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Tiny Love Stories: ‘I Almost Left Him Three Times’

I can’t help but notice the increasing frequency of Isabella singing “Wee-woo, wee-woo!” It took me a moment to realize that my 19-month-old was imitating the sounds of ambulances as they passed. We’ve become accustomed to them screaming down the streets toward Tucson Medical Center. Isabella now sings the ambulance song four, five, six times a day. Spinning with both arms raised, she projects unmitigated toddler joy at those loud, flashy boxes that roll by day and night. Every unlucky person transported past our home gets an ambulance song dedicated to them. I hope it helps. — Amber Gates

We met on a St. Patrick’s Day blind date. I partied, got drunk and passed out on our friend’s couch. He thought I was beautiful. We married six months later. He is the grandson of a Klansman. His parents disowned him because I am Black; my parents accepted him. We had two sons. I almost left him three times. He was often an impatient, temperamental know-it-all. I was often too passive, insecure and private. Over 40 years, I taught him to quiet his temper and listen to others. He taught me to speak up and be stronger. We are committed. — Jacquelyn Jobe


When I was 14 and my first boyfriend and I broke up, my little sister was the only person who could get me to leave my room. She led me downstairs, where she had spelled “I love you” with cards on the floor. Eyes red and puffy, I smiled for the first time all day. Nine years later, when she was 15, her first boyfriend broke up with her. I did the only thing I could to help. I wrote “I love you” in playing cards at the bottom of the stairs. Eyes red and puffy, she smiled. — Devon Burger

My mother died at almost 95, and I needed to walk to the tree. That’s what my son would say after we planted a Texas redbud in Riverside Park 18 years ago. His father had died two years before, when my son was 4. Many times since we have held onto a branch and cried or stayed quiet. I talked to the tree when my son wouldn’t talk to me. I walked to the tree today and it was gone. My soul ached. Disease? Storm? I wanted to ask the tree. Without answers, we will plant another. — Patty Dann

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