A 27-year-old died of cancer. Her final advice has the internet in tears.

Last week, the world said goodbye to Holly Butcher, a 27-year-old woman from Grafton, Australia.

Butcher had been battling Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone cancer that predominantly affects young people. In a statement posted on Butcher’s memorialized Facebook account, her brother, Dean, and partner, Luke, confirmed the heartbreaking news to friends.

“It is with great sadness that we announce Holly’s passing in the early hours of this morning,” they wrote on Jan. 4, 2018. “After enduring so much, it was finally time for her to say goodbye to us all. The end was short and peaceful; she looked serene when we kissed her forehead and said our final farewells. As you would expect, Holly prepared a short message for you all, which will be posted above.”

Butcher’s message, which Dean and Luke did, in fact, post publicly shortly thereafter, has brought the internet to tears.

Photo courtesy of Remembering Holly Butcher/Facebook used with permission.

We believe her powerful message — which has amassed an incredible 72,000 Likes and 56,000 shares across the world so far — deserves to be spread far and wide.

A bit of life advice from Hol:

It’s a strange thing to realise and accept your mortality at 26 years young. It’s just…

Posted by Holly Butcher on Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Butcher used her final post to reflect on what she’s learned in her short but beautiful life, offering some advice to those of us who are willing to listen.

“It’s a strange thing to [realize] and accept your mortality at 26 years young,” she began. “I always imagined myself growing old, wrinkled and gray — most likely caused by the beautiful family (lots of kiddies) I planned on building with the love of my life. I want that so bad it hurts. That’s the thing about life; It is fragile, precious and unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right.”

Butcher’s poignant post is definitely worth reading in full. But here are 16 especially powerful points:

1. “I just want people to stop worrying so much about the small, meaningless stresses in life and try to remember that we all have the same fate after it all, so do what you can to make your time feel worthy and great, minus the bullshit. … Those times you are [whining] about ridiculous things (something I have noticed so much these past few months), just think about someone who is really facing a problem. Be grateful for your minor issue and get over it. It’s OK to acknowledge that something is annoying but try not to carry on about it and negatively affect other people’s days.”

2. “Once you do that, get out there and take a freaking big breath of that fresh Aussie air deep in your lungs, look at how blue the sky is and how green the trees are; It is so beautiful. Think how lucky you are to be able to do just that — breathe. You might have got caught in bad traffic today, or had a bad sleep because your beautiful babies kept you awake, or your hairdresser cut your hair too short. … I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go. It is all SO insignificant when you look at life as a whole. I’m watching my body waste away right before my eyes with nothing I can do about it and all I wish for now is that I could have just one more birthday or Christmas with my family, or just one more day with my partner and dog. Just one more.”

Photo courtesy of Remembering Holly Butcher/Facebook used with permission.

3. “I hear people complaining about how terrible work is or about how hard it is to exercise — be grateful you are physically able to. Work and exercise may seem like such trivial things … until your body doesn’t allow you to do either of them. .. Appreciate your good health and functioning body — even if it isn’t your ideal size. Look after it and embrace how amazing it is.”

4. “Give, give, give. It is true that you gain more happiness doing things for others than doing them for yourself. I wish I did this more. Since I have been sick, I have met the most incredibly giving and kind people and been the receiver of the most thoughtful and loving words and support from my family, friends and strangers; more than I could ever give in return. I will never forget this and will be forever grateful to all of these people.

Photo courtesy of Remembering Holly Butcher/Facebook, used with permission.

5. “This year, our family agreed to do no presents and despite the tree looking rather sad and empty (I nearly cracked Christmas Eve!), it was so nice because people didn’t have the pressure of shopping and the effort went into writing a nice card for each other. Plus, imagine my family trying to buy me a present knowing they would probably end up with it themselves … strange! … but those cards mean more to me than any impulse purchase could. … Anyway, moral of the story — presents are not needed for a meaningful Christmas.”

6. “Use your money on experiences … or at least don’t miss out on experiences because you spent all your money on material shit. Put in the effort to do that day trip to the beach you keep putting off. Dip your feet in the water and dig your toes in the sand. Wet your face with salt water.”

