Relationships

12 Feel-Good Reader Comments

dog at a table

We could all use an emotional pick-me-up, and lately you’ve been coming through with the best thoughts and anecdotes. So, without further ado, here are 12 feel-good reader comments…

On the right words…

“I was worried about making a good impression meeting my partner’s family for the first time. She said, ‘Who couldn’t like you? That’s like someone not liking bacon.’ Somehow being compared to bacon was the best compliment.” — Stephanie

“I was eight months pregnant during a hot Texas summer — sweaty and uncomfortable. My husband and I were at the grocery store, and this random woman stopped me and said, ‘I can tell you are over this, but you look beautiful, you are doing just GREAT, and you’ve totally got this.’ I burst into tears; it was the kindest thing a stranger has ever said to me. I try to pay the same thing forward when I see pregnant women with that same ‘look’ of misery.” — Liz

On kids’ sweetness:

“I’ve been teaching virtual piano lessons from home during quarantine. I usually go to my students’ houses to teach, so for some younger ones, they don’t totally realize I have a life outside of our piano lessons. The other day, I was teaching one of my seven-year-olds via FaceTime when all of a sudden he stopped me and said, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa. Where are you right now???’ I replied that I was at my house, sitting at the piano. He was completely shocked and said, ‘What!? You have your own house???’ He truly thought that I just appeared at his house for one hour a week then went the rest of the week hopping around to other students houses all day long. I love the way kids’ minds work.” — JN

“My three-year-old daughter was going through a phase where she would say, ‘You’re not my best friend!’ when she was mad. I was putting her to bed one night and she said it to me. I said that was ok, that even if I wasn’t her best friend I’d always be her mom. She replied with a very angry, ‘AND I’LL ALWAYS BE YOUR GRANDMA!!'” — Lauren

On furry friends:

“I have two cats and I always tell one that he or she is in charge when I leave. Then I remind the other cat to listen to the one who was left in charge. And I switch it up. So no one gets left out.” — Meghan

“Our evening routine lately has been for me to read to my husband from Mary Oliver’s Dog Songs, until I hit one that makes me cry (so many of them!) and then he rubs my back. It’s so nice to feel cozy together, and to chat about all the wonderful dogs we’ve known before we go to sleep.” — Kelly

“A few years ago, my cat died. That night, I went to dinner but just cried into my ramen. That is when a woman, a stranger, walked up to me. She said I looked like I needed a hug. I said yes, and there in the middle of the restaurant, I deeply hugged a stranger and cried in her arms. She didn’t ask me what had happened, and we didn’t exchange names. But to this day, many years later, I still think about how much that meant to me and how brave and vulnerable that woman was for offering up a hug to a stranger in need.” — Brittan

On romantic partnerships:

“The best poem I’ve heard in a wedding was about the Spanish sailing word ‘abarloados,’ which means when two boats are sailing parallel, at the same speed, same rhythm, with their own space but on the same path. Absolutely lovely, the idea is getting married with someone who will be ‘abarloado’ with you your entire life.” — Yolanda

On a tribute:

“My wonderful mom died when I was pregnant. She was a concert pianist and piano teacher who loved to enthusiastically declare that a young child had ‘piano hands.’ When I was on maternity leave, a sweet older gentleman was swooning over my infant son in the bookstore and exclaimed, ‘Look at those fingers! He is going to do something great with those hands!’ My heart both ached and swelled at the simple but (unbeknownst-to-him) significant kindness from a stranger — something my mom also demonstrated frequently in life.” — Fiona

On the eternal optimism of kids…

“My four-year-old told us earnestly after playing in our unkempt backyard, ‘I’m so glad they keep planting more dandelions after we pick the tallest ones. They know just when we need more to play with.’ When my spouse asked who ‘they’ are, my son shrugged and said, ‘I don’t know, but they are really nice.’ I hope he soaks in this sense of benevolence and shares it with those around him.” — Maggie

“My sister lives on 10 acres and recently got some chickens. One afternoon, my five-year-old niece was holding one of the chicks gently above her head. My sister inquired what she was doing and her response was, ‘I’m showing her the world.'” — L.

On new beginnings…

“The other day, we were waiting in line outside Trader Joe’s when the whole store suddenly erupted in applause. A young employee ran out of the TJ’s at full-speed. ‘His wife is in labor!’ someone said and we all cheered him on as he booked it to the car. It was such a beautiful, communal moment. It felt like we were all celebrating a new beginning together.” — Meghan

P.S. 11 more feel-good comments, and the nerdiest tip.

(Photo by Alicia Magnuson Photography/Stocksy.)

