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His Dad is dying from the coronavirus. So, he asked people for advice on their final conversations.

His Dad is dying from the coronavirus. So, he asked people for advice on their final conversations.

Nearly all of us will at some point experience the loss of our parents. It's a feeling nothing can really prepare you for. All too often that loss comes at an unexpected time when we're either physically away or emotionally distant from those who brought us into this world and raised us.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced billions of people around the world to contemplate their own mortality and those closest to them in ways many probably never have. One new example from Reddit is both tragic and an uplifting roadmap for anyone who has an aging parent where the time they have left together will soon come to a close.


Posting in the relationship advice subreddit, one user shared the painful news that his elderly father has been hospitalized with the coronavirus, a diagnosis that is likely to prove fatal:

"My dad is 77 and has a compromised immune system (he's been on prednisone, an immunosuppressant, for a rarer form of vasculitis, which has affected his lungs.) It's quite likely he will die. We've had a rocky relationship in the past (typical Asian dad not getting along with/opening up to his Asian-American son) and I'm worried that he'll die before I really got a chance to ever get to know him. What are good things I could try to talk to him about this week while I have time?"

The question instantly resonated with readers, generating over 15,000 up votes and more than 1,000 comments in the first few hours after it was posted. Now, one of the things about anonymous subreddit questions or life stories is that they rarely are verified. And while this is no exception, the response from readers is really applicable to anyone who has an aging parent that is still able to communicate with their child or children but may not be able to do so for much longer.

If you are in this position or just curious what people think about doing with precious time with those closest to them, here are some of the best responses:

I " interviewed" my father in law about 2 weeks before the cancer took him. I asked him his favorite stories about his kids, his favorite various things, his hopes for his 3 kids... I wrote down what he said for my husband and his 2 sisters. I completely forgot about that until I read this post. I need to dig out that notebook. OP- i'm so sorry your family is going through this. I hope you're able to find peace with your father. God speed.

The concept of interviewing one's parents or grandparents and saving that interview (especially on video) is an idea that really resonated with readers. Other readers said they were told by nursing home and hospice professionals that asking someone to talk about their life story can often have a therapeutic effect on the person as they make the final adjustments toward the end of their own life. Capturing their story in their own voice could turn out to be an invaluable gift to the people receiving that information as well as the person being asked to share it.


Photo by Denis Agati on


Another commenter suggested keeping things in a realistic perspective. It will be a powerful moment but as the father and son had a distant and often strained relationship, it's better to not expect some Hollywood moment:

"You can't redefine or really deeply mend a relationship like that in a week with mortality looming. Focus on the good that you have, /u/throwRA-230s8s97d, without trying to suppress the bad. But maybe you can learn some things about your dad you didn't know before that help you understand the bad parts and contextualize them and help you understand your father as a complete human being. I'm sorry you're going through this, I know it's not easy."


Photo by Jordan Whitt on U


Several commenters jumped in with specific questions, all of which were valuable. Here was one set of possible questions that people seemed to really agree are worth asking and knowing:

Here's the list of questions we waited too long to ask my boyfriends mom before she passed:

Tell me about the sweetest thing (wife) ever did for you

What's your funniest memory of (grandkids)?

What's the nicest thing anyone's ever done for you

What are your hopes and dreams for your kids?

Tell me about a time that you felt the most free?

How do you want the family to celebrate your birthday every year?

What are you most proud of?

They say that life is all about the little things – what are some of your favorite little things?

What advice do you have for me?

What's your favorite thing about your children?

What's the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you?


Photo by Harli Marten on


And lastly, another commenter made the excellent suggestion of not trying to cram all of the questions into one sitting. Time is short and there's certainly so much he want to know about his Dad but giving a small break between conversations and perhaps even revisiting a few could prove valuable:

"This is a great idea. And OP, consider asking him on at least 2 separate occasions if at all possible. You know how sometimes you get asked a question and it's only hours later you think of something much more interesting you could have replied with? You could give him a chance to say more of what's on his mind that way."

