A Man Found A Note That Just Said ‘Read Me.’ What It Said Inside Shocked Him To His Core!

A man found a handwritten note on an empty chair at the San Francisco Airport. It said “read me” on the outside, so he did what all of us would have done…he read it and here is what it said:

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I recently left an emotionally abusive relationship.

After months of insults I won’t repeat, false accusations, lies, delusions, broken mirrors, nightly battles…. I left. I know that I was being poisoned by each day that I stayed. So with a heavy heart, I left my lover of three years, knowing that I had already put it off too long. At first he begged, then he cursed, but eventually he packed his bags and faded out of my life like a bad dream.

For the first few weeks, my body seemed to reject this. For three years I had seen the world through him-colored glasses. I didn’t know who I was without him. Despite the kindness of friends and even strangers. I could not help feeling utterly alone.

But it was this sense of aloneness that set me free. Somewhere along the way, I let go. I released all of the painful memories, the names he had called me, the shards of him buried deep in my brain. I stopped believing the things he had made me think about myself. I began to see how extraordinary, breathtakingly beautiful life is. I meditated, drank too much coffee, talked to strangers, laughed at nothing. I wrote poetry and stopped to smell and photograph every flower. Once I discovered that my happiness depends only on myself, nothing could hurt me anymore.

I have found and continue to find peace. Each day I am closer to it than I was yesterday. I am a work in progress but I am full to the brim with gratitude and joy.

And so, since I have opened a new chapter in my life, I want to peacefully part with the contents of the last chapter. The end of my relationship was the catalyst for a wealth of positive changes in my life. It was a symbol, most importantly, it was an act of self-love. It was a realization that I deserved to be happy and I could choose to be. And so, in an effort to leave behind the things that do not help me grow, I am letting go of a relic from the painful past.

I wore this necklace-a gift from him-every day for over two years. To me, letting it go is a joyous declaration that I am moving forward with strength and grace and deep, lasting peace.

Please accept this gift as a reminder that we all deserve happiness. Whoever you are, and whatever pain you have faced, I hope you find peace.

Namaste, Jamie

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What a blessing that this woman made the difficult decision to take care of herself rather than linger in an unhealthy relationship. Making the hard, least popular decision is always difficult but usually where the blessings are!

12-Year-Old Taylor Smith Recently Died and Left Behind The Most Heart-Shattering Letter Ever!

Taylor Smith, a 12 year old from Johnson City, Tennessee, passed away on January 5th, 2014 from a sudden onset of pneumonia. Despite this tragedy, Taylor was a special little girl, optimistic and cheerful. Never was this more evident than a letter that her parents came across.

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As Taylor’s parents, Tim and Mary Ellen Smith, were sorting through her belongings, they found a letter written on April 2013 to her future self on April 13, 2023. The letter wasn’t supposed to be opened until that date but, as Taylor had passed, they were curious what she wrote.

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Here is the transcription of the letter:

Dear Taylor,

How’s life? Life is pretty simple right now (10 years in your past). I know I’m late for you, but as I’m writing, this is early, so; congratulations on graduating high school! If you didn’t go back and keep trying. Get that degree! Are you (we) in college? If not, I understand. We do have pretty good reasoning, after all.

Don’t forget, it’s Allana’s 11th birthday today! Sheesh, 11 already? In my time, she just turned 1! I didn’t get to go to that party though, because I was in Cranks, Kentucky for my first mission trip. I’ve only been back for 6 days!

Speaking of, how’s your relationship with GOD? Have you prayed, worshipped, read the bible, or gone to serve the lord recently? If not, get up and do so NOW! I don’t care what point in our life we’re in right now, do it! He was mocked, beaten, tortured, and crucified for you! A sinless man, who never did you or any other person any wrong!

Now, have you gone on any more mission trips? Have you been out of the country yet? How about on a plane?

Is Doctor Who still on the air? If not, what regeneration did they end it with? You should go watch some Doctor Who! Later though, you gotta finish reading your own words of wisdom!

Do you have your own place yet? If we’re in college, what are we majoring in? Right now, I wanna be a lawyer.

Have you been to Dollywood recently? Right now, their newest attraction is the Wild Eagle. It’s so fun!

Also I think I’m going to sell my iPad and buy an iPad mini, Don’t forget to tell your kids that we’re older than the tablet! Attached I also have a drawing of an iPad, so you can show them.

Well, I think that’s all. But remember, it’s been 10 years since I wrote this. Stuff has happened, good and bad. That’s just how life works, and you have to go with it.

Sincerely, 
Taylor Smith

Despite her sudden passing, she remained absolutely positive. She motivated her future self and even congratulated her on graduating. Taylor’s father told NBC that he”just want[ed] people to know just what an awesome, awesome person [Taylor] was”

(via Independent, Diply)

Mom Fights Back Against Profanity By Flipping the Script on Graffiti Artists’ Nasty Messages

In the remote city of Iqaluit, Canada, one mother was tired of seeing the unsavory graffiti that appeared on the walls of her town. According to CBC News, when Janet Brewster’s young son asked about the meaning of a drug reference sprayed on a wall, it was the last straw.

So she did something about it–she decided to wage a war against the negativity and profanity with uplifting and positive messages.

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Armed with spray paint and the determination to put an end to what she calls the “micro-aggression” represented by angry and vulgar language, Janet Brewster has turned nastiness into niceness.

In her hands, curses against the police spray painted on a former RCMP building become, “Hug the Police.” A suggestion to engage in drug use becomes, “Let’s light up our life.” Obscene drawings become hearts or smiley faces and many an expletive has been changed to, “Lucky you.”

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Brewster believes that the constant barrage of negative messages expressed through the city’s graffiti can affect people’s general outlook and state of mind:

“On most days you can just move on. But if someone is having a particularly bad day, one more negative message isn’t welcome.”

By flipping that anger and negativity into a positive and happy sentiment, Brewster has found a way to turn something ugly and antisocial into something that might just end up making someone’s day.

Her Kids Took Her Photo At The Beach. At First, She’s Horrified. By The End? Wow!

We love sharing raw, honest stories by real people. This is one of them. Bridgette White shares her true thoughts as she makes a discovery after her kids take a picture of her without her permission. At first, she is horrified to see herself in her true form….