  1. Sarah Jane says...

    A few years ago my wife was hit by a car. She was a pedestrian, crossing the street in a crosswalk on her way to her birthday dinner. The months that followed included knee and shoulder surgery, a wheelchair, a sling, and all kinds of orthopedic equipment. I did the best we could negotiating her needs, dealing with doctors and lawyers, working full time, and the everyday life dealing that we all do. We were finally trying to get pregnant at the time and that had to be put on hold. Maybe two months in I cracked a tooth, likely from the stress. That afternoon I was in the dentist’s chair having the tooth repaired when the tears just started flowing. I finally had a moment when I wasn’t “on” and someone else was taking care of me. I’ll never forget the kindness of my sweet dentist and his wife/ assistant who gently took care of me and held the space for me for over an hour while hot tears ran down my cheeks.

  2. Christina says...

    A couple of weeks after my mom died, I went to the grocery store to buy flowers to leave at her gravesite. The cashier knew my family and bought the flowers for me. It was so simple, but thoughtful and helped lift my spirits during a rough time in my life.

  3. DJ says...

    Around the holidays my grandfather was very sick (unconscious in the the hospital) and I decided to go to mass for the first time in a long time as I knew it was what he wanted and I figured I’d feel closer to him. I made it through about 2 minutes before I broke down sobbing, grabbed my coat to make my exit, but before I could, a woman one pew behind me offered me a tissue and gave me a brief but solid hug. It was so needed and I can never repay her. I ended up sitting in my car at the ocean praying and crying and talking to my best friend on the phone and God instead.
    And my grandpa ended up making a full recovery….

  4. Ruth says...

    These are so beautiful and so needed right now. I got goosebumps over and over reading about the tiny moments that have stuck to others. I love this community so much. xo

  5. Lara says...

    This year was particularly hard especially for people that live alone like I do . I am a 25 year old student living away from home , studying abroad . This lock down thing was particularly hard for me . And then one day on may 31st started chatting with this guy and we couldn’t stop talking for days . 4 months later we’re still together and loving every minute of it . It all started with this sentence ” on peut se tutoyer ” at 1:29 am

    • Mari says...

      I’m also living in France and it was hard around here too. I’m glad things are looking brighter for you x

  6. Maria Maher says...

    I was walking down a busy London street when a young man approached, chatting on his ‘phone and holding a dog lead with a sweet little whippet on the end… A police siren sounded in the distance and without missing a beat he cradled the phone into his shoulder and bent down to gently cover his dogs ears until it passed…. it was such a instinctive simple kind gesture it made my heart swell.

  7. Sarah says...

    Isn’t it amazing how just a seemingly small, insignificant comment can mean so much? I’ve had a rough year. 2020 has been hard for everyone, but mine has been particularly hard. Last year, my now ex-husband left suddenly and I found out later he’d been having an affair. It was shocking, heartbreaking and left me reeling – how could this person I’d known and loved for a decade simply discard me like this? After nearly a year of depression, anxiety and false hope of reconciling, I finally resolved to pick myself up and move on to whatever was next. On a whim, I decided to try a dating app. After a couple of dates with one guy (in fact the only guy I matched with on the app), I made an off-hand comment about living like a sad, single person. Without skipping a beat, he replied: “You mean a strong, independent woman?” 4 months later, we are still dating :).

  8. Emma says...

    Just came on here to try to calm down after an intense 12-2 AM my 16 month old is inconsolable session. Still feeling frazzled and scared, but I’m grateful for these sweet comments right now. Thanks everyone!

    • Jones says...

      I’ve been there Emma. I promise it gets better. Hang in there. ❤️

  9. Bernadette says...

    Well, when I started reading the comments it was just going to be one or two or three while I finished my cup of coffee…an hour or so later I finished reading all. Some of you had me laughing, many had me tearing up with sadness or joy – sometimes both at once. I send hugs to all of the commenters and all of their ‘kind helpers’ (the people and the critters). And hugs to all of you Cup of Jo-eys who keep us here. Like Jen said, I also love it here. We must keep remembering that there are many, many more of us, kind and caring and good people on our earth and we will keep each other -with love. Always pay it forward.

    • Thanks for the reminder ?

  10. Molly says...

    I had a similar experience to the ramen story hug. I was going through a tough time and in a dark place. One day at the end of a yoga class I just started crying while everyone rolled up their mats and left. The yoga instructor who I never talked to before but had seen in class just came over and hugged me and sat with me until the tears stopped. It meant so much.
    Thank you for this lovely list.

  11. Em says...

    The comment about the stranger hug made me instantly cry. I miss people

    • Em says...

      Also I love Trader Joes and the chick comment was so cute and made me teary again. I think quarantine is really getting to me

  12. Sarah says...

    The supreme, deep tenderness of these stories, and pulsing throughout this site, touch my heart daily. Sending love to each and every single one of you. It’s so rare to find authentic, openhearted connection in this time. Thank you all.