7. “Try just enjoying and being in moments rather than capturing them through the screen of your phone. Life isn’t meant to be lived through a screen nor is it about getting the perfect photo.”

Photo courtesy of Remembering Holly Butcher/Facebook used with permission.

8. “Listen to music … really listen. Music is therapy.”

9. “Cuddle your dog. Far out, I will miss that.”

10. “Talk to your friends. Put down your phone. Are they doing OK?”

11. “Travel if it’s your desire, don’t if it’s not.”

12. “Work to live, don’t live to work.”

13. “Seriously, do what makes your heart feel happy.”

Photo courtesy of Remembering Holly Butcher/Facebook, used with permission.

14. “Don’t feel pressured to do what other people might think is a fulfilling life. You might want a mediocre life and that is so OK.”

15. “Tell your loved ones you love them every time you get the chance and love them with everything you have.”

16. “Oh and one last thing. If you can, do a good deed for humanity (and myself) and start regularly donating blood. It will make you feel good with the added bonus of saving lives. Blood donation (more bags than I could keep up with counting) helped keep me alive for an extra year — a year I will be forever grateful that I got to spend here on Earth with my family, friends and dog. A year I had some of the greatest times of my life.”

Photo courtesy of Remembering Holly Butcher/Facebook, used with permission.

Butcher may be gone, but her impact will live on in the hearts and minds of people around the world.

“Never [met] her, but I am very touched and in tears,” one Facebook user commented. “Such a bright light for a seemingly dark world at times,” another chimed in. “Beautiful.”

“What a wise soul she is,” someone concluded. “I’m off to donate my blood.”

Rest in peace, Holly. You made this world a better place. ❤️

If you are in the U.S. and inspired by Butcher’s message, consider finding a blood donation center near you. You could save a life.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/a-27-year-old-died-of-cancer-her-final-advice-has-the-internet-in-tears

39 of the best celebrity responses to Keaton Jones’ powerful video about bullying.

Last week, a Tennessee woman named Kimberly Jones posted a video of her son Keaton online. It went mega-viral.

The video, which has been viewed on Facebook more than 20 million times since posting, shows Keaton in tears over being bullied at school. There’s a sense of despair and helplessness in his voice that no child should have to feel, but too many have.

“Just out of curiosity, why do they bully?” a distraught Keaton asks his mom. “What’s the point of it? Why do they find joy in taking innocent people and finding a way to be mean to them?”

The video clearly resonated with people — some who have been bullied, some who have been the bully — and within hours, words of support began to roll in from around the world, including some notes from some high profile people.

Hollywood has Keaton’s back.

Avengers Chris Evans and Mark Ruffalo came up big for the little guy.

As did Eleven from “Stranger Things,” offering her friendship.

The delightful Tom Cavanagh of “The Flash” voiced his support  for Jones and against bullies everywhere.

Same with Beth Behrs of “Two Broke Girls.”

He got some love from members of “The Walking Dead” cast.

Even Gaston and LeFou (a couple of fiction’s most famous bullies) weren’t having it.

Broadway star Ben Platt offered a few words of support.

And so did voice actors Susan Eisenberg and Kevin Conroy, who provided the voices for Wonder Woman and Batman, respectively, on the animated “Justice League” TV show.

“Coco” director Lee Unkrich and “Ghostbusters” mastermind Paul Feig stepped up.

Some of the biggest stars in professional sports showed up, as well.

LeBron James called bullies “straight up wack, corny, cowards, chumps.”

Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo and Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen both offered words of kindness and comfort.

Former Green Bay Packers cornerback Bernard Blake urged Jones to “never be ashamed of who you are.” Former NFL star Antonio Cromartie stepped in to say that bullies are often just insecure about themselves, asking him to be strong.

Former NFL wide receiver Donté Stallworth urged caution for people suggesting that the bullies be confronted with hostility, asking people who really want to make a difference to try to do it through lessons of love.

“Bullying is bullshit,” summed up World Cup champion Ali Krieger. “We need to start coming together, supporting each other and most importantly, standing up for beautiful kids in this world like Keaton.”

