Candle heart

Photo Courtesy: Candlemakers Corner


Dear Diary,


I cried the entire drive to pick up my daughter from daycare.  I couldn’t imagine what I would do if she wasn’t there when I arrived–if someone took her life for no reason at all.  When I entered her classroom, she ran to me, smiling with her arms in the air.  I picked her up and hugged her tighter than I did that morning.  I don’t know what to say to the 40 parents who didn’t get to experience something similar.  Who didn’t get one more hug, one more kiss, one more “I love you”.  I can only pray and selfishly thank God for the additional day He granted my family.  I can look forward to Christmas–a day some of the the survivors said they wanted to live to see.  I can also honor the little lives lost by reminding people to do the following not only on dark days but when the sun shines on are lives as well.


1.  Kiss your child.

2.  Cuddle on the couch.

3.  Forgive your child’s father if you’re holding a grudge.

4.  Smile when you really want to yell.

5.  Light a candle.

6.  Say a prayer together.
7.  Take a picture with your child.
8.  Draw a picture/color.
9.  Hold hands & take a walk.
10. Count your blessings.
Hey DFTM family–What would you add to the list?

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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