Single Dad Who Went Viral After Mom Abandoned Baby Says the Family Is Done Posting Updates

Single Dad Who Went Viral After Mom Abandoned Baby Says the Family Is Done Posting Updates

I kind of feel like single dads get the short end of the stick. It can be awkward to take your kid to a playground full of moms, or to host a playdate when you know some parents are uncomfortable with the thought of leaving their daughter with just you, a single man.

It’s also true that we’re members of a society that puts single moms on a pedestal while kind of looking down on dads who do the parenting thing on their own. That’s probably why we love stories where single dads triumph over hardship and come out on top. Plus, who doesn’t love it when dads go above and beyond to be loving, caring, and devoted to their kids?

Richard Johnson’s story was one that many parents could identify with, and one that touched many hearts.

Back in 2015, Richard introduced himself to the Facebook group Life of Dad. He wrote,

Life of Dad,

My name is Richard Johnson, and I’m a single father to a beautiful little girl named Persephone. Her mother left about a month after she was born. We still don’t know exactly why, but we suspect post-partum depression played a part. In the first few weeks of it being just her and me, I stumbled upon your page by accident. I was so nervous and scared about being a father in general, but now I was a single father and had to fulfill two roles. I wasn’t sure I could do it.

I had read every “new parent” book I could find and clocked in over 1000 hours in YouTube videos from everything to braiding hair and painting nails to theories on how to deal with common parental issues. I then started to watch your page more closely and saw that there were other fathers out there who were in similar predicaments as me. The page started to turn into a major confidence booster and really helped me through all of this.

I always look forward to photo submissions and reading the stories of some of the awesome dads out there in this community. You truly helped my daughter and me through a very difficult time.

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We’re both very happy now and continue to grow together everyday. She’s now 10 months, and I now get asked by my friends for parenting advice constantly. We’ve come a long way, my daughter and me, and we definitely owe part of that to this page and the people within it. So from both of us, we wanted to thank you.

Sincerely, 

Persephone & Richard Johnson

The post got close to 100k Likes, and it opened up a conversation where other parents shared their stories. 

A strong community is crucial when it comes to single parenting. After all, as Richard himself explained, it was reading about others in a similar situation that helped him persevere with Persephone in the months after her mom abruptly left. 

In fact, the Life of Dad post got so much attention that Richard posted a heartwarming and vulnerable follow-up about how humbled he was by the internet’s comments. 

“You truly can’t understand how much everyone’s words mean to me. I am constantly criticizing myself on how I can be a better father and this was just the right medicine I needed,” he shared. 

He continues, “The days have been rough and at times I wasn’t sure I could make it another day. I spent more then a few nights holding my little girl as she slept, weeping because I wasn’t sure I was going to be a good enough father for her.”

*cries silently into computer*

The internet displayed such a tenderness and affection for Richard’s story that he decided to start a Facebook page exclusively dedicated to documenting their father-daughter journey.

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Over the years, Richard has opened up about medical hardships Persephone endured, and how she came out resilient.

“I am proud to announce after a 3 hour long ultrasound, grunts and groans from our Doctor. Miss Persephone Lilith Johnson’s heart is now at 100% health,” he wrote one day.

He even shared some funny memes, proving that he’ll no doubt be a pretty cool dad to grow up around.

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They celebrated her birthdays in the most adorable ways possible, with her dad — who has an obvious knack for moving us to tears with his words — sharing updates like this one:

One year and 24 minutes ago. My beautiful baby girl was born. She changed my entire life. Breathed new hope into a broken man. Gave me hope for a better future. You calmed a storm within me. I can never understand how such luck was bestowed upon me. I certainly did not deserve it. 
 

Miss Persephone Lilith, you are so deeply loved by so many people. You sparked an incredible amount of hope and love. They say the child learns for the parent, however I feel I am learning more from you than you ever could from me. I look at you and can’t just help feel like everything will work out the way it should. Oh princess, this year with you has head so much for us. We have met so many wonderful and beautiful people. You’ve captured the heart of each. Persephone, I haven’t been the greatest guy for a majority of my life, I was a man you would have not been proud of. I strive everyday to make sure I can be one you’ll be proud of. So you will know without a single doubt in your mind that you are severely loved. 

 I love you so very much. You’re painfully perfect and I just cannot express how grateful I am to have you. 
I’m going to give you the world one day Miss Lilith. I’ll work myself to death to do it. Everything you can ever want will be yours or I’m going to die trying. 
Happy birthday my angel. Don’t ever lose the joy you hold in your heart and never forget to smile.