As we collectively cope with the coronavirus at home and around the world, now is a great time to reach out to those you love and maybe even those you miss - those unforgotten folks who have slipped out of our lives. Use this tragic moment for something of purpose, listen, share and collect it all for the future. You never know whose life it could change for the better.

Health

4 simple hacks to help you meet your healthy eating goals

Trying to eat healthier? Try these 4 totally doable tricks.

Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash

Most of us want to eat healthier but need some help to make it happen.

True

When it comes to choosing what to eat, we live in a uniquely challenging era. Never before have humans known more about nutrition and how to eat for optimal health, and yet we’ve never been more surrounded by distractions and temptations that derail us from making healthy choices.

Some people might be able to decide “I’m going to eat healthier!” and do so without any problem, but those folks are unicorns. Most of us know what we should do, but need a little help making it happen—like some simple hacks, tips and tricks for avoiding pitfalls on the road to healthier eating.

While recognizing that what works for one person may not work for another, here are some helpful habits and approaches that might help you move closer to your healthy eating goals.

man pulling chip out of a chip bagOur mouths loves chips. Our bodies not so much.Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash

Goal: Snack on less junk food

Tip: Focus your willpower on the grocery store, not your home

Willpower is a limited commodity for most of us, and it is no match for a bag of potato chips sitting on top of the fridge. It’s just a fact. Channeling your willpower at the grocery store can save you from having to fight that battle at home. If you don’t bring chips into your house in the first place, you’ll find it a lot easier to reach for something healthier.

The key to successful shopping trips is to always go to the store with a specific list and a full stomach—you’ll feel much less tempted to buy the junky snack foods if you’re already satiated. Also, finding healthier alternatives that will still satisfy your cravings for salty or crunchy, or fatty foods helps. Sugar snap peas have a surprisingly satisfying crunch, apples and nut butter hit that sweet-and-salty craving, etc.

slice of cakeYou can eat well without giving up sweets completely.Photo by Caitlyn de Wild on Unsplash

Goal: Eat less sugar

Tip: Instead of “deprive,” think “delay” or “decrease and delight”

Sugar is a tricky one. Some people find it easier to cut out added sugars altogether, but that can create an all-or-nothing mindset that all too often results in “all.” Eating more whole foods and less processed foods can help us cut out a lot of ancillary sugar, but we still live in a world with birthday cakes and dessert courses.

One approach to dessert temptation is to delay instead of deprive. Tell yourself you can have any sweet you want…tomorrow. This mental trick flips the “I’ll just indulge today and start eating healthier tomorrow” idea on its head. It’s a lot easier to resist something you know you can have tomorrow than to say no to something you think you’ll never get to have again.

Another approach when you really want to enjoy a dessert at that moment is to decrease the amount and really truly savor it. Eat each bite slowly, delighting in the full taste and satisfaction of it. As soon as that delight starts to diminish, even a little, stop eating. You’ve gotten what you wanted out of it. You don’t have to finish it. (After all, you can always have more tomorrow!)

colorful fresh food on a plateA naturally colorful meal is a healthy meal.Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash

Goal: Eat healthier meals

Tip: Focus on fresh foods and plan meals ahead of time

Meal planning is easier than ever before. The internet is filled with countless tools—everything from recipes to shopping lists to meal planning apps—and it’s as awesome as it is overwhelming.

Planning ahead takes the guesswork and decision fatigue out of cooking, preventing the inevitable “Let’s just order a pizza.” You can have a repeating 3-week or 4-week menu of your favorite meals so you never have to think about what you’re going to eat, or you can meal plan once a week to try new recipes and keep things fresh.

