Things That Matter

Texas Mother Loses Three Children And Their Grandmother To A Fire They Made While Attempting To Stay Warm Amidst Power Outages

The consequences of the widespread power outages in Texas have been beyond devastating to the state who has endured unrelenting winter weather made worse by an inferior infrastructure. Power and water outages have raged across the state last week as a result of an unusual deep freeze that has pushed many into survival mode.

Sadly, while Texas is beginning to receive relief, the Nguyen family has been faced with the unimaginable.

Jackie Pham Nguyen is the only survivor of a house fire that killed her three children and grandmother.

Nguyen was with her three children in their home in the Houston suburb of Sugar Land, Texas when the power went out at her mother Loan Le’s house. That Monday, Nguyen welcomed her mother into her home, located just five miles away, and where she and her children Olivia, 11, Edison, 8, and Colette, 5, still had power.

“We thought we were really lucky because we still had power until the early evening,” Nguyen said in an interview with CNN. After losing power just a few hours later, Nguyen says she and her family members settled down, lit their fireplace, and played board and card games. When 9:30 p.m. rolled around, everyone headed to sleep.

“Tucked my kids into bed and really the next thing I know I’m in the hospital,” Nguyen told CNN. “A few hours later the fireman and police officer came and said that no one else made it.”

Nguyen says she has little recollection of what happened but remembers being unable to get upstairs to her children’s bedrooms.

Nguyen’s room, which was located on her first floor where her bedroom is and yelled for her kids. “I was just standing there screaming and screaming and screaming their names hoping they would come out of their rooms and basically jump over so that we could get out,” she explained. “I just remember feeling like it was so dark and I can still kind of hear everything crackling around me.”

Coco, Edison and Olivia Nguyen all died in the fire.

Nguyen said she doesn’t remember much more of what happened but Doug Adolph, a spokesperson for the city of Sugar Land, told CNN that she “had to be physically restrained from running back into the house.”

According to Adolph, Nguyen’s neighborhood was without power for at least eight hours. The fire department arrived around 2 a.m. Tuesday and it took nearly an hour to get the fire fully under control.

“The family had posted on social media that they were attempting to stay warm by using a fireplace inside the home,” Adolph said, adding that the cause of the fire has not yet been determined and may never be. “We can’t say for sure that was the cause of the fire. We just don’t know yet,” he explained. “It’s possible that the investigation may never identify an exact cause.”

Nguyen suffered burns on her hands, but explained in an interview that the loss of her children and her mother is devastating

“My heart is broken,” she explained to CNN. “I’m never gonna be the same… I’m in this crisis tactical mode now and I’m just really focused on all these final arrangements because this is the last sort of thing I’m going to do for my kids.”

Speaking about her children, Nguyen describes them as having big personalities and hearts.

“My kids were such phenomenal, amazing, little badass humans,” she said of her children. “Colette is just a little firecracker and she has so much charisma… she also, as a 5-year-old, had that level of confidence. She was never afraid, totally unapologetic, not intimidated.”

“Obviously I mourn losing them,” Nguyen told CNN. “But I feel like it’s honestly a tragic loss for the world that these kids don’t get to like live up to their potential and contribute to society in the way that they could have.”

A GoFundMe page for the family has already brought in $342,387 in donations. Nguyen says she hopes to use the money to build an organization or foundation.

“I want to do something lasting for them,” Nguyen said. “I really want to be thoughtful about it because I want it to be lasting and meaningful. … I owe it to everybody’s support and their intentions to not be hasty about how those resources are used.”

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Daisy Ridley Claps Back at Ted Cruz After He Subtly Insulted Her ‘Star Wars’ Character

Entertainment

Daisy Ridley Claps Back at Ted Cruz After He Subtly Insulted Her ‘Star Wars’ Character

Photos via Getty Images

It seems like Ted Cruz can’t stay away from the spotlight. On the heels of a very public* scandal, Cruz is now drumming up some more controversy for himself. But now he’s inserting himself into some pre-existing drama.

This time, Rafael Cruz decided to share his opinion on a recent dispute in the Star Wars universe. Yes, you read that right.

Ted Cruz–who has had his fair share of celebrity feuds— decided to pick a fight with Star Wars actress, Daisy Ridley.

The drama started when Cruz tweeted about the ongoing conflict between Disney and “The Mandalorian” actress, Gina Carano.