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The following was what Bridgette posted on her blog:

My first reaction is shock. Who took this hideous picture of me?

Self-loathing and disgust swell up and threaten to bring me to tears.

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Just as I am about to hit delete, my boy walks in the room.

“Do you know anything about this picture?” I ask him.

I turn the screen so he can see it. He smiles huge.

“I took that of you in Tahoe,” he says.

“You looked so beautiful laying there. I couldn’t help it mom.”

“You need to ask me before using my phone to take pictures,” I say.

“I know,” he says. “But mom, seriously, look how pretty you look?”

I look at the picture again and try to see what he sees.

My daughter walks over and takes a look.

“That could be a postcard mom,” she says smiling. “You’re so beautiful. I love it.”

I take a deep breath.

This is exactly what I needed.

My default mode is to see and focus on the flaws and imperfections. I’m starting to see a bit more.

I still see my dimply, fat thighs.

I also see a mom collapsed on the shore that just explored the lake for hours with her children.

I still see chubby arms.

I also see the arms of a mom that just helped her kids across the rocks and hot sand so their feet wouldn’t hurt.

I still see a fat woman wearing a black dress bathing suit to try to hide her weight issue.

I also see an adventurous mom that loves her children something fierce.

Like many women, I have struggled with my weight most of my life. It’s not something that will ever go away for me. I don’t have a naturally slim body. Never have.

Right now I’m the heaviest I’ve been in 10 years. Yet…

I have not let my weight stop me this time. I am wearing tank tops, sundresses and bathing suits in public. I’m running around playing with my kids this summer and I sometimes even feel attractive.

Yes. You heard me.

“I feel pretty. Oh so pretty. I feel pretty, and witty and bright.”

Well…not exactly. But something like that.

Is it because I’m getting older?

Is it that I have more to worry about than just how I look?

Or maybe it’s because my kids look at me with such adoring eyes.

Really, it doesn’t matter.

I don’t hate my body anymore.

That’s huge for me to admit and hard to even wrap my mind around.

I’m not giving up on exercising and getting healthy. Those are things I will continue to strive for because I want to be around awhile.

Right now though, I just want to love my body where it is. I want it to be OK to see myself the way my kids do.

Thank you kids.

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Bridgette’s bravery to share this story for the world to see is something all mothers should feel comfortable to do. Isn’t it amazing the lessons our kids teach us with each passing day? Sometimes I must wonder if we are the parent or the child.

Boyfriend Writes The Most Heart Piercing Letter To Her Next Lover. This Is Heartbreaking.

Would you write a letter to the person who is with your ex-lover? Does that sound too crazy for you? They say love will make you do crazy things. Read this and think if you would do the same thing as well.

To the one who loves her next,

She’s terrified of spiders. So when you’re out late with friends and she texts you freaking out because there’s one on her window, please go kill it. She won’t sleep otherwise.
She is a total textbook introvert. She won’t reply for hours and sometimes you won’t see her for a week. You will take this personally. Don’t. She’s simply taking care of herself and she’ll tell you how much she missed you while she was away.
She’ll get very jealous. My god, she gets so jealous. Those brown eyes will turn a deep green. She hates that about herself, and she doesn’t mean to do it. Remember, she loves you. Reassure her that you love her too.
On that topic, she needs constant reassurance. Tell her you love her and mean it. If you can’t do that, leave. She deserves more than that.
There will be nights when she goes out and drinks a little too much. She’ll call you to bring her home. When you do, she’ll try to keep you up all night by tickling you and repeating “I love you and I’m sorry I’m annoying.” She’s not annoying. But make sure she has plenty of water and don’t let her pass out until she drinks it, or she will be miserable in the morning.
She is the most independent woman I know. But she’s so insecure, it still breaks my heart. So when she starts an argument with “you don’t love me.” Do not get upset. Remind her you do and the reasons why. She’ll come around.
The cat comes first. Always. Don’t ever think otherwise.
Make her tea and remember the way she takes her coffee. She will notice.
When she’s having an anxiety attack, wrap her up in your arms and rub her back. Tell her she’s safe and remind her that she has medication if she needs it.
If you cannot treat her like royalty, let someone else. That girl deserves the world.
Losing her is a pain you will never shake. Your world will come crashing down on you and those pieces won’t ever fit the way they used to. Don’t let her go.
She will love you with all she’s got. Please give her the same.
I am begging you to not hurt her. She is golden. Don’t let that shine die out.
Give her your all and she’ll return the favor. You will never have to ask the universe for anything ever again.

Sincerely,
a name you’ll hear in passing.

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The Nurse Just Asked This Man Why He Still Bothered To Visit His Wife. His Reply Is Perfect.

It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80’s arrived at the hospital to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he hod an appointment at 9:00 am.

The nurse took his vital signs and told him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound.

On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound. While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor’s appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife.

I inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer’s Disease. As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late.

He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now. I was surprised, and asked him, ‘And you still go every morning, even though she doesn’t know who you are?’

He smiled as he patted my hand and said, ‘She doesn’t know me, but I still know who she is.’

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This Woman Has An Important Message For Moms Thinking About Wearing A Bikini In The Summer

Rachel Hollis is a blogger for The Chic Site where there’s one common goal – encouraging other women to be their best selves. The mother of three shared a photo of herself in a bikini on Facebook which has gone viral for all the right reasons.

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This is the message Hollis wrote with her photo:

“I have stretch marks and I wear a bikini. I have a belly that’s permanently flabby from carrying three giant babies and I wear a bikini. My belly button is saggy… (which is something I didn’t even know was possible before!!) and I wear a bikini. I wear a bikini because I’m proud of this body and every mark on it. Those marks prove that I was blessed enough to carry my babies and that flabby tummy means I worked hard to lose what weight I could. I wear a bikini because the only man who’s opinion matters knows what I went through to look this way. That same man says he’s never seen anything sexier than my body, marks and all. They aren’t scars ladies, they’re stripes and you’ve earned them. Flaunt that body with pride!”

Hollis’ Facebook post has resonated with so many women (and men) that it’s been shared over 71,000 times with over 17,000 comments. Let’s keep it going!

Man Notices Conversation Between Poor Kid And Store Owner, But Never Expected This Outcome.