Similarly, the music world had words of encouragement and support for Jones.

Demi Lovato predicted that Jones would come out of this experience much stronger than he entered it. Enrique Iglesias called the video “heartbreaking.”

“This extremely raw and real moment has brought hope and truth to so many people,” wrote Kevin Jonas. Nickelback called Jones “a brave young man,” asking if there was anything the band could do for them.

Justin Bieber and Snoop Dogg posted words of support on Instagram. “The fact that he still has the sympathy and compassion for other people when he’s going through it himself is a testament to who he is,” said Bieber.

A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

Anti-bullying activists, models, and YouTube sensations all got in on the act as well.

Monica Lewinsky offered a few kind words, saying that she’s sorry Jones is being treated this way, saying that other kids “would be lucky to be friends with [Jones].”

Model Mia Kang said Jones is her “absolute hero,” offering to fly out and visit him at school for lunch.

Logan Paul offered to chat with Jones on FaceTime and send some gear his way.

Politicians across the political spectrum offered words of kindness and courage.

Senator Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) thanked the young man for his courage, and Representative Joe Kennedy III (D-Massachusetts) asked others to look to Jones as a positive example.

Responding to an offer from UFC head Dana White to visit the organization’s headquarters, Donald Trump Jr. offered the Jones family a place to stay. Jane O’Meara Sanders of the Sanders Institute urged action over platitudes, calling on the country to “stand up to bullies — in our schools and communities, on social media and in politics and the White House.”

Media personalities joined the chorus with offers of support and workplace tours.

Jemele Hill and Sean Hannity offered Jones and his family tours of ESPN and Fox News, respectively. NBC’s Stephanie Ruhle pointed to Jones as a motivation for a more honest, brave, and kind world.

HLN’s S.E. Cupp shared a story about being bullied as a child, saying, “It’s got nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.” Sunny Hostin, from “The View,” ended with a reminder that “being different makes you special.”

It’s wonderful to see so many people, from so many backgrounds, come together in support of this one boy.

It’s worth remembering, however, that he’s not the only child in the world being bullied.

According to StopBullying.gov, 28% of U.S. students in grades 6 through12 have experienced bullying. 30% of students have admitted to being a bully to others. School bullying creates a hostile environment not conducive to learning and puts students’ physical, emotional, and mental health at risk.

If Keaton Jones’ story inspired you to take action, check out the StopBullying prevention toolkits for students, parents, teachers, and community members.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/39-of-the-best-celebrity-responses-to-keaton-jones-powerful-video-about-bullying

Watch Selena Gomez dedicate an award to the friend who saved her life.

Earlier this year, when Selena Gomez needed a kidney transplant, one of her friends came through with a life-saving donation.

Actress Francia Raisa was starring on ABC Family’s “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” when she met Gomez during a children’s hospital event in 2007, and they have remained close friends ever since. In 2013, Gomez underwent chemotherapy to treat lupus, something she went public with two years later. As a result of her illness and treatment, Gomez needed a new kidney.

Naturally, Raisa offered one of hers.

It was a heartwarming story that epitomizes #FriendshipGoals.

I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of. So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health. I honestly look forward to sharing with you, soon my journey through these past several months as I have always wanted to do with you. Until then I want to publicly thank my family and incredible team of doctors for everything they have done for me prior to and post-surgery. And finally, there aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa. She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis. Lupus continues to be very misunderstood but progress is being made. For more information regarding Lupus please go to the Lupus Research Alliance website: www.lupusresearch.org/ -by grace through faith

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

This week, Billboard honored Gomez with its Woman of the Year award. Tearing up as she accepted it, she gave a powerful shoutout to Raisa.

“To be honest, I think Francia should get this award because she saved my life,” she said, trying not to cry. It was a really emotional moment, for Gomez, for Raisa, and for everyone watching at home and in the audience.

Selena Gomez Woman of the Year Speech

“Francia should get this award. She saved my life.” – Selena Gomez

Posted by Billboard on Thursday, November 30, 2017

More than 80% of the more than 116,000 people currently on the organ transplant waiting list need a new kidney.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a new person is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes. As just 0.3% of people die in a way that allows for their organs to be transplanted after death, living donors are necessary — though it’s still important to register as an organ donor.