Love, Daddy.

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In the two or so years since she was born, over five thousand people around the world have followed along as she took important calls, put on cool outfits, and ate very delicious food.

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We even watched as precious Persephone (Percy, as they occasionally nickname her) got a new mom. In a heartwarming post about a year and a half into running his Facebook page, Richard posted:

“This lovely lady is my girlfriend and Persephone wonderful and gorgeous Mother Jennifer. We’ve waited a while to have anything on this page however Jennifer has been an amazing mother to Persephone.”

He shares how the two met at a mall when she helped him pick clothes for Persephone.

I explained that I wasn’t sure what actually matched and need some pointers considering my own closet had consisted of nothing but black, faded black, and dark black clothes. We had talked for months before I allowed her to meet Persephone. Upon meeting her Persephone had made the choice that this would be her mommy.

Since then, we’ve been witness to some fun family caricatures, Halloween costumes, and hockey games. To all the thousands of followers who have been there from the beginning, the Johnsons feel like family.

Which is why many were sad when Richard revealed earlier this month that he would stop posting on the page.

“It saddens me to announce that we will no longer be updating this page nor responding to anything. We have decided to let the page go silent. I will certainly save everything so Persephone can see everything when it’s finally time to tell her the story,” he wrote. 

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Most of you have been here from the beginning and all our your heartfelt messages have meant so much to us. However it has come time to let this page go. After recent events, we will not be continuing with the page. We have had an extraordinary journey thus far and it’s certainly not over yet. I’m purging our lives of a few things and realize that would have to include this page.
It’s possible we will pick the page up again some other time down the line. You have all made a “chapter” in the book we call life.

I thank you all again for everything. Take care and keep writing your own story! It’s never truly over.

As Richard shared on his page years ago, “Life isn’t about when the book ends, it’s about how you decide to start the next story in your series.”

We wish you a great next story, Richard and Persephone!

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This Candid Picture Of The Royal Family Is Cuter Than The Official Photos

Every since Prince Harry’s engagement to actress Meghan Markle was announced, Royal Family fever has swept America. He’s marrying that beautiful woman from Suits! She is one of us, only far more cool!

I’ve never particularly cared about the UK’s symbolic figureheads. A queen? Who cares. Being born into the royalty just seems like the luck of the draw. Being married into it, however, is an accomplishment. Taking an interest in what’s going on with queenie and her crew is new to me, but plenty of people have made it into their hobby. A mom named Karen Murdoch got up early on Christmas day to catch a glimpse of the royals leaving St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, where they traditionally celebrate. 

And she caught the perfect picture:

Don’t they look incredible? You really couldn’t have staged a better image. And people tried. As a comparison, here’s a picture from Getty:

It’s not a bad image, but so stiff and formal in comparison to Murdoch’s candid. Her picture has gone wildly viral, and the replies are full of people congratulating her and also telling her to be careful. Everyone wants a piece of this photo’s action.

Murdoch told the Telegraph that she took the picture on an iPhone and all she did was shout the season’s greetings at the group to get those smiles.

“I’m just very bubbly by nature and I was with my daughter and I got a bit excitable, I suppose,” she said. “I was just sort of shouting and I just went, ‘Merry Christmas!’ like an idiot. I was fan-girling.”

She was there with her daughter, and hopes she’ll get some money for the image to send her kid to school. I hope she does, too! It’s fed my interest in Markle’s upcoming nuptials for another day.

The early bird gets the pic. 

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Actress Marlee Matlin Writes Tweet, Gets Unfollowed By All Trump Family Members

Academy-award winner Marlee Matlin was recently unfollowed by the whole Trumpclanfamily.

The actor and advocate for the deaf community was unfollowed because of this tweet she posted earlier this week:

How do we know they all unfollowed her? Well, there is a Twitter bot that actually tracks the follows and unfollows of the Trump accounts. Because, of course there is.

Needless to say, supporters had Matlin’s back. 

They all followed her BECAUSE the Trumps unfollowed her.*

I think that’s beautiful! 

(*Also, as someone born with only 50% of their hearing, I admit this got me a little teary-eyed.)

But, this message will really make you smile!

Here is a bit more detail about the unfollowing heard ’round the world:

Since Ms. Matlin dealt with worse on “The Apprentice,” and still followed them on Twitter, hard to believe she’s that petty.

