Love Story

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South Africa, Cape Town, Rear view of young couple sitting at beach

Today, my dad came home with roses for my mom and I. “What are these for I asked?” He said that several of his coworkers were complaining about their wives and children today. He realized how lucky he was that after 20 years of marriage, and raising a daughter for the last 17 years, he still had nothing to complain about.


 

Today, when I asked my grandfather for some relationship advice, he said, “Honestly, the moment I stopped trying to find the right woman, and started trying to become the right man, your grandmother walked up to me and said,


Today, it’s been 10 years since I told my best friend Diego that I wouldn’t be able to attend the prom with him because my family was struggling to make ends meet and couldn’t afford to buy me a ticket or a dress. Diego ended up buying me a dress and a ticket, and helping my folks out with money by helping my dad, who had been unemployed for six months, find a good job. Ten years, a marriage, and one kid later,


Today, on our 50th wedding anniversary, my husband took out an old envelope and handed me back the love note I wrote him in the 7th grade.


Today, it’s been over ten years since I was a bag boy at a local grocery store. On Sunday mornings I held the front door open for our customers and greeted them. One particular older woman loved me for it. She actually told me on several occasions that one day I would make a lovely husband. This afternoon, I walked into that grocery store holding my wife’s hand and the same old woman was on her way out. She held the door for us, winked and said, “I told you so.”


Today, my wife and I sat down and watched the same movie at the same time. Despite being 9,000+ miles apart overseas on active duty, I felt like she was sitting right by me and I suddenly didn’t feel so alone.

 

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Today, it’s been five years since I adopted a puppy from a high kill shelter that had no time left. Since then I have developed a moderate case of a neurological disease that causes seizures. Believe it or not, the dog is able to detect my seizures before I know. She starts barking hysterically, and keys me into my episode before it starts. So today she is my service dog. The life I saved is saving me every day.


Today, it’s been 28 years since a firefighter saved my life when he rescued me from a burning condo building. In the process he suffered a leg injury that doctors said would leave him unable to walk normally for life. This evening, he put down his cane and slowly walked our daughter down the aisle. My husband of 27 years always.


Today, I finally stopped being foolish and called an old best friend I hadn’t talked to in over a year. He singlehandedly got me threw one of the toughest times of my life, and in my depression I lashed out at him and dropped him from my life for selfish reasons. He answered the phone with: “Ready to pick up where we left off?”


Today was my little sister’s 14th birthday. She has Down Syndrome and doesn’t have many friends. My boyfriend picked me up for dinner with flowers, but said they weren’t for me. He came inside and handed them to my sister. She was so excited. He then took us both out to dinner to celebrate.


Today, I am a poor student, struggling to afford groceries and all the luxuries I was accustomed to. But every time I get a letter in the mail from my poppa telling me how much he loves me, or a phone call from my best friend just because she was thinking about me, I feel like the richest person in the world – in those moments I feel like I have everything I need.


 

 

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Today, my mom and dad are recovering heroin addicts. They still go to their support groups, but both of them have been clean for 17 years, since the day they found out my mom was pregnant with me.


Today, my grandmother passed away. It was really hard on my entire family. She was the glue that kept our family together through many hard times over the last decade. One of my close friends from college showed up at her ceremony. She paid her respects like everyone else, and gave me a huge hug before she left – a sincere hug that helped calm me inside. The interesting thing is, she never met my grandmother before, but she said she came today because, in her words, “Your grandmother is important to you, and you are important to me.”


Today, my biological mother is deceased due to a drug overdose when I was only 3-years-old. But today I can also proudly say I have the privilege of calling a beautiful woman, who has no blood relation to me, my Mom. She is not my stepmom or official adopted parent. She is my best friend’s mom who loves me enough to call me her daughter, and has for as long as I can remember.


 

Today, I got a phone call from my daughter’s kindergarten teacher. She asked me why I wasn’t providing lunch for my daughter over the past few days. Confused, I hung up the phone and asked my daughter what she was doing with her lunches. She said, “Katie’s mom is in the hospital and hasn’t been able to make any meals for the last week, so I gave a few of my lunches to her.”