It might help to designate one day a week to “shop and chop”—getting and prepping the ingredients for the week’s meals so they’re ready to go in your fridge or freezer.

woman holding blueberries in her handsOrganic foods are better for the Earth and for us.Photo by andrew welch on Unsplash

Goal: Eat more organic/humanely raised food

Tip: Utilize the “dirty dozen” and “clean 15” lists to prioritize

Many people choose organic because they want to avoid pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals. Organic food is also better for the planet, and according to the Mayo Clinic, studies have shown that organic produce is higher in certain nutrients.

Most people don’t buy everything organic, but there are some foods that should take priority over others. Each year, researchers from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) analyze thousands of samples of dozens of fruits and vegetables. From this data, they create a list of the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” fruits and vegetables, indicating what produce has the most and least pesticide residue. These lists give people a good place to start focusing their transition to more organic foods.

To make organic eating even simpler, you can shop O Organics® at your local Albertsons or Safeway stores. The O Organics brand offers a wide range of affordable USDA-certified organic products in every aisle. If you’re focusing on fresh foods, O Organics produce is always grown without synthetic pesticides, is farmed to conserve biodiversity, and is always non-GMO. All animal-based O Organics products are certified humane as well. Even switching part of your grocery list to organic can make a positive impact on the planet and the people you feed.

Healthy eating habits don’t have to be all or nothing, and they don’t have to be complicated. A few simple mindset changes at home and habit changes at the grocery store can make a big difference.

Around 1 a.m. on April 24, semi-truck drivers in the Oak Park area of Michigan received a distress call from area police: An unidentified man was standing on the edge of a local bridge, apparently ready to jump onto the freeway below.

Those drivers then did something amazing. They raced to the scene to help — and lined up their trucks under the bridge, providing a relatively safe landing space should the man jump.

Fortunately, he didn't.


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All images provided by Prudential Emerging Visionaries

Collins after being selected by Prudential Emerging Visionaries

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A changemaker is anyone who takes creative action to solve an ongoing problem—be it in one’s own community or throughout the world.

And when it comes to creating positive change, enthusiasm and a fresh perspective can hold just as much power as years of experience. That’s why, every year, Prudential Emerging Visionaries celebrates young people for their innovative solutions to financial and societal challenges in their communities.

This national program awards 25 young leaders (ages 14-18) up to $15,000 to devote to their passion projects. Additionally, winners receive a trip to Prudential’s headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, where they receive coaching, skills development, and networking opportunities with mentors to help take their innovative solutions to the next level.

For 18-year-old Sydnie Collins, one of the 2023 winners, this meant being able to take her podcast, “Perfect Timing,” to the next level.

Since 2020, the Maryland-based teen has provided a safe platform that promotes youth positivity by giving young people the space to celebrate their achievements and combat mental health stigmas. The idea came during the height of Covid-19, when Collins recalled social media “becoming a dark space flooded with news,” which greatly affected her own anxiety and depression.

Knowing that she couldn’t be the only one feeling this way, “Perfect Timing” seemed like a valuable way to give back to her community. Over the course of 109 episodes, Collins has interviewed a wide range of guests—from other young influencers to celebrities, from innovators to nonprofit leaders—all to remind Gen Z that “their dreams are tangible.”

That mission statement has since evolved beyond creating inspiring content and has expanded to hosting events and speaking publicly at summits and workshops. One of Collins’ favorite moments so far has been raising $7,000 to take 200 underserved girls to see “The Little Mermaid” on its opening weekend, to “let them know they are enough” and that there’s an “older sister” in their corner.

Of course, as with most new projects, funding for “Perfect Timing” has come entirely out of Collins’ pocket. Thankfully, the funding she earned from being selected as a Prudential Emerging Visionary is going toward upgraded recording equipment, the support of expert producers, and skill-building classes to help her become a better host and public speaker. She’ll even be able to lease an office space that allows for a live audience.

Plus, after meeting with the 24 other Prudential Emerging Visionaries and her Prudential employee coach, who is helping her develop specific action steps to connect with her target audience, Collins has more confidence in a “grander path” for her work.

