Even after what has been a hard and sometimes horrific week, there were some moments that felt like warm sunshine on our faces when we needed it most.
This teacher had a chance to thank the heroes who saved his life
A year ago, high school math teacher Tyrone John, 39, was the first patient at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills Hospital in Queens, New York, to become critically ill with COVID-19 and need intubation.
His miraculous recovery — also a hospital first — became a connection to hope for the ICU staff during some of their darkest moments.
"We had had so many losses that we really had to celebrate the wins. To get him back to being a teacher and doing what he loves, it's an incredible journey," said Dr. Teresa Amato, who was the doctor on duty when John arrived at the hospital.
Recently, John was reunited with the ICU staff who saved his life in a powerful moment for all of them (and us!).
... and this little boy took a big first step
Breanne and Derek Miller's son Jensen was born with a compressed airway and "only a pouch for an esophagus," according to Breanne's Instagram post. His first surgery was when he was 2 days old, and he still uses a feeding tube.
But on her TikTok account this week, the Utah mom shared a video of now 2-year-old Jensen taking a huge first step — literally — that left the whole family in tears.
"We have to show you something," Breanne begins the video.
Jensen learned to walk!
When Jensen happily launches himself across the grass and into the surprised arms of the Millers' oldest daughter, Brielle, well ... there is not a dry eye in the house.
Billy Idol ... doting grandpa?
Poppy Rebel, 9 months, has stolen both her grandpa's heart as well as his Instagram feed, and this is the kind of social media content we're here for, honestly.
A bow-headed Poppy bopping to "Mony Mony" in tiny thigh highs along with her grandpa and her mom, Bonnie Blue Broad, is pretty much the best thing ever.
We think Idol agrees with us that this is far better than dancing with himself.
... and this grandma-to-be has an epic reaction to the big news
TikTok user Savannah Horak and her husband wanted to surprise her parents by showing up at their house in "Mommy-to-Be" and "Daddy-to-Be" T-shirts.
Horak's mom sees the T-shirt, screams and drops to her knees, which brings her confused husband to the room.
We hope you have recovered, Mimi! Congratulations!
These chefs went (way) out of their way to fulfill a dying customer's craving
When Brandon Jones emailed Steve Chu, one of the owners of restaurant Ekiben in Baltimore, Maryland, his biggest hope was he might be able to get the recipe for his dying mother-in-law's favorite dish, a tempura broccoli with fresh herbs, red onion and rice vinegar. He planned to make it for her at home in Vermont that weekend.
Chu, Ekiben co-owner Ephrem Abebe and colleague Joe Añonuevo arrived in Vermont that Saturday and made the 72-year-old fan a meal in a makeshift kitchen they set up in the bed of their truck in freezing conditions.
“She had always told us, ‘When I’m on my deathbed, I want to have that broccoli,’” Rina Jones, 38, told The Washington Post.
Jones said she and her mother would never forget the kindness.
“To me, it was a huge honor to be able to help fulfill the family’s wishes,” Chu told the Post. “This is about her, not us. There was a lot of good, positive energy in doing this.”
Who says themed birthday parties are just for kids?
TikTok user Scotty McTaube's mom used to throw elaborate joint birthday parties for him and his older brother. This year, as they turned 37 and 38, "she figured, 'Why not try it again?'" he said.
The theme? Construction, just like it might have been when they turned 5 and 6.
There was food, a "hydration station" and even construction-themed activities that might be inappropriate at any age. Even better: the goodie bags were full of alcohol, not candy and plastic junk.
... and wait until you see the cake!
Thank your mom for setting the bar way too high, Scotty, and happy birthday!
A 4-year-old feeds people's hearts and tummies
She's spent the past 10 months recreating movie scenes on Instagram — over 50 at last count, from "Toy Story" to "Jurassic Park" to "Old School" — with direction and help from parents Dan and Beth. She even had a chance to do a collaboration with superstar Will Smith.
What started out as a distraction one day during quarantine has turned into a mission to raise money for those in need. Maddie's videos have raised more than $60,000 for Feeding America and more than half a million meals for the food insecure.
Sounds like a good plot for a movie!
From the mouths of babes...
Little Franki Pior has the right idea. We should go outside.
Meanwhile, tiny Navy June Mire has already learned how to say hi.
And in case you need any other reason to smile today, we leave you with Owen the Omazing:
Find something to celebrate with Owen's level of enthusiasm. You can do it!
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