It’s why having a friend like Raisa, someone so selfless and giving, is a true blessing.

Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Billboard.

Learn more about how you can help change a life by visiting The National Kidney Foundation’s “The Big Ask, The Big Give” website.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/watch-selena-gomez-dedicate-an-award-to-the-friend-who-saved-her-life

A group researched the top 9 charities to give to on the holidays. It’s a surprising list.

Deworming and tropical disease prevention in the developing world might not be the obvious choice for where to spend your spare holiday cash.

But it might be where your dollar will do the most good.

A teacher gives a student a deworming tablet in Hyderabad, India. Photo by Noah Seelam/Getty Images.

That’s according to a list of the nine “Top Charities for Giving Season” released Monday by GiveWell, a nonprofit organization that applies a data-centered approach to determining which aid organizations do the most good for the most people. The result is a surprising list of charities with a range of causes that might be unfamiliar to many who want to give, but whose impact is often more immediate.

“We want people to be able to leverage all the time we’ve spent putting together this list so they can make a donation with confidence,” explains Catherine Hollander, a research analyst with GiveWell.

For the annual chart, the group evaluates charities in four categories: 1) transparency, 2) cost-effectiveness, 3) need, and 4) overall effectiveness, before awarding or denying it a spot. To measure cost-effectiveness the group calculates impact on a scale of “lives saved or improved per dollar spent.”

Some of the causes may be obscure (at least, in the developed world), but they’re wonderful options for those on a tight holiday budget looking to help the most people possible.

This year’s top choices are:

1. Against Malaria Foundation

An organization that purchases and distributes mosquito nets to families in malaria-afflicted countries.

2. Schistosomiasis Control Initiative

A U.K.-based charity that provides Ministries of Health in East, Central, and West Africa with drugs to treat parasitic infections.

3. Malaria Consortium’s seasonal malaria chemoprevention program

A nonprofit that specializes in the prevention and control of malaria, distributing life-saving drugs to young children affected by the disease in Africa and Asia.

4. Evidence Action’s Deworm the World Initiative

An organization that supports school-based deworming programs in Africa and South Asia.

5. Helen Keller International’s vitamin A supplementation program

An initiative that funds and provides training to government-run supplement drives in sub-Saharan Africa with the goal of reducing malnutrition and averting blindness and poor vision.

6. Sightsavers’ deworming program

An anti-blindness and disability rights organization that operates a deworming initiative in Africa.

7. END Fund’s deworming program

An anti-neglected tropical disease nonprofit that operates a deworming initiative with a special emphasis on Africa.

8. Evidence Action’s No Lean Season program

A program that provides no-interest loans to Bangladeshi farmers during annual periods when income is low.

9. GiveDirectly

A nonprofit that allows donors to send money directly to people living in extreme poverty via a mobile app.

A key component of the list is making sure the programs GiveWell recommends are more effective than just sending cash to people in need (or as effective, as is the case with GiveDirectly).

That means not only making sure they’re cost-effective, but ensuring the intended beneficiaries of the food, medicine, money, and preventative netting actually receive and use them. For the deworming charities, that involves, “going door to door and interviewing children to see if they received de-worming treatment,” explains Isabel Arjmand, also an analyst with the organization. Occasionally, GiveWell representatives conduct the on-the-ground reviews themselves. Other times, researchers with the organization analyze data provided by the charities, which is reviewed for reliability.

Children in Cambodia sleep under a mosquito net. Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images.

The list isn’t fully comprehensive, as GiveWell focuses on programs where the data on impact is plentiful and readily available. Initiatives where results are harder to quantify — those that promote women’s rights, LGBTQ equality, racial justice, etc. — aren’t an area of focus. Nor are causes like cancer prevention that disproportionately affects people in the developed world, where the cost-per-life-improved ratio is far higher. But for anyone who wants to ensure their dollars go to help the world’s neediest people quickly and efficiently, the list is an invaluable tool.