As background, Disney fired Carano from the hit show after she shared various controversial, far-right opinions on social media. Her posts included anti-mask rhetoric, Q-Anon conspiracies, and promoting false election fraud rumors. Oh, and she also compared being a conservative in Hollywood to being a Jew in Nazi Germany.

Since Carano’s firing, many conservative figures have publicly come to her defense. One of them being Ted Cruz.

Recently, Rafael tweeted out: “Texan Gina Carano broke barriers in the Star Wars universe: not a princess, not a victim, not some emotionally tortured Jedi. She played a woman who kicked ass & who girls looked up to. She was instrumental in making Star Wars fun again. Of course Disney canceled her.”

For those who aren’t well versed in the Star Wars universe, Cruz’s tweet seemed to be throwing subtle shade at the character of Rey–a female Jedi in the most recent Star Wars trilogy. Sure, you could call Rey “emotionally tortured”…or you could call her a normal person who expresses normal feelings. *Shrug*

Anyway, Daisy Ridley–the actress who played Rey–soon caught wind of the diss when an interviewer brought it to her attention.

The interviewer than asked if Ridley had any response to her character being classified as an “emotionally tortured Jedi”.At first, Ridley seemed visibly surprised that Cruz shaded her character. But she quickly regained her composure–as well as her wit.

“I am very happy to be an emotionally tortured Jedi who doesn’t leave their state when it’s having a terrible time,” she quipped.

Looks like Cruz had to learn the hard way not to mess with the Force.

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How Realizing Not Having To Be Agreeable Impacted These Women’s Lives

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How Realizing Not Having To Be Agreeable Impacted These Women’s Lives

Warner Bros. Pictures

So often as women, we find ourselves forced into the position of feeling as if we have to accommodate the feelings and desires of other people. We say “yes” to things when we want to actually say “no.” We smile when we feel sad or upset in order to make others feel comfortable. And more often than not we find ourselves contorting ourselves into being smaller to make others feel big.

Women on Reddit recently addressed the moment they realized they no longer had to do this in order to make others feel better.

The stories were pretty surprising! Check them out below.

“It’s become more clear as I’ve gotten older (hitting 30). Being forceful gets shit done. I don’t need people to like me, but I do need them to do their jobs. It’s worked for slumlord landlords (reporting code violations) and shitty coworkers (refusal to participate in busywork projects).

Being excessively agreeable wastes your time and costs you money. No, I’m not attending wedding or baby showers for acquaintances. No, I’m not buying whatever multilevel marketing crap acquaintances are pushing. No, I do not want to hold your baby.

It also sets you up for shitty, unsatisfying relationships. Potential partner, I am not a maid nor the fun director of the cruise ship that is your life. Handle your own shit.

Focusing on myself has allowed me to achieve my goals.”- SnackHardNapHard

“YES. I turned 30 last year and I started becoming less concerned about being “nice.” When you’re used to being agreeable and a people pleaser, it’s a tough transition, but I’m staying the course.”- 

“Being agreeable and having boundaries can happen at the same time. I feel like I’m constantly evaluating the opportunity cost of saying yes/ being agreeable. Sometimes it’s really no big deal to be agreeable and it doesn’t make you a doormat. Sometimes it’s important to take a stand for yourself and speak up.”- Potential_Sea_832

“Actually when I got cancer. I just started giving no fucks about dumb shit. I cut out toxic people like it was nothing. Wanna be dramatic? Block. Wanna demand i do something for you? Block. It was so freeing and easy. No regrets at all.” –SilentSiren39

“When I was about 9 and my parents divorced, (mid 80’s so this was unheard of), my little friend group thought something was wrong with me and they decided to ostracize me. I vividly remember being on the playground and thought ‘fuck that shit’ and walked off to find new friends. From then on I give no fucks and take no shit.”- McWonderWoman

“100% agree. Honestly I think today was the first time I really truly had an authoritative vibe going on during a meeting. I’ve been at my job for almost 4 years and I’m 30 years old. When I first started, I sat in the meetings taking notes and just listening. Now I’m able to call out people on their shit while still being likable at the end of the day. I think either of the two extremes aren’t as useful as being friendly AND direct. Sad that it took me this long to feel comfortable in these shoes though!”- stripedbathmat

“I thought that I was being “nice” and “cool” and “a good friend” by never having an opinion on anything and always saying “I want to do whatever you want to do!” and “I want to eat whatever you want to eat!”