  13. SF says...

    Each child in my 2nd grade class has a day of the week designated as his/her sharing day. It’s more about sharing news from life than show and tell, but sometimes the lines are blurry, especially now that everything is on Zoom and kids aren’t out and about so much. One of my students is quite reserved and often struggles to think of something to share. When it was her turn the other day, she said she wasn’t sure what to say. I reminded her that it could be anything and that we just wanted to hear what’s going on in her life. She happened to be eating a snack at the moment and she said, “Could I tell you about my snack?” with more than a hint of hesitation in her voice. I told her that would be perfect, so she proceeded to tell the class that she was eating PB and apples. As soon as she finished, almost every hand in the class went up. These gorgeous children proceeded to spend 5 minutes asking her questions about her snack with as much interest as they would have had she shared that she’d just returned from Mars. What kind of apple is it? Is it always a green apple? Do you ever have almond butter? Who made it? How many pieces are there? Do you have a recipe for it? (A recipe?!?) and on and on. Watching this group of 7 and 8 year olds rally around one of their peers to show her that what she has to say matters in the most simple way was one of the greatest acts of kindness I’ve seen in a long time.

    • Jackie says...

      Could make me weep, I am so happy for that little apple eating girl, I bet she was ecstatic for the sweet questions.

    • Amy says...

      I’m a teacher and this just made me tear up. Kids can be so good.

    • Amber says...

      Weeping. How lovely.

    • Kymberly says...

      This ??

  14. KPoss says...

    I would love to know if anyone has found the ‘abarloados’ poem. What a beautiful description of love and marriage, and I’d love to read it!

  15. Anne S says...

    My dog was put down on Monday. I’d been asking for a dog every Christmas and birthday since I knew what dogs were, and for my 11th birthday there was one slim, rectangular gift on the table. It was a book called “How to Train Your Puppy”. Oblivious to the meaning behind the gift, I swallowed my disappointment and pretended to enjoy the pictures of the dogs on the book. My siblings were dying watching me, and eventually I caught on and burst into tears. 13 years later, she’s gone, and Mary Oliver’s Dog Songs are the only thing that seem to express how I feel about that dog. So many quiet walks when I was a teenager in desperate need of peace, so many moments with her big old head in my lap, it’s hard to believe it’s over now.

    • Michelle says...

      So sorry for your loss. Xoxoxo

    • Lauren says...

      This just made me cry. I’m sorry about your dog Anne x.

    • Amanda says...

      Anne, I’m so, so sorry for your loss. I know this pain. You loved (and still love) your pup well.

    • Leena says...

      Sending you so much love, Anne. What a lucky pup to have had you to love her so. She is with you. <3

    • Oh, man. So sorry for your loss, Anne. That is incredibly tough. I remember this pain very well, and am sending you mental hugs. Know that it will get better! It just takes time. Lucky lucky pup. xx

    • Susan Young says...

      So sorry for your loss Anne. We had to put down our fur baby on Monday as well after 15 wonderful years with the best boy ever.

  16. Erin says...

    I had my first baby at 35 weeks after having two miscarriages (the second was very late). He was in the NICU for 2 weeks, and when we got him home, we were too on edge to go anywhere for weeks! We finally walked to our neighborhood restaurant for dinner with him in the stroller and started chatting with the table next to us. They were long-time friends and empty nesters. They fawned all over my sleeping baby and made me feel like a great mom with the cutest baby! They left, and when we finished up, we found out they paid our bill. That was almost 10 years ago and I still think about their kindness and encouragement!

  17. There is nowhere near as soulful as this blog anywhere on the internet. Thank you for everything, always.

    • Amber says...

      So, so true

  18. Dana says...

    Several years ago, I was with a close friend when she had her first grand mal seizure while we were walking on the street in DC. It was terrifying to witness, but so many strangers nearby sprang into action. One guy called 911 and waited expectantly to flag down the ambulance. A man cradled my friend’s head in his hands. A woman grabbed my pharmacy bags, found the Kleenex I had just bought, opened the box and tenderly wiped drool from my friend’s face. And lastly, an old woman kneeled down next to us, rubbed my back and spoke softly into my ear as my friend seized and I cried: “I have epilepsy and she is just fine. I know it looks scary, but she is going to be just fine.” These strangers seemed to disappear into the crowds after the seizure ended and the ambulance arrived, but their tenderness will stay with me forever.

  19. Meg says...

    After JN’s:

    I’m a public library director in a small town, and I do most of the childen’s programming. I love to see how children think of me and the library. When I see children out and around town, they often ask (sometimes indignantly) why I’m not at the library. As we talk about it, it usually comes out that they think I live at the library, and are amazed that I have a house and a car and go other places just like they do. The best, though, was the child who called me “the lady who lives in the little room at the top of the stairs.” My office. And that remains my favorite of the many titles children have given me.