Can you believe marbles could become priceless? What do you think it would take to make them valuable? Would they have to be inlaid with gold? Do they have to be owned by royalty, or a major archaeological find?

In this story, these marbles were bought at a store, and cost little to make, but to this man, all the money in the world could not replace the value of these red marbles.

I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes… I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily appraising a basket of freshly picked green peas.

I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.

Pondering the peas, I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.

‘Hello Barry, how are you today?’

‘H’lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus’ admirin’ them peas. They sure look good.’

‘They are good, Barry. How’s your Ma?’

‘Fine. Gittin’ stronger alla’ time.’

‘Good. Anything I can help you with?’

‘No, Sir. Jus’ admirin’ them peas.’

‘Would you like to take some home?’ Asked Mr. Miller.

‘No, Sir. Got nuthin’ to pay for ‘em with.’

‘Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?’

‘All I got’s my prize marble here.’

‘Is that right? Let me see it’ said Miller.

‘Here ’tis. She’s a dandy.’

‘I can see that. Hmm mmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?’ the store owner asked.

‘Not zackley but almost.’

‘Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble’. Mr. Miller told the boy.

‘Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.’

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, ‘There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn’t like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.’

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado, but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.

Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts…all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband’s casket.

Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket.

Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one; each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband’s bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

‘Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about.

They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim ‘traded’ them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size….they came to pay their debt.’

‘We’ve never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,’ she confided, ‘but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho …’

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

The Moral: We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.

Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles – A fresh pot of coffee you didn’t make yourself. An unexpected phone call from an old friend. Green stoplights on your way to work. The fastest line at the grocery store. A good sing-along song on the radio. Your keys found right where you left them. Send this to the people you’ll never forget. I just did… If you don’t send it to anyone, it means you are in way too much of a hurry to even notice the ordinary miracles when they occur. It’s not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.

She Knew Mother-In-Law Was Turning Her Kids Into Spoiled Brats

This mother of three kids looked back on her life and reflected upon how she felt about her mother-in-law. The letter she wrote to her will leave you in a puddle of tears.

 

You always stole my thunder. You gave them everything they wanted. You never said no when they asked for anything.

A second helping of dessert. Candy before dinner. A few more minutes in the bath. Money for the ice cream truck.

How I struggled to show you respect and appreciation while trying to make sure you didn’t spoil my children. I thought you would turn them into “selfish brats” by giving them everything they wanted. I thought they might never learn to wait, to take turns, to share, because you granted their wishes as soon as they opened their mouths and pointed.

You held each one of my babies long after they fell asleep. Didn’t you understand that I needed them to learn to fall asleep on their own?

You ran to them as soon as they made the tiniest sound. How would they ever learn to self-soothe?

I resented you for buying the best and most expensive gifts on their birthdays and on Christmas. How could I possibly compete with you? How do you think it feels to know that the very best presents, the ones they’ll be the most excited and aglow about, are not from their parents?

And how they loved afternoons spent with you. You made their favorite things for dinner — three different meals for three different boys. And you always had a little surprise. A present, candy or a special treat. I didn’t want them to associate you with gifts and sweets. I thought they should love you for you. I tried to tell you this, but you wouldn’t listen. You continued to indulge them in every way possible.

I spent a lot of time wondering why you did all these things and how I could get you to ease up. I know grandmothers are supposed to “spoil the kids,” then send them home, but you were… ridiculous.

Until you were gone.

I had to hold my boys and tell them that their grandma died. It didn’t seem possible — you were supposed to be there for all the other special moments: proms, graduations, weddings. But they lost their grandma too soon and too suddenly. They were not ready to say goodbye to you.

During those years when I wished you’d stop spoiling them, I never thought about how much you loved them. So much that you showed it in every way possible. Your cooking. The gifts. The candy and sweets. Your presence. The way you could recount every detail of a special moment, whether it was a perfect catch in the outfield or a sweet and slightly off-key note sung at a school concert. Your grandmotherly love for them knew no bounds. Your heart poured love from every place possible — your kitchen, your pocketbook, your words and your tireless arms.

It’s pointless to dwell on regrets, but I often think about how I had it all wrong. I was so wrong in how I perceived your generosity. My kids, now in their teens, miss you dearly. And they don’t miss your gifts or your money. They miss you. They miss running to greet you at the door and hugging you before you could step in. They miss looking up at the bleachers and seeing you, one of their biggest fans, smiling and enthralled to catch their eye. They miss talking to you and hearing your words of wisdom, encouragement and love.

If I could speak to you one more time, I would tell you that every time a precious moment steals my heart, every time I watch them arrive at a new milestone, and every time they amaze me with their perseverance, talents or triumphs, I think of you. And I wish that they could have you back.

Come back and love them one last time, like no one else in the world but a grandmother could. Bring your sweets and surprises. Reward them with gifts for the smallest accomplishments. Painstakingly prepare their favorite meals. Take them anywhere they want to go. All and only because you love them.

Oh, how I wish with my whole heart that you could come back.

Sit for endless hours in the bleachers with me. Come back and watch his determined stance, his all-out effort, and his anxious rituals. We could study my boy’s face, and both know without a doubt if he’s confident, intimidated, thirsty or bored.

Come back and listen to the sound of his saxophone, and watch his face with me. We both know which songs are his favorite just by studying his eyes while he plays. Watch him with me as he shifts in his seat, makes eye contact with friends and sighs with relief after the end of each song.

Come back and hear his voice as the bellowing bass in the high school choir. Delight in how he sings with his whole heart and soul. His green eyes bright with passion, then gently closed for the longer notes.

I could glance your way and know that no one adores him quite like you or me.

Come back and watch him walk in his cap and gown. Watch the wind blow his hair away from his face, and be awestruck with me as we glimpse the man he is becoming. Stand with me as we, without a word exchanged, simultaneously wonder how the years tumbled by so fast.

The more I long for you to come back, the more I realize that in a way, you never left.

I understand now. I know you loved them in every way you could. I know that being their grandma gave you joy and purpose. And of course I know that you can’t come back, but I do know that your love for them will always remain. Your love built them and sheltered them in ways that cannot be described. Your love is a big part of who they are and what they will become as they grow. For this, and for every treat and gift, and every time you held them too long or consoled them too much, or let them stay up too late, I will always thank you.