I would visit friends and I honestly thought I was being “cool” and “easygoing” by having zero plans for what to do while I’m there and making the host make all the decisions.

At some point it began to dawn on me how fucking ANNOYING it was to be around someone who goes out of their way to avoid having an opinion on things. I realized it was a defense mechanism I had built up over decades of living in a house where if you answered a question “wrong” you were harassed and taunted for the next year over it.

Once I realized that healthy, good people who ask you “Do you prefer tacos or Chinese for dinner tonight?” are ACTUALLY asking you and they are not laying in wait, ready to pounce on you and call you an piece of shit for answering the question “wrong” my life changed dramatically.

A person who has no opinion and only agrees with the group is not being “cool” and “easygoing” they are being a freaking door mat!! Probably because of some trauma or low self esteem (a mix of both for me).

Now if asked an honest question, I give an honest answer, and if someone freaks out then I realize that THEY are the one with issues, not me.”- FuckTon_of_Frosting

“For me, this moment happened when I was listening to a podcast called My Favorite Murder. Two women comedians telling stories of murder/crimes and talking about it respectfully the way you would talk to your friends. One episode they say “fuck politeness” in terms of you don’t have to be nice to strangers because you’re scared of seeming rude. It’s how a lot of women end up as victims of violent crime. Now I understand fuck politeness and it has made me so much more aware of my own self preservation and made me realize that people who react negatively to that are not people I want around me anyway. It’s been liberating and has helped my anxiety tremendously!”- Statistical-outlier1

“I’ve always been labeled as “challenging” by most people, especially teachers growing up. It’s gotten me in hot water a few times but the majority of the time, you gain respect. I stand up for myself and those around me that need it and don’t take crap. I don’t have time for toxic people or those who don’t treat me with any respect and it makes life so much easier without the drama. I still care deeply for the people in my life and make an effort to be well liked. But being a doormat doesn’t do you any favours.”- Scotty_Blues

“I never understood why i have to be agreeable to be honest… I was really bad at understanding social norms as a kid and it impacted my life in a lot of bad ways but there’s a lot of silver lining too… I realized a lot about myself and what im willing to put up with purely by Questioning things a lot, and the whole be a lady, be as small as possible, don’t be stubborn, that’s not how girls act, youll change your mind when youre older etc etc thing never made sense to me… It all seemed like it was made up to either stop me from having fun or to excuse people mistreating me (i was called stubborn a lot and i took it as a compliment every time cause it always happened when someone tried stomping a boundry for instance).

Then I grew up and realized it’s all stupid made up rules that exist to hold women down anyway. so yeah, im still dumb sometimes but at least i have enough confidence to not think misogyny is normal and i should put up with it…”- AvocadoBounty

“When it wasn’t about me. For some reason, I find it way easier to step up and say no when it was about other people. Like in college, when we were all out dancing and some creepy guy would start dancing up on me, I’d just go with it. But if a friend of mine was being creeped on, I’d cut in, tell him “no, she’s not interested” and move on. When I started work as a nurse, I realized this was even more important. I had to advocate for my patients because they can’t talk, or because I have information about the patient that the doctors making decisions didn’t. It didn’t matter if I was going against what the rest of the team or the patient’s family thought/wanted. My job was to uphold what the patient wanted.

As far as not being agreeable when it comes to myself, I’d say it was when I had a horrible breakup with my ex. He was the guy I thought I was going to marry, start a family with, and grow old together because he loved me. Turns out I was wrong. And after that, I had this horrible realization that no one (besides family) had my back…which was definitely depressing. but then I realized I could just have my own back, lol. So I started doing things that I wanted to do. I traveled to places I wanted to see. I went back to school for the degree I wanted. I invested and picked up the hobbies I wanted. and I never hesitate to spend money on myself, because fuck it. I’m worth it!”- lexi7171

“When my therapist gave me permission to hate the woman my ex completely destroyed me to be with – as long as I never actually acted on it (which I never have and never will because she didn’t do anything wrong that I can prove, I just fucking hate how her entire life has been perfect and full of money even though she’s basic af, unlike my ex or I). Hating her without reservation let me just…be. It almost gave me a sense of peace. I was never going to get closure from that donkey of an ex and the anonymous hate messages I used to get were definitely from this woman but allowing myself to stop saying “well I don’t want to hate on another woman since he’s the one who was a monster to me” and stopping giving her all these allowances let me see who he really was and how he treated me like shit compared to the way he is with her.”- FragrantEscape20

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