  20. Emily says...

    I had a beautiful baby boy. Shortly after birth we learned he had Cystic Fibrosis. I knew a little about this genetic disease and was stunned. When I was young the life expectancy was about 10. Most with this condition never made it to adulthood. We were referred to our local CF center. At our first visit, the doctor must have realized how devastated I was. He picked my son up and held him. He looked at me and said, “he is a beautiful baby and I am going to enjoy watching him grow up.” This gave me such hope. I will never forget this kind reassurance at a time I was so distressed. My son is now a healthy adult. I often think of that long ago day when a doctor’s kindness meant so much to me.

    • S says...

      This is so beautiful. My son has Cerebral Palsy and there are so many nurses and doctors we have met along the way who have no idea how much they have touched us with throwaway comments they have made.

  21. Merritt W. says...

    Immediately burst into tears reading the Trader Joe’s snippet! The unbridled joy of the shoppers will always be something he remembers from such an important day in his life.

  22. Naomi says...

    OMG I was doing so well, not crying, until the last comment. Thanks. Now I have tears in my eyes, right before a call with my boss. :) I got this!

  23. Jinee says...

    As someone who wasn’t raised in a hugging culture, I get very flustered when strangers touch me. However, one memory of unexpected kindness still makes my heart swell.

    A few years ago, I was on the 14th St/7th Ave train platform after a tough day at work, when a man suddenly elbowed me very hard in the chest. The force nearly knocked me over (I’m 5’0″!), but he claimed I was “in his way.” We got into a heated argument before he ran off, and I was left trembling with rage and on the brink of tears. A woman, who had witnessed the whole thing, came up to me and asked me if I was okay. When she saw my lip start to quiver, she gave a curt nod and, to my surprise, she linked her arm in mine. She stood next to me quietly repeating, “I know… I know… I know…” and lending me her strength until my train came.

    My body was still in flight or fight mode, so I don’t think I personally could have handled a full hug. But linking arms helped calm me down and made me feel like I was part of a sisterhood, like nothing could knock us down.

    • Natalie says...

      What a great response from her. So glad she stepped up for you xo

  24. Emily says...

    Love these posts. They always remind me (in the best way) of those old “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books from the late 90s/early 00s.

  25. Mary Liotta says...

    A response to the post on romantic partnerships. We read this at our wedding in 1982. I’m happy to say we have lived up to this (mostly) since then.
    On Marriage by Kahlil Gibran – 1883-1931
    Then Almitra spoke again and said, And what of Marriage, master?
    And he answered saying:
    You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
    You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
    Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
    But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
    And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

    Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
    Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
    Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
    Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
    Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of your be alone,
    Even as the strings of the lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

    Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
    For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
    And stand together yet not too near together:
    For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
    And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

    • Jackie says...

      Mary –
      My husband and I eloped 10 years ago and the officiant chose this Khalil Gibran passage for our ceremony. I had never heard it before that day and it struck me straight to my soul. Beautiful words to live by for sure. Congrats to both of our partnerships :)

  26. Chrissy S. says...

    Why did the Trader Joe’s story bring me to instant tears?! I instantly felt like I was there, experiencing it. So sweet.

  27. Heather Sabharwal says...

    Whew needed this!!! Thank you for sharing these!

  28. Lenae C says...

    This was such a great and much-needed round-up. Thank you!

  29. Jess says...

    My seven year old was assigned to draw a map of her heart in virtual school. She drew a picture of me and of her little sister right in the middle. The accompanying paragraph said, “My mom and my sister are my everything!” As a sometimes lonely and stressed single mom, there’s nothing that have could of made me happier.

    • Terri says...

      I love this so much. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      how beautiful, jess. xoxo

  30. BB says...

    When we told our five year old a few weeks ago that we are pregnant with our (fifth) child, he said “oooooooooh I wonder who it is!!!” A few minutes late he asked if he could pray for the baby, laid his hand on my belly and said ” God, please just let this be a nice baby, not like P [our one year old, who can be a bit naughty]”. My husband and I repeat that line almost daily and it cracks us up every time, and soothes my fear slightly about how I’m going to survive having five kids.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      too cute!

    • Penny says...

      Omg I LOVE THIS – I wonder “who” it is . Perfect .

  31. Perrine Piton says...

    I had a baby on March 14th. We live in Kenya and that was the day when they identified the first Covid cases in the country. One week later, the government decided that they shut down the airports and close the borders permanently within 3 days. I decided we had to leave the country asap and go back to France, our country of origin. I moved the whole world around and got the baby an emergency passport and flight tickets for all 5 of us. We had a 30 hours travel ahead of us with two layovers, a ten days baby and a toddler. The world was shutting down bit by bit and we were running home. When we made it to Paris, this one lady at security showed concern for the baby and all of use basically. We chatted for a few minutes and she told me that my smile was a ray of sunshine in a gloomy day. I had been wearing a mask for the past two days, for the first time in my life. I told her she was the ray of sunshine. I knew then we would make it, not me or my family, but us, humanity, we can make it through.

    • Amy says...

      Beautifully written. And, oh, what a story!!