And I will wish a million times that you could do it all again.

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9 Women Kept This Secret For Decades That Not Even Their Husbands Knew About. Wow.

Somewhere in West Tennessee, not far from Graceland, nine women – or “The 9 Nanas,” as they prefer to be called – gather in the darkness of night. At 4am they begin their daily routine – a ritual that no one, not even their husbands, knew about for 30 years. They have one mission and one mission only: to create happiness. And it all begins with baked goods.

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“One of us starts sifting the flour and another washing the eggs,” explained Nana Mary Ellen, the appointed spokesperson for their secret society. “And someone else makes sure the pans are all ready. We switch off, depending on what we feel like doing that day.

“But you make sure to say Nana Pearl is in charge, because she’s the oldest!” she added with a wink and a smile.

Over the next three hours, The 9 Nanas (who all consider themselves sisters, despite what some of their birth certificates say) will whip up hundreds of pound cakes, as part of a grand scheme to help those in need. And then, before anyone gets as much as a glimpse of them, they’ll disappear back into their daily lives. The only hint that may remain is the heavenly scent of vanilla, lemon and lime, lingering in the air.

Even the UPS driver, who picks up hundreds of packages at a time, has no clue what these women, who range in age from 54 to 72, are doing. He’s just happy to get a hug and a bag filled with special treats. What he doesn’t know is that he’s part of their master plan. A plan that began 35 years ago – when the “sisters” got together for their weekly card game – something their husbands referred to as “Broads and Bridge.”

“Pearl says it was all her idea,” Mary Ellen teased, “but as I remember it, we were sitting around reminiscing about MaMaw and PaPaw and all the different ways they would lend a hand in the community.” MaMaw and PaPaw are the grandparents who raised four of the women, Mary Ellen included, when their mother passed away; and they took in Pearl as their own, when her parents needed some help.

“MaMaw Ruth would read in the paper that someone had died,” Mary Ellen remembered, “and she’d send off one of her special pound cakes. She didn’t have to know the family. She just wanted to put a little smile on their faces. And we started thinking about what we could do to make a difference like that. What if we had a million dollars? How would we spend it?

So the ladies began brainstorming.

“One of the sisters suggested that we should all start doing our own laundry and put the money we saved to good use. I admit, I protested at first. There’s just something about laundering that I don’t like. But I was outnumbered! So among the nine of us, we’d put aside about $400 a month and our husbands never noticed a thing. Their shirts looked just fine.”

And then the women started listening. They’d eavesdrop – all with good intentions, of course – at the local beauty shop or when they were picking up groceries. And when they heard about a widow or a single mom who needed a little help, they’d step in and anonymously pay a utility bill or buy some new clothes for the children.

“We wanted to help as much as we could,” Mary Ellen said, “without taking away from our own families, so we became coupon clippers. And we’d use green stamps. Remember those? We’d use green stamps and we’d make sure to go to Goldsmith’s department store on Wednesdays. Every week they’d have a big sale and you could spend $100 and walk away with $700 worth of merchandise.”

The Nanas would find out where the person lived and send a package with a note that simply said, “Somebody loves you” – and they’d be sure to include one of MaMaw Ruth’s special pound cakes.

The more people they helped, the bolder they became.

“We gave new meaning to the term drive-by,” Mary Ellen said with delight. “We’d drive through low-income neighborhoods and look for homes that had fans in the window. That told us that the people who lived there didn’t have air-conditioning. Or we’d see that there were no lights on at night, which meant there was a good chance their utilities had been turned off. Then we’d return before the sun came up, like cat burglars, and drop off a little care package.”

For three decades, the ladies’ good deeds went undetected – that is, until five years ago, when Mary Ellen’s husband, whom she lovingly calls “Southern Charmer,” started noticing extra mileage on the car and large amounts of cash being withdrawn from their savings account.

“He brought out bank statements and they were highlighted!” Mary Ellen said, recalling the horror she felt. “I tried to explain that I had bought some things, but he had this look on his face that I’d never seen before – and I realized what he must have been thinking. I called the sisters and said, ‘You all need to get over here right away.’”

So 30 years into their secret mission, the 9 Nanas and their husbands gathered in Mary Ellen’s living room and the sisters came clean. They told the husbands about the laundry and the eavesdropping — even the drive-bys. And that’s where their story gets even better – because the husbands offered to help.

“They were amazed that we were doing this and even more amazed that they never knew. We can keep a good secret! All but three of them are retired now, so sometimes they come with us on our drive-bys. In our area, all you need is an address to pay someone’s utility bill, so we keep the men busy jotting down numbers.”

It wasn’t long before the couples decided it was also time to tell their grown children. And that’s when happiness began to happen in an even bigger way. The children encouraged their mothers to start selling MaMaw Ruth’s pound cakes online, so they could raise money to help even more people. And it wasn’t long before they were receiving more than 100 orders in a day.

“The first time we saw those orders roll in, we were jumping up and down,” Mary Ellen said with a laugh. “We were so excited that we did a ring-around-the-rosie! Then we called all the children and said, ‘What do we do next?’”

That’s when the 9 Nanas moved their covert baking operation out of their homes and into the commercial kitchen of a restaurant owned by one of their sons, where they can sneak in before sunrise and sneak out before the staff comes in. They even hired a “happiness coordinator” (whose code name is “Sunny,” of course). Her identity needs to be a secret, too, so she can help out with the eavesdropping.

“We swore her to secrecy – her parents think she works in marketing. And, really, if you think about it, she is doing public relations and spends a lot of time looking for people to help at the supermarket!”

These days, The 9 Nanas are able to take on even bigger projects, given their online success. Recently they donated more than $5,000 of pillows and linens and personal care products to a shelter for survivors of domestic violence. And this August, they’ll celebrate their second consecutive “Happiness Happens Month” by sending tokens of their appreciation to one person in every state who has made a difference in their own community.

And that million dollars they once wished for? They’re almost there. In the last 35 years, the 9 Nanas have contributed nearly $900,000 of happiness to their local community.

But that doesn’t mean they’re too busy to continue doing the little things that make life a bit happier. Sometimes they just pull out the phone book and send off pound cakes to complete strangers. And if the Nanas spot someone at the grocery store who appears to need a little help, it’s not unusual for them to start filling a stranger’s cart.