“One thing that for me personally really connects when I think about giving to causes that I haven’t myself experienced is… ‘What am I really trying to accomplish,'” Hollander says. “For me, it might be to alleviate suffering in general. And then I’m really excited to give to the place that allows me to do that to the fullest extent that I can with my donation.”

Contributions can also be made directly to GiveWell, which distributes the funds among the recommended organizations according to need.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/a-group-researched-the-top-9-charities-to-give-to-on-the-holidays-its-a-surprising-list

A stranger found a lost library book and returned it with this heartwarming note.

Employees at Idaho’s Meridian Library were going through the mail after the Thanksgiving holiday 2017 when they got a sweet surprise.

Inside one of the packages was a book — Thomas Rockwell’s “How to Eat Fried Worms” — that had been missing from the stacks.

Getting books in the mail is no major shock at Meridian. The library finds that visitors passing through or patrons going on vacation will often mail back items to avoid fines.

Along with this particular book, however, there was a curious handwritten note.

“I found this book on an airplane last month,” the message began.

“I called your library to notify them. I failed to return on time (and) apologize. Please add this $5.00 to the person’s account that borrowed the book as a credit. Thank you.”

Sure enough, along with the note was a $5 bill.

Found in the mail with a $5 bill this morning. There are some amazing people in our community. #mymld

Posted by Meridian Library District on Monday, November 27, 2017

The good Samaritan had been hoping to get the book back to the library before the due date but couldn’t and decided to assume responsibility for the late fee.

Obviously, they were under no obligation to pay the fine, and their small, understated generosity floored the library staff.

Knowing you have a book overdue at the library and not being able to find it is one of those little stresses that can add up big time.

It’s like having a sink full of dirty dishes or being behind on laundry. It’s not a source of massive worry, but many unresolved things added together can make you feel anxious and overwhelmed — too much of which is certainly bad for your health.

So while a stranger returning a book and paying $5 in fines may seem inconsequential, the act is inspiring thousands of people who have read about the story online.

“Everyone is loving this heartwarming story,” says Macey Snelson, who heads communications and marketing for the library. “I think that this is resonating with people so much because we live in a world where the news cycles are filled with contention and negative stories, and it’s refreshing to see a story that shows that people are inherently good.”

This story proves that even a teeny, tiny act of kindness, in a small part of the country, can have a big impact.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/a-stranger-found-a-lost-library-book-and-returned-it-with-this-heartwarming-note

Kids at this hospital were terrified of the machines until they got a makeover.

When industrial designer Doug Dietz went to the hospital to see the inaugural scan of a brand-new MRI machine he designed, what should’ve been an exciting event quickly turned somber.

The patient coming in for a scan was a young girl. And she was petrified.

The huge, hulking machine had the girl in tears — and that was before the loud whirring noise started up (the average MRI machine is about as loud as a rock concert, and not nearly as fun).

“As [the family] got even closer to me, I notice the father leans down and just goes ‘remember we talked about this, you can be brave,” he recalled to GE Health, explaining that the parents looked horrified too — feeling helpless to find a way to make their daughter feel comfortable in the giant machine.

Dietz went back to the drawing board.

He was determined to use his design know-how to make the hospital environment for kids feel more like an adventure instead of a nightmare.

All photos by GE Healthcare,  used with permission.

After interviewing kids, parents, and doctors about what might make the experience of getting a medical scan a little less scary, Dietz and his team from GE Health got to work, along with partners from the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

It wasn’t just the machines that got a makeover.

The whole exam room needed some love. From the sterile, beige decor, to the frank instruction placards (Dietz calls them “crime scene stickers”). Even the patter (or conversation/instructions) from doctors and nurses needed some livening up.

The team developed themes that could bring each exam room to life.

MRI rooms, for example, became space voyages. CT scans became pirate adventures.

The redesigned MRI machine and rooms turned the kids into active participants in their own fantastic adventure stories, with themed books given ahead of time to prepare them for the journey.

Inside the scanning machines, the children get special goggles that allow them to watch a DVD during their scans — which can take anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes.

When the first newly designed rooms were put into action at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, they worked like a charm. Not only did they calm the kids down and keep their minds occupied, Dietz recalled hearing one child ask her parents if she could have “another scan tomorrow.”