  32. Mary H. says...

    Big love to you

  33. Abbey says...

    I have had goosebumps reading all of these — that’s a very extended amount of time to have goosebumps! What a juicy and beautiful way to start my day.
    Thank you so much to this gorgeous community. I truly relish being a part of it, in all its sweetness and vulnerability and mystery <3

  34. ML says...

    Brittan’s comment made me well up! Thank you for all of these. I needed this happy-tears reminder of the beauty of life today.

  35. Stephanie says...

    Wow, that was exactly what I needed. Thank you for always coming through at just the right time.

  36. Nicole says...

    Oh, those last two comments made me tear up. Thank you for sharing these:)

  37. Elizabeth says...

    Absolutely loved this post, and it reminded me of a sweet moment I had yesterday!

    I just moved to a different state and had to go to the DMV for a new driver’s license, which is usually the worst chore to take care of even in normal times! But as I was waiting in line outside, a teenage girl came bursting out and shouted “YES!!!”, holding up her new driver’s permit for everyone to see! She then proceeded to have her mom take pictures of her jumping for joy in front of the DMV, and then skipped happily back to their car. The unexpected happiness made everyone in line chuckle, and it was such a good reminder that there are still happy moments even when things are so different. :)

  38. Shannon says...

    After college I was living in Europe working as an au pair. I came home to California for Christmas and when my mom dropped me off at the airport to go back after the holidays, we had a looong hug outside the airport. We were used to saying goodbyes like this when I traveled to and from college or study abroad, but it never got easier. The guard who was in charge of keeping people moving through the drop-off zone left us alone for a while as he shooed other cars away, but he finally came up as he walked past and said quietly behind us, in this deep baritone voice with so much kindness and gentleness: “Gotta let her go, Mom.” And kept walking.

    We snapped us out of our sadness at saying goodbye as we laughed, and it made it easier for that moment to let go. That was almost 15 years ago and it still makes me cry when I think about it, and my mom and I have continued saying it to each other any time we have trouble saying goodbye. I love how these tiny gestures from strangers can live on without their knowing!

    • Jackie says...

      Shannon, love your story. Thank you for sharing.

  39. laura s says...

    The other evening my 3 year-old son was in the other room playing with his Dad and inquired as to where I was. Being 8 months pregnant I was about to take a gloriously long shower and my husband said, “Mom just needs some time alone. What do you need?” His response nearly crushed me: “Nothing. I just love her so much.”

    • KA says...

      This is so sweet! ???

  40. A.M. says...

    Today marks a year since my dad took his life and I’ve been emotional all morning. COJ always seems to brighten my day/give me perspective and this post is exactly what I needed to read. Despite trauma and pain, there is so much good in this world and I’m so thankful for the reminder today.

    • Shannon says...

      Oh, I am so deeply sorry for your loss and pain, A.M. My heart goes out to you.

    • Samira says...

      Big hugs A.M.

    • Laura says...

      Sending you strength and love from England A.M. Take extra care of yourself today.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      A.M., I’m so, so sorry for your loss. xoxo

    • Amy says...

      On the anniversary of my father-in-law’s death by suicide, we eat tacos and listen to jazz (his favorite food, favorite music). We spend the weeks before choosing a new taco place to try and finding a jazz show to go to. We have started to include our kids in it as well. He died before they were born and they don’t know how (still young) so this is a nice way for them to get to know him a little. It helps us to celebrate his life, not his death, and makes the day less painful. I hope you find some way to remember him with joy in the sadness.

  41. Ashley says...

    I really needed this today.

  42. tara says...

    I was in labor with my first baby; scared, exhausted after hours of contractions. The labor and delivery unit was busy and it took SIX HOURS for the anesthesiologist to get to me with my epidural. He arrived with a brand new intern to assist him. I had a gown on but was naked from the waist down – as the doctor prepared me for the needle, the intern saw my bare bum and became twisted up with awkward giggles at the sight. My husband and i made eye contact and cracked up too. We will never forget it!

    • Ève says...

      Omg that is hilarious!!!

  43. Erin says...

    The picture of this dog is just killing me. I’ve had it up on my computer since yesterday and I love it, especially the little pink beauty mark on his nose. ; )

  44. Adrien says...

    This has been a week of high anxiety –
    This post, and these comments helped my shoulders drop, my chest muscles relax, and caused my eyes to leak a little ;)
    Surely just what the Dr would have ordered – thank you! <3

    • Shade says...

      Same here.

  45. Emily L says...

    Oh my gosh these are making me SOB this morning, they are so sweet!! (And I haven’t even read the comments yet which I know will set me off again.) I’ve been having a hard time this past week – September always seems to be a tough month for me – dealing with some depression and getting highly emotional and this was just perfect.

    I also LOVE Meghan’s comment about her cats! Every time I leave the house I always tell my cat to be good and take care of the house!

    • Cyndi says...