Today, after we all watched her blow out the ridiculous number of candles on her giant 100th birthday cake, my grandmother looked up at all 27 of us – her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and extended family – and said, “Look what I started. This family. I am so proud to be a part of your lives.”


Today, it’s been about two years since my ex-step-father tried to set my mom on fire, leaving her with burn scars on her face. Every week my little brother and I anonymously write a letter to her saying how we think she’s the most beautiful woman in the world (the truth), and we put it in the mailbox. She doesn’t know it’s us. But she cries when she opens them, and she just told us over dinner that the letters she’s been receiving are helping her look up on days when she feels down.


 

 

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Love Story

 

Today, I helped make food for the homeless. The man I was giving the sandwich to said he didn’t want it. I asked why and he pointed to his friend behind him and said, “I want the birthday boy here to have two sandwiches on his special day. It’s the only gift I have to give.” His friend was elated.


Today, my best friend’s new girlfriend, who he’s had a crush on for a long time, finally admitted verbally that she “hates” me. He came up to me today, looking pretty upset, and told me what she said. And then he said, “So I broke up with her. Because if she doesn’t respect you, she obviously doesn’t respect me either.”


Today, I walked past a woman walking two dogs. One dog was missing a leg, but they were both limping. I asked what happened. She smiled and explained that the injured dog had lost his leg in a dog fight before she adopted him, and that her other dog oftentimes “mimics him so he won’t feel alone and different.”


Today, after he finished giving his valedictorian commencement speech at his college graduation ceremony, he walked off the stage directly over to me, hugged me for a minute straight, and said, “Thank you for adopting me when I was five, and being the biggest inspiration a child could hope to have in a dad.”


Today, while playing with my 20-month-old daughter, I pretended to be sleeping. She covered me with a blanket, patted my back, then kissed me gently on the mouth – which is exactly what I do when I tuck her in at night. How closely our children watch us, and what they learn from our actions.


 

 

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Today, after my two-year-old daughter, who can’t swim well, fell into our pool and began panicking, the stray dog I rescued from the pound last month, jumped into the pool and pulled my daughter to the shallow steps… all in under 10 seconds before I could make it from my lawn chair on the patio to edge of the pool.


Today, my baby sister wears her hair short, just like me. I’m fighting leukemia. My hair is short because of my chemo treatment. Her hair is short because she told my mom, “I want to be beautiful like my big sis.”


Today, I waited at my boyfriend’s house for half an hour before going home. As I angrily walked inside, I heard laughter. My clinically depressed brother, who hasn’t cracked a smile in two months, was grinning as he watched a video on YouTube. Sitting next to him was my boyfriend holding the laptop. We had a miscommunication about where to meet, but when he saw my brother sitting alone he decided to stay and keep him company.


Today, at the nursing home I work at, I watched an elderly couple eat together as they do everyday. They have been married 63 years. She had a stroke and can’t stand, eat, talk or do anything for herself. He doesn’t need to live in a nursing home, but he does just to be with her. Everyday he eats his food, feeds her, and sits next to her looking at her like he must have the day they were married. His unconditional, undying love and loyalty.


Today, he’s driving to my college apartment to spend my last week of school with me. This will be the first night of the rest of our lives. After 3 years dating long distance, a 12 month deployment to Iraq, and the rest of the time spent 3 states apart due to his serving in the Army, we are finally going to be together, permanently, in one place. Waiting this long for each other, and finally getting to start our life TOGETHER makes happy.


Today my Ex husband asked me to marry him, I said yes. We were married when I was 19, divorced later on and then our lives somehow lead our hearts back together. We are going to be married in 2 weeks, on what could have been our 16th wedding anniversary. Our children cried with joy when we told them today.


Today, when you dropped me off after we hung out, you called out to me as I stepped out of your car. You said, “Take care of yourself, okay?” and I responded with an absent-minded, “Sure.” But then your voice changed tone. “I’m serious, Jess. You’re important to me. Take care of yourself,” you repeated. You have no idea how much I needed that. Your true friendship.

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