Not everyone is as lucky as we were to have MaMaw and PaPaw to take care of them, to fix all those things that are wrong.

“So this is our way of giving back,” Mary Ellen said. “We want people to know that someone out there cares enough to do something. We want to make sure that happiness happens.”

To learn more about The 9 Nanas and Happiness Happens or to purchase one of MaMaw Ruth’s special pound cakes, you can visit their website: The9Nanas.com.

 

They Looked With Disgust When Woman Is Helped By Her Son

This man did what a son is supposed to do for his old mother but onlookers were not bright enough to keep their judgmental reactions to themselves…until this old man told him this.

A son took his old mother to a restaurant for an evening dinner. Mother being very old and weak, while eating, dropped food on her clothes. Other diners watched her in disgust while her son was calm.

After she finished eating, her son who was not at all embarrassed, quietly took her to the wash room, wiped the food particles, removed the stains, combed her hair and fitted her spectacles firmly. When they came out, the entire restaurant was watching them in dead silence, not able to grasp how someone could embarrass themselves publicly like that.

The son settled the bill and started walking out with his mother.

At that time, an old man amongst the diners called out to the son and asked him, “Don’t you think you have left something behind?”.

The son replied, “No sir, I haven’t”.

The old man retorted, “Yes, you have! You left a lesson for every son and hope for every mother”.

The restaurant went silent.

Mom Gives Best Explanation Ever How Life Changes After Pregnancy. This Is Perfect.

Do you know how life changes when a young couple decides to become young parents? Do they think it boils down to adding more commitments and costs? Or do you already know about the emotional toll and everything it entails? Here’s a story that explains it all.

“We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of “starting a family.” “We’re taking a survey,” she says half-joking. “Do you think I should have a baby?”

“It will change your life,” I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.

“I know,” she says, “no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations.”

But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes.

I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking, “What if that had been MY child?” That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her.

That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of “Mom!” will cause her to drop a soufflé or her best crystal without a moments hesitation.

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I feel that I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her baby’s sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that every day decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy’s desire to go to the men’s room rather than the women’s at McDonald’s will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom.

However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother.

Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself.

That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give herself up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years, not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs.

I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor.

My daughter’s relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks.

I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child.

I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving.

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike.

I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for the first time.

I want her to taste the joy that is so real it actually hurts.

My daughter’s quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. “You’ll never regret it,” I finally say. Then I reached across the table, squeezed my daughter’s hand and offered a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings.

Please share this with a Mom that you know or all of your girlfriends who may someday be Moms. May you always have in your arms the one who is in your heart.”

Pilot Transports Fallen Soldier On His Plane

An actual letter from an airline pilot. He writes:

My lead flight attendant came to me and said, “We have an H.R. On this flight.” (H.R. Stands for human remains.)

“Are they military?” I asked. ‘Yes’, she said. ‘Is there an escort?’ I asked. ‘Yes, I’ve already assigned him a seat.’

‘Would you please tell him to come to the flight deck. You can board him early,” I said.

A short while later, a young army sergeant entered the flight deck. He was the image of the perfectly dressed soldier. He introduced himself and I asked him about his soldier. The escorts of these fallen soldiers talk about them as if they are still alive and still with us.

‘My soldier is on his way back to Virginia ,’ he said. He proceeded to answer my questions, but offered no words.

I asked him if there was anything I could do for him and he said no. I told him that he had the toughest job in the military and that I appreciated the work that he does for the families of our fallen soldiers. The first officer and I got up out of our seats to shake his hand. He left the flight deck to find his seat.

We completed our pre-flight checks, pushed back and performed an uneventful departure. About 3o minutes into our flight I received a call from the lead flight attendant in the cabin. ‘I just found out the family of the soldier we are carrying, is on board’, she said. She then proceeded to tell me that the father, mother, wife and 2-year old daughter were escorting their son, husband, and father home. The family was upset because they were unable to see the container that the soldier was in before we left. We were on our way to a major hub at which the family was going to wait four hours for the connecting flight home to Virginia.

The father of the soldier told the flight attendant that knowing his son was below him in the cargo compartment and being unable to see him was too much for him and the family to bear. He had asked the flight attendant if there was anything that could be done to allow them to see him upon our arrival. The family wanted to be outside by the cargo door to watch the soldier being taken off the airplane. I could hear the desperation in the flight attendants voice when she asked me if there was anything I could do. ‘I’m on it’, I said. I told her that I would get back to her.

Airborne communication with my company normally occurs in the form of e-mail like messages. I decided to bypass this system and contact my flight dispatcher directly on a Secondary radio. There is a radio operator in the operations control center who connects you to the telephone of the dispatcher. I was in direct contact with the dispatcher. I explained the situation I had on board with the family and what it was the family wanted. He said he understood and that he would get back to me.
Two hours went by and I had not heard from the dispatcher. We were going to get busy soon and I needed to know what to tell the family. I sent a text message asking for an update. I Saved the return message from the dispatcher and the following is the text.
‘Captain, sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. There is policy on this now and I had to check on a few things. Upon your arrival a dedicated escort team will meet the aircraft.

The team will escort the family to the ramp and plane side. A van will be used to load the remains with a secondary van for the family. The family will be taken to their departure area and escorted into the terminal where the remains can be seen on the ramp. It is a private area for the family only. When the connecting aircraft arrives, the family will be escorted onto the ramp and plane side to watch the remains being loaded for the final leg home. Captain, most of us here in flight control are veterans.. Please pass our condolences on to the family. Thanks.’

I sent a message back telling flight control thanks for a good job. I printed out the message and gave it to the lead flight attendant to pass on to the father. The lead flight attendant was very thankful and told me, ‘You have no idea how much this will mean to them.’

Things started getting busy for the descent, approach and landing. After landing, we cleared the runway and taxied to the ramp area. The ramp is huge with 15 gates on either side of the alleyway. It is always a busy area with aircraft maneuvering every which way to enter and exit. When we entered the ramp and checked in with the ramp controller, we were told that all traffic was being held for us.