      Imagine this community’s arms around you in a warm embrace. You are loved.

  46. dahlia says...

    I live on a sailboat with my husband in Mexico and this could not be more perfect; we often read poetry in Spanish as we work on our language skills. I’m already a little teary thinking of reading this together tonite! It’s been a long half-year in a tiny boat and every bit of joy is a gift. Thank you, Elle!

  47. Colleen says...

    Dog Poems, the tearful ramen bowl and cats in charge. I feel better, thank you.

  48. Flora says...

    I am deeply grateful to Joanna and the Cup of Jo team. I have been reading since 2008, and the blog has never ceased to be such a source of joy, wisdom and comfort. I’ll unfortunately never be able to fully articulate how much Cup of Jo has impacted me. It’s simply a magical space you’ve built here. Please keep doing what you do.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, flora, that means so, so much. thank you, truly. xoxo

    • A Rose says...

      I feel the same!

    • Mallory says...

      DIDDO!

  49. CP says...

    I’m currently 13 days away from my due date with our first baby (a girl!), and these comments about kids (along with all of the other lovely comments) are making my heart swell. I’m so excited to have one of my own so soon.

  50. Yesterday I woke up, cried about Breonna Taylor and systemic racism, then went for a run to clear my head before leading morning meditation. On the run I tripped and fell, cutting up my leg and both palms. I came home to my boat and tried to clean myself up, but had to wake my husband to cut the loose skin with dirt under it out of my right palm before the wound sealed closed; by the time I finished the left I was shaking too hard to do the right. He did a beautiful, thorough job, which was excruciating. Then I led meditation for our sailor neighbors on our ship’s radio and sat down to crash — and a window in our boat spontaneously shattered! Oh, my poor nervous system! I vented to some friends on our social Slack and then spent the day very quietly.

    Today, for balance, I shared with those friends my favorite quote from this article and a link to the post. Thank you for helping me share love with those I love.

  51. Amy F says...

    I adore these posts in particular. That make my heart swell with happiness and tears come to my eyes.

  52. CHM says...

    I’m an NP in NYC. I got COVID in late March, like so many healthcare workers. I had been watching people die over the previous 10 days or so, and I was scared for myself and my family (I have a 3 year old). I was unable to touch my family, terrified to expose them, and trying to isolate and really protect them in our small (1 bathroom!) apartment was nearly impossible. I woke up from a long nap that first evening, feverish, exhausted, worried, to the sound of applause and cheering. I looked outside. It was the first real 7pm cheer. Someone was blasting “New York, New York” from their window. People were banging on pots and pans. I sobbed as my city lifted me up and embraced me.

    • Dira says...

      The ending of this is so lovely. It must be hard, but you are (and have been!) doing a wonderful job. Thank you for your service <3

  53. Lisa says...

    I think I can say for everyone – I LOVE THIS BLOG! It has always been the cozy corner of the internet to turn to, full of amazing people.

    I started reading this blog when I was too young – maybe 14? … I was an old soul lol. Just over ten years later (woah) and there has never been a moment where I haven’t felt lifted up as a woman, a friend, as a damn human!! Posts like these are a beam of happiness. Thank you Jo & team!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      This means so much to me, Lisa. Thank you so much xoxo

  54. AH says...

    Just got to 20 weeks with my IVF baby yesterday! I hope to have a time like this in 20 years :)

    • Praleen says...

      Cheering you on , AH!

  55. em says...

    needed this <3

    • Julie says...

      I’m waiting in the car at my son’s school (end of school day, time to pick him up), and I’m crying reading these. Thanks for sharing, the world really is a beautiful place.

  56. Grace says...

    OMG best idea ever!!! Please! A Book of COJ Comments <3 <3

    • Colleen says...

      YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    • Shannon says...

      Omg yes, I would totally buy this book. Please do it! So much wisdom and love and vulnerability from real women. I feel taken care of by these comments. I’ll echo others in saying how much I cherish this space you’ve created, Cup of Jo team. During this difficult time I find myself visiting every day (way more often than I did before), because it is such a source of comfort. It is unlike any other place on the internet that I know of. An enormous gift.

    • Fabiana says...

      Yes yes YES, I second that please!!

    • Darcy says...

      I completely agree. That would such a wonderful coffee table book, such a treasure to flip through whenever you’re feeling sad, and gift for moms, sisters, friends. Please do it!

    • Tess says...

      A Cup of Comments, please!!

  57. becky says...

    That photo ? and Dog Songs is just what I need ?

  58. Chelsea says...

    I love how posts like these lead to people commenting with even more stories of kindness and it feels like the sweetness grows exponentially :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I feel the same way! <3

  59. KIM says...

    A few weeks ago I went on a solo camping and backpacking trip. Before the trip I had just put an offer on a house and started seeing a really nice guy. I was feeling emotional, hopeful, and lonely.

