This Week's Featured Stories

If you're looking for a laugh, a midday pick-me-up or a dose of inspiration, you'll love our featured stories. You can read three free stories every month by picking from the selection below or by searching through every Chicken Soup for the Soul story ever published using the box to the right. You can also have stories delivered right to your inbox with our free, featured story emails. If you'd like to have unlimited access and be able to choose the perfect story for any moment, sign up for a premium subscription and have the freedom to enjoy any of our 20,000+ stories any time!


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9: My Husband’s Hands

My Husband’s Hands I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach. ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning This is a story of my husband’s hands. They are not delicate hands by any means. They are the hands of a man who has worked hard all his life. They are capable and clumsy at the same time, earning him both a good reputation with tools and the family nickname of “dill pickle fingers.” They are calloused and kind. The same hands that placed a wedding band on my finger thirty-five years ago are the same hands that held mine when we sat together, disbelievingly, to receive my cancer diagnosis a few months ago. Primary source breast cancer, spread to my spine. The same hands that caressed me in passion now gently wash and towel-dry my broken back, still caressing and still with love. Our intimacy now consists of my bedpan being emptied, and thanks to his willing hands, it doesn’t make me feel any less cherished. Those hands that remember the soft skin of our babies now hold my wheelchair firmly for me, so I can safely sit. They proudly carry a little bowl of carefully washed green grapes to have with my lunch: a heavenly offering. They smooth my covers and pick up my pills at the pharmacy. This past spring, the strong fingers that held the... (more)
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10: Are You Happy?

Are You Happy? If you want to be happy, be. ~Leo Tolstoy I never meant to be married three times. My one and only marriage was going to be a delight of witty banter and happily ever after. I’d been studying for this since I picked up my first Georgette Heyer romance, so I knew exactly what to expect. After the second divorce, I went on a crying jag, threw out all of my romance novels and went to therapy. I started understanding me. I treasured those teenage years of curling up with a romance novel. That’s when I fell in love with the paper hero. He was strong, dark and handsome, carelessly bestowing a kiss or promising glance that filled the heroine’s dreams. A paper hero is told what to say, how to act, in fact, how to be the perfect man. But, he only exists on the pages of a book. Let me translate those qualities into down-to-earth terms. He’s the sexy bad boy every woman wants. Bad boys like having lots of women. They love the attention. They are experts at giving out crumbs of attention — just enough to give us hope that he’ll be the one. Bad boys are sexy, flirtatious and intelligent. The ones I loved were not bad men, but none of them was the right man for me. Once I realized this, I got out of my own way and decided that I wanted more... (more)
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11: My Hero

My Hero All men are created equal, then a few become firemen. ~Author Unknown Often firefighters are referred to as heroes because they are willing to put their lives on the line and face danger to help or save others. A firefighter doesn’t think twice about entering a burning building to rescue someone in need or about climbing onto a blazing roof to put out a fire. My husband is a firefighter. He has been in dangerous situations and has had to put his life on the line many times over the years. After being married to him for almost twenty years it is probably odd that I don’t often worry about the risks my husband takes in his job. That’s just what he does. What makes him a hero to me are all the things that he gives up in his personal life while being a firefighter in his professional life. We’ve had friends comment on how lucky he is to have a work schedule that allows him to be home in the middle of the week. But what is often overlooked is the time that he is away. My husband’s job requires that he leave his family and sleep away from home half the month as firefighters work twenty-four-hour shifts. He has to trust that while he is taking care of others, his own family is safe. And what is also overlooked is how much I have to be on my own.... (more)
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12: The Wedding Band

The Wedding Band For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness. ~Author Unknown I sat with my lips in a tight line, a dark feeling enveloping me. It was better to say nothing than to continue more negativity in the car. It was going to be a long trip. As we started our trip to Las Vegas to attend my husband’s brother’s wedding, it seemed like everything went wrong. My husband Bob was supposed to pick me up early from work, after I had made arrangements for my replacement for the day, but he did not come. When we met up, the car wasn’t ready and gassed, causing more delays and worries about the distance we needed to make that night. Additional irritations made us both tense. Snippy words were tossed to and fro. I hunched miserable in my seat. Usually when we traveled together the trips were made short by our companionable chatting, discussing our children and our dreams, making plans, telling stories, and laughing. This time I felt totally out of sorts. Neither of us felt like talking. It was going to be a late night. We just drove in silent determination to get to our stopping point. The air conditioning put an additional chill in the car, but neither of us turned it off. After several hours, Bob asked me to take a turn driving, and we... (more)