“I learned that my network could extend to multiple spaces beyond my realm of podcasting and journalism when industry leaders are willing to share their expertise, time, and financial support,” she told Upworthy. “It only takes one person to change, and two people to expand that change.”

Prudential Emerging Visionaries is currently seeking applicants for 2024. Winners may receive up to $15,000 in awards and an all-expenses-paid trip to Prudential’s headquarters with a parent or guardian, as well as ongoing coaching and skills development to grow their projects.

If you or someone you know between the ages of 14 -18 not only displays a bold vision for the future but is taking action to bring that vision to life, click here to learn more. Applications are due by Nov. 2, 2023.

Angelina Jordan blew everyone away with her version of 'Bohemian Rhapsody."

At Upworthy, we've shared a lot of memorable "America's Got Talent" auditions, from physics-defying dance performances to jaw-dropping magic acts to heart-wrenching singer-songwriter stories. Now we're adding Angelina Jordan's "AGT: The Champions" audition to the list because wow.

Jordan came to "AGT: The Champions" in 2020 as the winner of Norway's Got Talent, which she won in 2014 at the mere age of 7 with her impressive ability to seemingly channel Billie Holiday. For the 2020 audition, she sang Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," but a version that no one had ever heard before.

With just her Amy Winehouse-ish voice, a guitar and a piano, Jordan brought the fan-favorite Queen anthem down to a smooth, melancholy ballad that's simply riveting to listen to.

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Education

Mother of 7 stunned to learn the ‘Alphabet Song’ has been changed to get with the times

There's a good reason for the update. But it's jarring, to say the least.

Jessica Skube can't believe that they changed the 'Alphabet Song.'

The oldest published version of the melody to the “Alphabet Song” was in 1761. However, because it’s the same melody as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” it's hard to trace it to its original composer.

The “Alphabet Song” is so deeply entrenched in American culture that it almost seems sacrilegious to change a piece of music that’s one of the first most of us ever learned. But after all these years, some educators are altering the classic melody so that there is a variation when the letters L-M-N-O-P are sung.

This change shocked popular TikTokker Jessica Skube, who documents life raising 7 children with her 2.6 million followers. Nearly 10 million people have watched her video revealing the significant change, and it’s received over 56,000 comments since first being published in late 2020.

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Sometimes a sibling bond transcends all else.

"Love" is one of the most powerful words in the English language, yet it's also one of the most broadly defined. We use the word "love" for so many things that are neither the same nor equal—our families, our friends, our romantic partners, our hobbies—even our favorite foods.

When we think of a "love story," we almost exclusively imagine a tale of romance, but that's not the only kind of love story there is. Sometimes the strongest, most meaningful loves of our lives aren't romantic at all.

David Shane creates videos in which he approaches couples in public and asks them to share three things they love about each other, resulting in some major #couplegoals moments. But one "couple" he approached had a surprising answer to that question, one that moved both them and the people watching the video afterward to tears.

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Identity

Man teaches disability awareness by using sign language to communicate with deaf pitbull

Christopher Hannah and Cole the Deaf Dog have inspired children and veterans for over 6 years.

Chris Hannah and Cole entertain a group of kids.

Six years ago, Cole was a deaf pitbull deemed “broken” and passed up by countless families at the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter. But in April of 2017, he was adopted by Chris Hannah, a public school music teacher and they’ve been changing lives ever since.

Chris, with the help of his deaf nephew, taught the dog sign language, and they began doing presentations in schools, teaching kids that it’s okay to be different and helping them to be courageous and kind. They also help them reflect on their feelings of “brokenness” to learn self-acceptance and compassion. In their performances, Chris and Cole demonstrate that disabilities are a superpower by showing that a dog can learn sign language.

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With permission from Sarah Cooper.

Men and the feels.


Note: This an excerpt is from Sarah Cooper's book, How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men's Feelings.

In this fast-paced business world, female leaders need to make sure they're not perceived as pushy, aggressive, or competent.

One way to do that is to alter your leadership style to account for the fragile male ego.

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