Do I think the Trump offspring are that petty?

I mean, consider the source!

Thank you, Marlee for your courage in the face of ignorance! 

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80 Beachgoers Formed A Human Chain To Save A Family Stuck In The Riptide

Something that Roberta Ursrey’s family unfortunately experienced first hand when her sons were first caught in a rip current.

Ursrey heard her children screaming for help, so she swam out with her relatives to rescue them, but they were all soon caught in the current. All nine of them were trapped in 15 feet of water.

But beachgoer Jessica Simmons, who, by chance, had picked up a discarded boogie board that day, noticed the family out deep in the water, and paddled towards them with intent of helping. Meanwhile, her husband, along with some others, made a human chain that started at the shore.

The chain eventually grew to 80 people and stretched nearly 100 yards, with the stronger swimmers wading in the deeper waters. The help came just in time, too. Simmons recounts seeing Ursrey swallowing a lot of water as she helped bring the children back to shore.

The 80 or so beachgoers safely brought Ursrey and her entire family to safety. Ursrey doesn’t recall being rescued, just waking up on the shore.

Simmons counts the rescue as a victory for humanity. 

One of the witnesses, Rosalind Beckton, who uploaded photos of the rescue on Facebook alleges that there were people in uniform who sat idly by as the human chain was being formed.

In any event, it’s amazing to see complete strangers think so quickly in the nick of time to save some fellow human beings. (h/t news herald)

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These Siblings Recreating Their Family Photos Will Make You Want To Host A Reunion

If you have a sibling, you know that shared memories are your most precious gift. They are also your most hilarious gift, because when you think back on what you used to do, it seems really crazy. That’s why the “family photo recreation” genre is so good. It takes the past and highlights how ridiculous we all were, even when we were being cute:

Facebook page “A Different Type Of Art” compiled an excellent post of some of the greatest sibling recreation pics of all time, making it clear that you can grow old, but still not grow up:

Though the best part of the post may be all the people sharing their less viral versions in the comments. Recreation photos are now a family tradition:

Hmm, what can I get my family to do at Thanksgiving dinner? I have six months to plan, so it better be good.

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These Prize-Winning Christmas Decorations Earned A Family $50,000 Because They Were So Good

I didn’t grow up decorating my house for Christmas, but there’s nothing I love more than walking out on a chilly night with a huge mug of coffee and taking a stroll through the neighboring towns that go all out during the holidays.

Something about seeing bright red and green and white sparkling lights really warms me up and although I grew up Muslim, I can’t help but get all warm and fuzzy during Christmas time and get in the holiday spirit.

That doesn’t mean I’d go through the trouble of decorating my own house. No, no, I’m much too lazy for that.

But it makes me happy to see that people who work so hard to spread good cheer are getting rewarded for it, like this family from Glen Allen, Virginia.

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Well, they actually entered a competition for it, called, “The Great American Light Fight,” which kinda of goes against what Christmas is all about.

That doesn’t mean that Esther and Al Thompson didn’t work their butts off though. 578 hours went into setting up their home for the light-off.

The Thompson family have been long-time Christmas decorators for a while now. Every year they go all out to put on a brilliant display for the neighborhood to put everyone in the holiday mood.

ABC 8 reported that the Thompsons “couldn’t believe” they made $ 50k by doing something they’d done for years.

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“Not in a thousand years. I always look at ourself as the house on Wendurst Drive, you know, I make my decorations out of plyboard during the summer and how am I going to compete against these big mega decorators that have the computerized shows and so on. All homemade, a lot of interactive, all that kind of thing played a part, so we were quite surprised.”

The couple said that they planned on giving some of the earnings from the show to their local church while Esther says she wants to use the money to take a trip to Israel. A fitting way to spend money that you won in a Christmas competition. (h/t wric)

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Brother Sends Out Christmas Cards For Sister And Trolls The Entire Family

Twitter user Morgan Svobodny recently decided to share the Christmas card that her brother, Zach, photoshopped and sent to everyone in their family on her behalf. 

In the card, Zach claims that Morgan is now in love with rapper Chief Keef, and adding that she’d dropped out of college after discovering that she was pregnant with his child. 

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That picture is actually a superb photoshop of these two individual images…

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Twitter was understandably impressed with Zach’s photoshop skills…

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This Poor Pup's Former Family Showed Up To Her Shelter To Adopt A Different Dog

Usually, pet adoption stories are the kind of news that brighten your day and remind you that there’s still some good left in this world. Unfortunately, the most recent news in the realm of rescue dogs is about as heartbreaking as it gets. 