    On a particularly beautiful trail I was sitting at the base of a waterfall trying to be open to all new things in my life while feeling at peace with where I am. An older couple came along and the man stopped me on my way by. He said I reminded him of his college sweetheart; that I looked like her and had her sweet demeanor. The happy, wistful look in his eyes said it all. Her name was Suzy, Suzanne. I thought about her for the rest of the day.

  60. -Heather says...

    Kind of awesome to hear that someone else puts one of their cats in charge when they leave the house. (Although, technically, one’s cat is ALWAYS in charge, so who are we kidding?!?)

    • HM says...

      We used to have two cats and a dog. I would always tell the female cat she was in charge when we left, since she was the only one with any dignity. One morning, the female cat had thrown up, so I left the male cat in charge.

      When I got home, everyone looked frazzled, there was laundry everywhere, a bunch of stuff had been knocked over, and someone was missing a patch of fur.

      Some cats just can’t handle the responsibility.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha, HM, that is so cute.

    • AR says...

      HM, I’m laughing out loud!

    • Emily says...

      I work from home and my husband commutes to an office. Every morning as he leaves, my husband turns to our tiny dog and says, “guard the house, take care of mama.” and then turns to me and says “love you, mama.” It always makes me smile.

    • Mgm says...

      Haha. I’m more of a dog person, but HM’s story made my day.

    • Bonnie says...

      HM – I have come back to read your comment several times – in each instance you have me laughing all over again. Thank you for sharing. So many good recollections in this post but the missing patch of fur on top of the disarray … a gem!

    • Alix says...

      HM, your comment absolutely made my day. Thank you!

    • Cindy says...

      HM you made my day! I was in tears laughing at your story. I can totally picture all of it – the crazed looks, the missing patch of fur, the disastrous mess they all left for you. I have 3 dogs and always leave one in charge. She just growled at her sister and I told her “next time we leave, Peanut is in charge”…she looked at me like I was completely insane. LOL!!
      Thanks for the amazing laugh!

  61. Rebecca says...

    This post was a beautiful balm. One day will you print all these lovely reader comments and put them in a book?

    • Andrea says...

      I LOVE THIS IDEA
      “best of cup of jo reader comments” is the coffee table I need in 2020

    • Maryn says...

      Second this!

    • jane says...

      Wow yes – this would make the greatest gift.

  62. M G says...

    When I was a newlywed 35 years ago, my immigrant husband and I were apartment hunting in Boston. We had just arrived, both of us from small towns (he from a teeny village!). We found a lovely place…I was so excited to start our life together in this cozy, 1-bedroom. I stopped after work to return our application to the landlord…I will never forget how he said he did not want an immigrant living there and he slammed the door in my face. I was absolutely gutted. I walked down the little sidewalk and burst into tears, sobbing with sadness and frustration and disappointment that someone could be so cruel to my hopeful 22 yr old self. A car stopped beside me and inside was a young couple, sort of hippy-ish. They asked me what was wrong and I hiccuped my sad story to them. They said to hop in the car and they would give me a ride to where we were staying…they were so nice and so concerned I did not even think how stupid it was to jump into a strange car in a strange big city! The woman gave me a hug and they told me it was all going to be okay. By the end of the ride we were laughing about what a waste it was to be so mean to other people. It all did work out okay in the end…Talk about random kindness! I will never forget them…whoever they were!

  63. I am in love with this post. With all we are experiencing in these times it’s great to be reminded that their is good still here.

  64. Jocelyn says...

    Tears first thing in the morning! (Happy tears). Thanks for this!

  65. Melanie says...

    I just realized how much I have been missing lightness and goodness right now. Needed this.

  66. Reb says...

    I smiled and I cried reading each “feel good comment”. Thank you Cup of Jo team for always knowing just when your readers need a pick me up!

    • Christy says...

      Couldn’t agree more…..I was having a royally crappy morning and these have really helped. Love CoJ for this!

  67. Kelly says...

    Well this made me cry. I guess there is still some good in this world. Thanks for sharing.

  68. The one about ‘always being a grandmama’ cracked me up so bad…I’m still laughing :)

  69. Jenny says...

    Yes thank you for sharing them all – but something about the Trader Joe’s story is especially hopeful right now.

  70. Hilde says...

    I was in a huge crowd watching the pre christmas fireworks that my city gives to the people every year. It had been a tough autumn and I was devastated and heartbroken, feeling very lonely and abandoned in the middle of the crowd. I was sobbing, not thinking anyone could see me as it was both so crowded and dark. Suddenly a woman who seemed to have ploughed her way through the crowd lay her arms around me and hugged me for a long time. Then she asked me if I was OK. It made me feel less abandoned.

    • laura s says...

      i want to live in a world where we can start hugging strangers again

  71. Kristie says...

    My 2 year old daughter is so in love with her 6 month old sister, and after every tiny absence- like after taking a nap – she runs out looking for her. She yells “Oh my sister, I missed you!” And gives her an exuberant hug. It’s such a joy to watch their bond grow.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, how adorable!