“That was probably the biggest reward I could ever have,” he told the Journal Sentinel.

Dietz’s designs are so popular and successful that many other hospitals have joined in on the fun.

The project, called the Adventure Series, isn’t just something that makes kids smile. It allows the hospital to help more people.

According to an article in the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, the fear of machines and tests is so bad that Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh had to sedate over 80% of kids who needed an MRI or CT scan, prior to the updates.

Sedating and calming anxious patients takes extra time, elongating the length of each scan. If the kids don’t need sedation, but don’t hold still during the duration of the test, the whole thing has to be redone. These issues take up precious time that ultimately resulted in the hospital serving fewer patients.

After implementing the Adventure Series, the hospital only had to sedate a quarter or less of its patients, making their work far more efficient.

Making the experience less frightening for kids is a big win here — for the patients and hospitals too. There’s nothing that can completely erase the anxiety that comes with needing serious medical testing or care, but just knowing there are people who care enough to try is likely a big comfort to these families.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/kids-at-this-hospital-were-terrified-of-the-machines-until-they-got-a-makeover

This 11-year-old Scout became a hero after grilling a senator on her policies.

The Boy Scouts of America have been all over the news lately, but in a recent video, it’s one of the group’s youngest members who’s making waves.

The video was taken earlier this month and features a Colorado state senator, Vicki Marble, holding a question-and-answer session at a Cub Scout den meeting. The senator likely had no idea just how tough the questions were going to be.

One of the scouts, 11-year-old Ames Mayfield, had come prepared to ask his elected official some serious policy questions.

Mayfield, respectfully armed with plenty of research, demanded the senator explain her stances on gun control and health care.

Referencing an earlier scandal in which Marble suggested a connection between cultural diets and disease — aptly named “chicken-gate” — Mayfield drilled the senator for her claims: “I was astonished that you blamed black people for poor health and poverty because of all the chicken and barbecue they eat.”

Marble deflected and blamed the media for fabricating the story and 11-year-old Mayfield for believing it.

According to the Cub Scouts’ own website, a true scout is “brave” and “helpful,” which makes what happened next even stranger.

Mayfield was kicked out of his Cub Scout den.

Mayfield and his mother, Lori, who posted the Q&A footage online, say they were stunned by the decision. For Lori’s part, she insists she didn’t put her son up to it.

“The only coaching I gave him was to be respectful,” she told the Denver Post. “Don’t be argumentative, preface things ‘with all due respect.’ I felt my son followed directions. He asked hard questions, but he was not disrespectful.”

Mayfield has received an outpouring of support from people on social media. Meanwhile, the Scouts say they’re looking for another den he can join.

Whether or not he rejoins remains to be seen.

Whether you agree with Senator Marble’s positions on these issues or not, it’s important to encourage young kids like Mayfield to take on an active role in challenging leadership, holding them accountable, and asking tough questions. That’s how a healthy democracy functions.

We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that our country was built on just this sort of debate, and we should teach kids to ask smart, respectful questions — not blind obedience.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/this-11-year-old-scout-became-a-hero-after-grilling-a-senator-on-her-policies

This guy has some advice for every dad out there whose kids ‘prefer mommy.’

There’s a myth floating around that all parents experience love at first sight when their kids are born.

We’re told by movies, TV shows, and even commercials that becoming a parent triggers an instant and unbreakable bond between us and our children.

But … if you want to know the truth? That doesn’t always happen.

It’s pretty common for new parents to deal with confusing bouts of indifference and postpartum depression, and it doesn’t help that babies and young kids aren’t always completely comfortable with one or both parents right away.

Biological dads can be at particular risk for feeling a little left out, especially if mom is breastfeeding and they don’t want to intrude on that process.

Terence Mentor, who blogs under the name AfroDaddy, opened up about his own struggles bonding with his son in an emotional Facebook post.

His first son was adopted, he says, which meant it was easy for him and his wife to take turns feeding him and pacifying him. His bond with his son was instant.