Meet Zuzu, a 2-year-old German Shepherd currently residing in the Downey Animal Care Center in California.

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Shelter volunteers describe the pup as “beautiful and loving” and “amazing” — which is evident from her sweet profile photos on ShelterMe, a site dedicated to matching prospective pet owners with shelter pets. 

Unfortunately, Zuzu’s life hasn’t been easy, thus far. According to her former owners, she “cried” constantly after her father passed away. Eventually, the distressed doggo jumped the fence into a neighbor’s yard and the neighbors called animal control.

Shelter volunteers had previously assumed Zuzu was a stray — until her former owners showed up at the shelter and Zuzu couldn’t contain her excitement. 

“Doing dog intros we got interrupted by a distracted and overly excited Zuzu,” shelter volunteer Desi Lara wrote on Facebook. “With her fast wagging tail seeing her owners Zuzu lite up like a Christmas Tree. She looked like the happiest dog. Yeah, she’s going home.”

In a heartbreaking turn of events, though, Zuzu did not go home with her former family. In fact, they were at the shelter TO ADOPT ANOTHER DOG INSTEAD. 

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“Their reason was because she was crying and sad since her father passed away. She wasn’t a happy dog anymore,” Desi wrote. “Their solution for her unhappiness was just leaving her here. And [to] go get another dog.”

Obviously, people are outraged by poor Zuzu’s situation and calling for her former owners to be banned from taking another dog. 

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Most importantly, though, people are sharing the video to make sure Zuzu gets adopted by a deserving family.

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“Let’s get her into the perfect home please,” Desi requested. 

While Zuzu’s story is heartbreaking, we should be glad that she’s being taken in by a shelter that will find her a good forever home. 

“[I was] honestly sad but glad,” Desit told Buzzfeed of Zuzu’s situation. “I knew the rescues who come to [the shelter] would find her a good home where she would be a family member.”

We can’t wait to see Zuzu go home to a family that loves and appreciates her! (h/t buzzfeed)

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Cop Ignores Guy's Arrest Warrant To Drive Him 100 Miles To Reunite Him With His Family

Whenever you hear distressing news, it’s like the laws of the universe don’t apply to you. When my wife was pregnant, I suddenly became a hyper aware driver; I don’t think I’ve ever made it that fast to the hospital before in my life.

So when Mark Ross found out early Sunday night that his teenage sister tragically died in a car crash, he hopped in a friend’s car and told him to gun it.

Ross didn’t own a car and needed to quickly get from Indiana to Detroit to be there for his family.

Naturally, they were driving fast. And naturally, while driving through Ohio, they got pulled over. Because everyone gets pulled over for speeding in Ohio.


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What’s worse is that Ross’ friend was driving with a suspended license, so he was arrested and his car was towed, basically getting screwed over for trying to help his friend out.

Ross worried that he would be arrested too because of a petty warrant, but Michigan officials refused to pick him up because of the distance. Ross then broke down crying.

“I explained to the officer that my sister had died and that I needed to get to my mother ASAP. I broke down crying, and he saw the sincerity in my cry. He reaches over and began praying over me and my family.”

So Sgt. David Robinson of Ohio State Highway state patrol did something amazing. He drove Ross over 100 miles to Detroit to be with his family. Ross was stunned.

“Everybody knows how much I dislike cops, but I am truly grateful for this guy. He gave me hope.”

Officers: more of this and less shooting unarmed people, please.

I just hope there was leniency for Ross’ friend who put his neck on the line trying to do a solid for his buddy.

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Steve Harvey Meets Contestant That Looks Exactly Like Him On Family Feud

Steve Harvey and Family Feud were a match made in heaven. His reactions were so great that people began uploading them to the net before Family Feud decided to start uploading clips themselves and prompted those that have never bothered with the show to scroll through footage for hours at a time.

His reactions to the over the top answers some contestants give him are really what everyone looks forward to.  With each new episode that airs, you can see his faith in mankind diminish more and more, along with his will to continue hosting the show.

On a recent episode that aired, something interesting happened; one of the contestants shared an uncanny resemblance to the host, all the way down to his signature mustache and inquiring facial expression.  

The guest insisted that he should be compensated to some degree for constantly being mistaken for Steve Harvey, who countered by pointing out one very important difference between the two.  Take a look:

(h/t ew)

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