‘There is a team in place to meet the aircraft’, we were told. It looked like it was all coming together, then I realized that once we turned the seat belt sign off, everyone would stand up at once and delay the family from getting off the airplane. As we approached our gate, I asked the co-pilot to tell the ramp controller we were going to stop short of the gate to make an announcement to the passengers. He did that and the ramp controller said, ‘Take your time.’

I stopped the aircraft and set the parking brake. I pushed the public address button and said, ‘Ladies and gentleman, this is your Captain speaking I have stopped short of our gate to make a special announcement. We have a passenger on board who deserves our honor and respect. His Name is Private XXXXXX, a soldier who recently lost his life. Private XXXXXX is under your feet in the cargo hold. Escorting him today is Army Sergeant XXXXXXX. Also, on board are his father, mother, wife, and daughter. Your entire flight crew is asking for all passengers to remain in their seats to allow the family to exit the aircraft first. Thank you.’

We continued the turn to the gate, came to a stop and started our shutdown procedures. A couple of minutes later I opened the cockpit door. I found the two forward flight attendants crying, something you just do not see. I was told that after we came to a stop, every passenger on the aircraft stayed in their seats, waiting for the family to exit the aircraft.

When the family got up and gathered their things, a passenger slowly started to clap his hands. Moments later more passengers joined in and soon the entire aircraft was clapping. Words of ‘God Bless You’, I’m sorry, thank you, be proud, and other kind words were uttered to the family as they made their way down the aisle and out of the airplane.

They were escorted down to the ramp to finally be with their loved one.

Many of the passengers disembarking thanked me for the announcement I had made. They were just words, I told them, I could say them over and over again, but nothing I say will bring back that brave soldier.

I respectfully ask that all of you reflect on this event and the sacrifices that millions of our men and women have made to ensure our freedom and safety in these USA, Canada, Australia New Zealand, England.

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His Wife Made Him Take Out Another Woman

After 21 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another woman out to dinner and a movie. She said, “I love you, but I know this other woman loves you and would love to spend some time with you.”

The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my mother, who had been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my 3 children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally.

That night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie.

“What’s wrong, are you well?” she asked. My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or surprise invitation is a sign of bad news.

“I thought that it would be pleasant to spend some time with you,” I responded. “Just the two of us.”

She thought about it for a moment, and then said, “I would like that very much.”

That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous. When I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to be nervous about our date. She waited in the door with her coat on. She had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last wedding anniversary. She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an Angel’s. “I told my friends that I was going to go out with my son, and they were impressed,” she said, as she got into the car. “They can’t wait to hear about our meeting.”

We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and cozy. My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady. After we sat down, I had to read the menu. Her eyes could only read large print. Half way through the entries, I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting there staring at me. A nostalgic smile was on her lips. “It was I who used to have to read the menu when you were small,” she said. “Then it’s time that you relax and let me return the favor,” I responded.

During the dinner, we had an agreeable conversation — nothing extraordinary but catching up on recent events of each other’s life. We talked so much that we missed the movie. As we arrived at her house later, she said, “I’ll go out with you again, but only if you let me invite you.” I agreed.

“How was your dinner date?” Asked my wife when I got home.

“Very nice. Much more so than I could have imagined,” I answered.

A few days later, my mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened so suddenly that I didn’t have a chance to do anything for her. Some time later, I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from the same place where mother and I had dined. An attached note said: “I paid this bill in advance. I wasn’t sure that I could be there; but nevertheless I paid for two plates — one for you and the other for your wife. You will never know what that night meant for me.”

“I love you, son.”

At that moment, I understood the importance of saying in time: “I love you,” and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve. Nothing in life is more important than your family. Give them the time they deserve, because these things cannot be put off till “some other time.”

This Man Took His Wife For Granted. But Then This Happened.

The following are Questions and Answers between a Husband (H) and a Psychologist (P):

P: What do you do for a living Mr Brandy?
H: I work as an Accountant in the Bank.

P: Your Wife?
H: She doesn’t work. She’s a Housewife only.

P: Who makes breakfast for your family in the morning?
H: My Wife, because she doesn’t work.

P: At what time does your wife wake up for making breakfast?
H: She wakes up at around 5am because she  cleans the house first before making breakfast.

P: How do your kids go to school, what does she do?
H: My wife takes them to school, because she doesn’t work.

P: After taking your kids to school, what does she do?
H: She goes to the market, then goes back home for cooking and laundry. You know, she doesn’t     work.

P: In the evening, after you go back home from office, what do you do?
H: Take rest because I am tired due to all day works.

P: What does your wife do them?
H: She prepares meals, serving our kids, preparing meals for me and cleaning the dishes, cleaning the house then taking kids to bed.

The daily routines of your wives commence from early morning to late at night. That is called ‘DOESN’T WORK??!!
Yes, Housewives do not need Certificate of Study, even High Position, but their ROLE/PART is very important!

Appreciate your wives. Because their sacrifices are uncountable. This should be a reminder and reflection for all of us to understand and appreciate each others roles.
When she says I will stand by you. She will stand by you like a rock. Never hurt her or take her wrong or for granted…..

Share this with every woman to make her smile and with every man to make him realize a woman’s worth.

 

Woman Is Devastated To Learn She Has Breast Cancer. But Her Husband’s Response Is Gold.

This woman went through the most difficult period of her life but was surprised with her husband’s support throughout her fight with cancer.
He found me weeping bitterly in the hospital room. “What’s wrong?” Richard asked, knowing that we both had reason to cry. In the past forty-eight hours, I learned that I had a cancerous lump in my breast that had spread to my lymph node, and there was a possible spot on my brain.

I was thirty-two year old and the mother of three young children. Richard pulled me tight and tried to comfort me. Our friends and family had been amazed at the peace that had overwhelmed us. Jesus was our Savior and comfort before I found out I had cancer, and he remained the same after my diagnosis. But it seemed to Richard that the terrifying reality of my situation had finally crashed in on me in the few moments he was out of the room.

As he held me tight, Richard tried to comfort me. “It’s all been too much, hasn’t it Suz?” he said.

“That’s not it,” I cried and held up the hand mirror I had just found in the drawer. Richard looked purled.