But Mentor’s younger son, now 2 years old, took a little longer to warm up to dear old dad. His son had an instant connection with his mom, however, and when that comfort gap lasted beyond the newborn phase, it was emotionally brutal on Mentor.

Something magical happened last night.

But before I tell you what it was, you need a bit of background:

Ever since my…

Posted by AfroDaddy on Monday, September 4, 2017

On Facebook, he lamented:

“It is quite a thing to be a dad who can’t comfort his child, who is constantly told ‘No, I go to mommy’, who never seems to have a real, relational moment with his own son.”

He felt extremely jealous of the bond his son had with his wife. “It was actually more difficult than I had allowed myself to admit,” he explains in a Facebook message. “For the first time, I had real doubts about my ability to be a truly involved dad.”

After an agonizing two years, things are starting to turn around. Mentor says his son is finally starting to show some real affection for his dad, celebrating a particularly “magical” milestone in his Facebook post:

“This child, who would cry when I so much as looked his way, came to me [last night] for his comfort and calm. Not going to lie … I got a little teary eyed.”

These feelings of “indifference” can go both ways, of course.

While kids may express a preference for one parent over the other, sometimes new parents just don’t feel that instantaneously deep love they expect they should feel for the new baby.

These feelings are actually super-duper normal, family therapist Leslie Seppinni told ABC News. “It’s not automatic that you’re going to bond with your child. Usually it does take a little while,” she says.

It’s hard to be patient, but if Mentor has learned anything, it’s that you have to push through those tough times by giving loads of affection — even if you’re not getting it in return.

You also have to talk about how you’re feeling, he says.

“Frankly, dads don’t talk about this kind of thing, so I have a suspicion that moms think we don’t care that our child doesn’t want to be with us or have anything to do with us,” he says. “We care. We care a lot.”

He hopes his story, which has been shared far and wide, encourages more parents to stop beating ourselves up and just be honest with ourselves and our partners.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/this-guy-has-some-advice-for-every-dad-out-there-whose-kids-prefer-mommy

People are in love with the ‘ICU Grandpa’ who cuddles babies at an Atlanta hospital.

On a recent morning, a woman walked into the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and saw a stranger holding her baby.

The stranger was an older, bespectacled man. He was sitting in a chair and draped in a thin medical smock, gently rocking her infant son, Logan.

Logan had been in the NICU for six weeks after being born prematurely and needed around-the-clock care. His mom was there to hold him as often as she could be, but as she was making her way to the hospital that morning, the man, David Deutchman, was happy to step in.

They call him the “ICU Grandpa.” And he’s been offering snuggles as an official volunteer at the hospital for 12 years.

In a now super-viral Facebook post, the hospital wrote that Deutchman has a very specific cuddling schedule: on Tuesdays he visits the older babies and kids in the PICU (pediatric intensive care unit), and on Thursdays he visits with the newborns in the NICU.

Logan’s mom isn’t the only one who’s met the hospital “legend” — the social media post, which has been shared over 47,000 times, is overflowing with comments from parents who’ve been touched by his kindness and generosity.

You can read the entire thing below:

They call him the ICU Grandpa. On Tuesdays, he visits the PICU to hold babies whose parents can’t be with them that day….

Posted by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta on Wednesday, September 27, 2017

For young kids, and newborns especially, human contact and warmth is an essential part of survival.

It’s been scientifically demonstrated that newborns with access to food and shelter but no love or bonding, are unlikely to thrive. For this reason, volunteer cuddlers are common at hospitals around the country.

We won’t hold it against you if Deutchman isn’t immediately what came to mind when you heard “volunteer cuddler.” He says his guy friends don’t really get it either.

“I tell them, ‘I hold babies. Sometimes I get puked on, I get peed on. It’s great,'” he says in a video put together by Children’s Healthcare. But he says that “they just don’t get it, the kind of reward you can get from holding a baby like this.”

That’s the kind of attitude that’s made Deutchman an overnight Internet sensation.

Rock on, ICU Grandpa. Rock on.

The ICU Grandpa of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

By now, you’ve probably heard about our ICU Grandpa. Here’s a look at the hospital legend doing what he does best.

