times. Our day had finally come.’

“I told my student I had to talk to his dad about his behavior. He turned around. ‘He is not my dad, he is my case worker. I don’t have a mom or dad. I am in foster care.’ I was shocked and speechless. I wanted to wrap my arms around him. During dinner, I had a conversation with my husband.”

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