“I didn’t know it would be like this;” I cried, as I stared in shock at my reflection in the mirror. I didn’t recognize myself. I was horribly swollen. After the surgery. I had groaned as I lay asleep and well-meaning friends had freely pushed the self-dispensing medication to ease what they thought was pain. Unfortunately I was allergic to morphine and had swelled like a sausage. Betadine from the surgery stained my neck, shoulder and chest and it was too soon for a bath. A tube hung out of my side draining the fluid from the surgical site. My left shoulder and chest were wrapped tightly in gauze where I had lost a portion of my breast. My long, curly hair was matted into one big wad. More than one hundred people had come to see me over the past forty-eight hours, and they had all seen the brown-and-white, swollen, makeup-less, gray-gowned woman who used to be me. Where had I gone?

Richard laid me back on the pillow and left the room. Within moments he came back, his arms laden with small bottles of shampoo and conditioner that he confiscated from the cart in the hall. He pulled pillows out of the closet and dragged a chair over to the sink. Unraveling my IV, he tucked the long tube from my side in his shirt pocket. Then he reached down, picked me up and carried me—IV stand and all—over to the chair. He sat me down gently on his lap, cradled my head in his arms over the sink and began to run warm water through my hair. He poured the bottles over my hair, washing and conditioning my long curls. He wrapped my hair in a towel and carried me, the tube, and the IV stand back over to the bed. He did this so gently that not one stitch was disturbed.

My husband, who had never blow-dried his hair in his life, took out a blow dryer and dried my hair, the whole while entertaining me as he pretended to give beauty tips. He then proceeded, based on the experience of watching me for the past twelve years, to fix my hair. I laughed as he bit his lip, more serious than any beauty school student. He bathed my shoulder and neck with a warm washcloth, careful to not disturb the area around the surgery, and rubbed lotion into my skin. Then he opened my makeup bag and began to apply makeup. I will never forget our laughter as he tried to apply my mascara and blush. I opened my eyes wide and held my breath as he brushed the mascara on my lashes with shaking hands. He rubbed my cheeks with tissue to blend in the blush. With the last touch, he held up two lipsticks. “Which one? Berry mauve or muted wine?” he asked. He applied the lipstick like an artist padding on a canvas and then held the little mirror in front of me.

I was human again. A little swollen, but I smelled clean, my hair hung softly over my shoulders and I recognized myself.

“What do you think?” he asked. I began to cry again, this time because I was grateful. “No, baby. You’ll mess up my makeup job,” he said and I burst into laughter.

During that difficult time in our lives, I was given only a 40 percent chance of survival over five years. That was seven years ago. I made it through those years with laughter, God’s comfort and the help of my wonderful husband. We will celebrate our nineteenth anniversary this year, and our children are now in their teens. Richard understood what must have seemed like vanity and silliness in the midst of tragedy. Everything I had ever taken for granted had been shaken in those hours—the fact that I would watch my children grow, my health, my future. With one small act of kindness, Richard gave me normalcy. I will always see that moment as one of the most loving gestures of our marriage.

Share this story for other couples going through a similar experience and I’d like to tell them that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

 

Woman Finds Abusive Ex-husband’s New GF On Facebook. What She Wrote Next Is Heartbreaking.

After a long and abusive marriage with her husband this woman finally made her way out of the toxic relationship. But she couldn’t resist writing a note when she noticed this.

 

I was hoping that I would never have to see your face. I tried really hard to ensure that I would never even have to learn your name, but social media and its passively cruel games in hopes of connecting people together had another plan. I didn’t recognize your face, or your name, but we had a few friends in common, and I definitely recognized the man standing next to you in your profile picture. And my world stopped turning.

I know what you’re thinking right now-crazy ex-wife is stalking your profile because you’re dating her ex-husband and she’s mad. And jealous. And sad. And I don’t blame you, but, you would be wrong. My world stopped turning because I was overcome with fear for you. You look so innocent. Your smile looks genuine, kind. You seem happy. I recognize your smile and that picture because it was mine a few years ago, standing next to the man you are now, probably thinking the same happy thoughts. And I can’t express to you how much I apologize to you for it.

You see, my ex-husband is not who he’s making himself out to be in this very moment. He is not the charming, happy, loving, affectionate person who you believe that you have found. I’m sure he has told you that he’s divorced (and some not-so-pretty “things” about me), and maybe even a little bit of his family history, and maybe even a few other quips of smaller things in his life that he has “overcome”, enough to make you feel badly for him, proud of him for where he is today, and even a little lucky for being with someone who has been through what he has. He is a broken bird who which you instinctively want to save, but my darling girl, you simply cannot. He will eventually stop smiling. He will eventually stop the affection. All of a sudden he will go from perfectly calm to a complete irrational hurricane in a matter of seconds-and it will be all your fault. He will tell you he’s done with you at least a dozen times in those moments yet doesn’t mean it, but for your own sake, I hope that you do. He will tell you it’s because of his drinking, or because of his father, or because of the life that’s been handed to him. He will list off all of the reasons for why he is the way he is as justification. He will tell you it will never happen again, but it will. And then those fits of verbal and emotional warfare turn into something much, much worse. And it costs your entire existence as the human being you are right now.

You will change, not on purpose, and not really knowingly, but that’s what the professional abusers do. They get you to change and turn into who they want you to be without you even knowing it. And you, my dear, are with not only a professional, but a master. Before you know it, you won’t speak to your family as often. Your friends will become a seemingly distant memory. Your life, as you know it, will become only him. I’m sure your family is a loving, supportive group of people and you will want to involve him in this because you love him (or will love him) and also a small part of you hopes that your family will rub off on him and give him something he never had.

Let me make this clear: he did have it. He had (and has) a wonderful family that he CHOSE to do the things he did to, not the other way around. He had all the love and support and sunshine and rainbows and butterflies and puppies that anyone could ever ask for-and it still wasn’t good enough. I’m sorry, but you and your family will never be good enough. Not for this type of man. Mine is still healing from him as well. The truth about this man is simple: he does not know how to love. He believes in a love and a life that isn’t real, and therefore, he will never truly be happy. And when he isn’t happy, bad things happen. Life changing things. I can sit here and name every horrible thing that occurred throughout our relationship and marriage, but I don’t think you want to hear it, and frankly I have worked extremely hard to stop reliving it. But it’s an everyday fight for me. The wounds on my body have healed, but the scars that have remained are deep. So I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I allowed him to believe that what he was doing to me was right for as long as I did, because now he very well could do this to you. I’m sorry that his lies and his games were so convincing that I wholeheartedly believed him, because now he thinks they are bulletproof. I’m sorry I didn’t fight harder to have something be done, instead of just finding the strength to leave, I wish I could done both. I’m sorry I let this man be free to find you.

