15/26. The little woman who was my first partner in Tae Kwon Do. I was a (much taller) white belt, and she was a green belt.
That was the day I watched the gymnasium ceiling pass overhead, in a slow, dreamy way. Followed by the sound of my landing.
16/26. I was roughly about 8 or 9. So me, my mom, two brothers and a friend all went to the cinema. We ended up getting out of the cinema at like 10. As we were walking back to the car I kind of dropped back a little bit as I was in my own world. All I heard from behind me was a teen's voice getting my attention, unaware of any real dangers in life at such a tender age and my mom a few meters up from me I turned around.
Soon as I turned around one of the kids knees me in the stomach and the other one punched me in the face. The worst bit was I couldn't even shout as I was winded. A few seconds passed and I shouted. My mom turned seen me on the floor and started sprinting for these kids. She ran straight past me. So right in front of me my mom grabbed one of them and started punching this 16-year-old in the face and throwing him around like a rag doll.
The other one was shouting for her to stop and he ran up to my mom and she literally did the same to him. Security came over not so long after and then the police. The kids were arrested and nothing came of my mom kicking seven shades of crap out of these two kids. Turns out they had been going around the Metro Center (where the cinema was) shop lifting, pickpocketing and being all round urethras. Safe to say everybody in school knew the next day. I imagine it was a good bully deterrent too.
17/26. My grandpa has Parkinson's, and in the last few years, he's been getting really frail to the point where you can't feel anything between the skin and the bone. Anyway, taking care of him was becoming a lot for my step-grandmother, so she tried finding a good nursing home for him.
At the home where he went, people treated him so badly that he had a flashback to being a POW in the Korean War. My grandma gets a call that they found him 3 miles away perfectly fine, but we all thought the dude couldn't even get out of bed on his own.
My grandfather's getting close to dying now, and he certainly did a lot during his life. It was good to hear that he still had some of that in him, when he seemed like just a shell.
18/26. My father-in-law.
My mother-in-law raised my husband and his brother, and my father-in-law was always kind of this quiet presence. She always said he was disinterested, and didn't care about the boys. She said a lot of really awful things about him. Their divorce was messy, but I took what she said at face value. Fast forward to now.
When I got laid off, my father-in-law, in his quiet way, invited us to stay at his house, until I finish school. With our two crazy toddlers, and our old cat who doesn't always make it to the litter box. I was hesitant at first, but we didn't really have options. Turns out he's this salt-of-the-earth guy. He works, and reads, and builds stuff for our babies to play with (like a 6' tall working windmill), and is the best grandpa any kid could ever want.
Turns out he has always loved the boys deeply, but struggled with depression since my mother-in-law took them and left. He has bought every birthday present, school clothes, etc. since they were little. Even though they had no idea. I also found out he has been paying all of mother-in-law's bills even after the boys grew up and moved out. When I asked him why he said, "She's the mother of my children, I don't want to see her struggle." One of the best people I know. I hope, one day, we can repay him for all of his kindness.