Posted by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta on Friday, September 29, 2017

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/people-are-in-love-with-the-icu-grandpa-who-cuddles-babies-at-an-atlanta-hospital

My husband was leading a double life. How I fell apart, then found strength.

A few weeks after giving birth to my first baby, I was wracked with pain to the point that I could barely move.

Swinging my legs, one after another, out of bed took nearly all my willpower. This pain had nothing to do with the physical stress of childbirth or the stitches still holding my swollen private area together.

This pain came from a place so deep within me that I could not determine where the pain ended and I began. We were intertwined. It was all-consuming.

It felt as if half of my DNA had been ripped out of my body and I was left with a dangling half-strand.

Until that moment, I hadn’t realized that my husband had become a part of me. Now, in his absence, I felt an emptiness where he had been. I knew I would never be whole again.

In Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind, psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman and writer Carolyn Gregoire explore what happens in the aftermath of a traumatic event:

The more we are shaken, the more we must let go of our former selves and assumptions, and begin again from the ground up. … Rebuilding can be an incredibly challenging process. … It can be grueling, excruciating, and exhausting. But it can open the door to a new life.

I know that door.

I found out my husband was leading a double life almost immediately after I gave birth to my daughter.

There was another girlfriend, and a secret credit card. Then other women started to come forward.

I was suddenly on my own with a newborn baby. I grieved him, and the future I thought we would have together, like a death.

Photo from me, used with permission.

While these have been without a doubt the most difficult months of my life, there was also something incredibly freeing in being ripped to shreds and then rebuilding myself piece by piece.

I told my therapist that everything seemed somehow clearer. I feel like the human interactions I do have are very genuine now. I used to make kind of superficial small talk a lot, and I dont do that anymore. I cant really explain it. I just feel like I see people now.

She told me that these moments of clarity are made possible precisely because you no longer have room for a lot of the crap you used to spend so much time thinking about. You are stripped clean.

Youve always possessed this power. Maybe you just never knew how to access it.

Before experiencing trauma, I cared very much what people thought of me, from close family and friends to strangers. I had trouble making decisions because I wanted to please everyone. Even navigating a grocery store could be stressful all those strangers silently observing and judging me.

Then, for months, I was trapped in my own body, forced to sit in the pain. Let me be clear. When I say sit in the pain I mean not running into someone elses arms, not getting sloshed every night, and not hiding behind work.

Being trapped in my body meant that I couldnt run from the darkness or try to do whatever it took to feel good again.

We humans naturally try to avoid feelings of discomfort especially today, when instant gratification is just a click away on social media or a swipe away on an online dating app, when endorphins can be produced and manipulated simply by picking up an iPhone. People are even less likely to be still. To just feel.

But as I sat in my pain, I slowly started to trust my own intuition. I became grounded in a very clear sense of self.

When you begin to truly trust and like yourself, you tap into an immense amount of power.

Photo by me, used with permission.

Youve always possessed this power. Maybe you just never knew how to access it. You find a power within yourself thats like an anchor, freeing you from a lot of lifes insecurities that seemed so important before.

Dr. Sharon Dekel says, Post-traumatic growth can be defined as a workable coping mechanism, a way of making and finding meaning involved in the building of a more positive self-image and the perception of personal strength.”

The other side of pain is not comfort, or health, or well-being. It is truth.

When this truth comes pouring in, you begin to see all the grimy layers of protection lift away, and you discover that your journey has just begun. You begin to let the light in and, whats more, you begin to seek out the light.

One morning I woke up and had a sudden realization. The thought entered my mind like a lightning bolt:

You were always whole to begin with.

So as much as I sometimes want to scream and rage at my ex-husband, I also want to thank him. I want to thank him for forcing me to become the person I was always meant to be, for showing me that I am a fighter and that I will never give up.

But most importantly, I thank him for allowing me to become this person before my daughter ever knew anyone else.

You can read more about Jen’s journey in her memoir “A Beautiful, Terrible Thing: A Memoir of Marriage and Betrayal.”

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/my-husband-was-leading-a-double-life-how-i-fell-apart-then-found-strength