Tiny Love Stories: ‘I Missed My Children, but I Needed My Mom’

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Tiny Love Stories: ‘I Missed My Children, but I Needed My Mom’

In the winter of my 40th year, I received a cancer diagnosis that required major surgery. I packed my hospital bag and kissed my spouse, toddler and baby goodbye. While there, a Canadian storm pelted the area with every precipitation possible. The roads were treacherous, but my mother waltzed in as if by magic. She made a bed out of a hard bench and called it her spot. I missed my children, but I needed my mom, and there she was. Thank you, mom, for carrying me through the winter storm to spring: I am healing as the flowers bloom. — Anne-Marie Linnen

Living in different countries, we shared a file together at work. I stored simple Italian words in it. I chose them carefully, as if each one was loved. She picked them up sometimes, to say hello, to say goodbye. One weekend my best friend asked me, “Why don’t you type to her ‘mi piaci’?” (“I like you”). I lacked courage, but eventually sent her a message of love. For a long time, I waited for her words to return to me. I’ve never heard back. I haven’t been brave enough to open that file again. — Sarah Cipullo

Nearly eight years after I said “I do” to my husband, I said yes to him again. This time it was a “yes” to uprooting our lives in Los Angeles to move to Albuquerque. The honeymoon phase had come and gone long before; we knew each other more deeply and truly than we did when we first said, “Yes,” but still we wanted more. It made this second commitment to one another that much richer, that much realer. Nothing says “I will, again” like choosing to leave behind everything and everyone to start all over with the one you love. — Diahann Reyes-Lan

Sometimes I dream about the days when they’ll be gone and I’ll be free. No more cutting hair and nails or the crusts off their sandwiches. I often start daydreaming when my sons are both yelling at me. “Don’t yell at me!” I snap. “I cut off your crusts!” But in the early morning when they climb into my bed and push their little bodies against mine (one on either side), I wish time would stop. For a moment, we three are a sculpture carved from the same smooth stone. Perfectly made, with no hard edges. — Anna Sullivan

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