You may still be thinking that this is all just a vindictive move against him, and that’s okay. I get it. I didn’t want to listen to it either when I was you. But you have to know that I have nothing to gain from this. My life is amazing, it’s peaceful, and it’s complete. I have my family back, I am in a relationship that has shown me what true love actually is, and I even just bought a new car (one I was told I would never be “allowed” to buy). I have nothing to gain from you leaving my ex-husband. But you do. You get to keep that beautiful smile of yours. You get to have a future that doesn’t include worrying if he’s really where he says he is. Or with who he says he’s with. Or if you’re good enough. Or if he really meant to say the things he did. Or above all, if your night will end in variations of happiness, or with your body on the floor. You get to remain you, scar-free, and happy. I have worked tirelessly to get back to the human I was before him, and while I know I’m forever changed, having my sense of person back has been the best feeling I could ask for-and exactly why I don’t want you to ever lose it in the first place. And I can promise you, you are worth that. I never wanted to know who his next victim was.

I never wanted to know the next woman who would have to go through even an ounce of what I did. I never wanted to have to worry or care about the next one, as I’m still and will always be healing myself. And that’s why I never wanted to see your face.

Mother Gets A Panicked Drunk-call From Her Runaway Daughter.This Is Heartbreaking.

Many of us know what it’s like to get that phone call in the middle of the night. The call this mother received was no different…

“Jerking up to the ringing summons, I focused on the red illuminated numbers of my clock. Midnight. Panicky thoughts filled my sleep-dazed mind as I grabbed the receiver. “Hello?”
My heart pounded; I gripped the phone tighter and eyed my husband, who was now turning to face my side of the bed.

“Mama?”

I could hardly hear the whisper over the static. But my thoughts immediately went to my daughter. When the desperate sound of a young crying voice became clearer on the line, I grabbed for my husband and squeezed his wrist.

“Mama, I know it’s late, but don’t…don’t say anything, until I finish. And before you ask, yes, I’ve been drinking. I nearly ran off the road a few miles back and…”

I drew in a sharp shallow breath, released my husband and pressed my hand against my forehead. Sleep still fogged my mind, and I attempted to fight back the panic. Something wasn’t right.

“And I got so scared. All I could think about was how it would hurt you if a policeman came to your door and said I’d been killed. I want…to come home. I know running away was wrong. I know you’ve been worried sick. I should have called you days ago, but I was afraid…afraid…”

Sobs of deep-felt emotion flowed from the receiver and poured into my heart. Immediately I pictured my daughter’s face in my mind and my fogged senses seemed to clear. “I think…”

“No! Please let me finish! Please!”

She pleaded, not so much in anger but in desperation. I paused and tried to think of what to say. Before I could go on, she continued,

“I’m pregnant, Mama. I know I shouldn’t be drinking now… especially now, but I’m scared, Mama, so scared!”

The voice broke again and I bit into my lip feeling my own eyes fill with moisture. I looked at my husband who sat silently mouthing, “Who is it?”

I shook my head and when I didn’t answer, he jumped up and left the room, returning seconds later with the portable phone held to his ear. She must have heard the click in the line because she continued,

“Are you still there? Please don’t hang up on me! I need you. I feel so alone.”

I clutched the phone and stared at my husband, seeking guidance. “I’m here, I wouldn’t hang up,” I said.

“I know I should have told you, Mama. But when we talk, you just keep telling me what I should do. You read all those pamphlets on how to talk about sex and all, but all you do is talk. You don’t listen to me. You never let me tell you how I feel. It is as filmy feelings aren’t important. Because you’re my mother, you think you have all the answers. But sometimes I don’t need answers. I just want someone to listen.”

I swallowed the lump in my throat and stared at the how-to-talk- to-your-kids pamphlets scattered on my nightstand. “I’m listening,” I whispered.

“You know, back there on the road, after I got the car under control, I started thinking about the baby and taking care of it. Then I saw this phone booth and it was as if I could hear you preaching about people shouldn’t drink and drive. So I called a taxi. I want to come home.”

“That’s good, Honey,” I said as relief filled my chest. My husband came closer, sat down beside me and laced his fingers through mine. I knew from his touch that he thought I was doing and saying the right thing.

“But you know, I think I can drive now.”

“No!” I snapped. My muscles stiffened, and I tightened the clasp on my husband’s hand. “Please, wait for the taxi. Don’t hang up on me until the taxi gets there.”

“I just want to come home, Mama.”

“I know. But do this for your mama. Wait for the taxi, please.” I listened to the silence in fear. When I didn’t hear her answer, I bit into my lip and closed my eyes. Somehow I had to stop her from driving.

“There’s the taxi, now.”

Only when I heard someone in the background asking about a Yellow Cab did I feel my tension easing.

“I’m coming home, Mama.”

There was a click and the phone went silent. Moving from the bed with tears forming in my eyes, I walked out into the hall and went to stand in my sixteen-year-old daughter’s room. The dark silence hung thick. My husband came from behind, wrapped his arms around me and rested his chin on the top of my head. I wiped the tears from my cheeks.

“We have to learn to listen,” I said.

He pulled me around to face him. “We’ll learn. You’ll see.”

Then he took me into his arms and I buried my head in his shoulder. I let him hold me for several moments, then I pulled back and stared back at the bed. He studied me for a second, then asked, “Do you think she’ll ever know she dialed the wrong number?”

I looked at our sleeping daughter, then back at him. “Maybe it wasn’t such a wrong number.”

“Mom, Dad, what are you doing?” The muffled young voice came from under the covers.

I walked over to my daughter, who now sat up staring into the darkness.

“We’re practicing,” I answered.

“Practicing what?” she mumbled and laid back on the mattress, her eyes already closed in slumber.

“Listening,” I whispered, and brushed a hand over her cheek.”

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2015-08-03 12-30-30 AM