    • Sara says...

      This reminds me of my friend’s daughters. We just (socially distanced) with them in their backyard. The girls are a little over 1 and almost 3. The 3 year old said, “When I woke up this morning, I said, ‘I am a great big sister. I LOVE being a big sister!” So cute.

    • mimi says...

      This is so sweet!! I hope to greet my family members the same way when they come to visit. Thank you for sharing !!

  72. Agnès says...

    Thank you that is such a great idea. How do you come up with all these good ideas? I would give you an award if I could. These comments made my day.

  73. Vikki H says...

    Loved each and every one of these stories and comments. My TJ story: shopping for a couple items on my birthday while vacationing in San Diego. A young worker says to me, “I hope you’re having a great day!” I replied, “yes, it’s my birthday!” A few aisles later this same fellow comes up to me with a single rose and wishes me a happy birthday! So sweet and appreciated by an old lady!

  74. Liz says...

    I’m going through an unexpected divorce during this pandemic, and I was sitting in my new apartment bawling my eyes out when I found this post. Feels like the hug from the stranger in the ramen place. Thank you.

    • Caitie says...

      Sending you love, Liz <3

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Sending you so much love, Liz. Wish we could meet in real life for a long chat on a porch swing. Hope you’re doing okay.

    • Sofia says...

      Sending you a big hug!

    • dahlia says...

      Oh, Liz. I’m sending you love from a stranger in Mexico! I’m so sorry that you’re going through all that. I’m imagining your life as a movie, and this is the rough scene where we are all crying with you, and your triumphant joys lie ahead!

    • Maggie says...

      Sending you lots of love and hugs, Liz. You are not alone and we’re all pulling for you!

    • Fabi says...

      Sending you love, strength and a virtual hug Liz xx

    • Michelle says...

      Sending you hugs. Joy is coming for you Liz. XOXOXO

    • Y says...

      Sending you lots of love Liz. As someone who is also going through an unexpected divorce in a pandemic I say hang in there. Every day as I go on my daily walks I pass an old house undergoing an extensive renovation. I see the house as a metaphor for me and my healing journey. Everyday something is slowly improving. I’m slowly getting a new roof and freshly painted windows and will soon be ready for whatever the future brings with my new wiser and better self.

  75. Erin O. says...

    When I was pregnant with my first son, we lived in Brooklyn and frequented a neighborhood bagel shop that was known for the guys behind the counter being impatient and kind of rude. The kind of place where if you didn’t know what you wanted by the time you got to the front of the line, you were in trouble! I had just barely started to show, and was just at the point of starting to “look” pregnant. After placing my order, the main guy – who was usually the gruffest of the bunch – handed me my bagel and said “here you go, Miss. I made it with love because I see you’re eating for two.” Still one of my favorite NYC moments!

  76. Tanja says...

    That was a fabulous post. Thank you for pulling together all those quotes.

  77. Allyson says...

    Thank you for this post. So beautiful and needed.

  78. K says...

    Really, truly needed this. So thankful for this space.

  79. Alex Pearl says...

    Haha, I burst out laughing at the little kid yelling “AND I’LL ALWAYS BE YOUR GRANDMA!!’” Last week, my 4-year-old was mad at me, fuming, and I could see she was trying to come up with something to yell at me. I could see the steam building behind those little eyes and then she erupted with “YOU DON’T MAKE GOOD DINNERS!” I did my best to hold back the giggles and somewhat calmly asked, “What about breakfasts?”

    I really love cooking, funnily enough. So she landed close to her mark :)

    • Neela says...

      Bwahahahaa, awesome, kid!

    • kim says...

      “AND I’LL ALWAYS BE YOUR GRANDMA” reminded me of the scene in “Peanut Butter Falcon” (if you haven’t seen it you MUST! Like today! It is such a balm) where the very meanest insult the protagonist can come up is “YOU AREN’T INVITED TO MY BIRTHDAY PARTY!”…Since seeing the movie my husband and I will use the phrase to end an argument…works like a charm.

    • Gemma says...

      My then-four-year-old son was cross at me once and yelled “AND I HATE YOUR BOOKS” and I yelled back “YOU CAN’T EVEN READ YET.” hahaha

    • laura s says...

      i love preschool insults.

      my son was messing with our dishwasher the other day and i said, “please don’t break that. if i have to handwash i will cry” and he said, “Yea well I’ll get ya a tissue!”

      zing!

    • Suzy says...

      Oh my gosh. Toddlers are too funny. Lately my 3 yo has started say “Don’t talk, Mommy.” I’ve reminded him that it’s not very nice to say “don’t talk,” so now he says “please be quiet, I am trying to watch the tv.” A very slight improvement, but still gives me hope he will have some manners some day. Yesterday we were at the doctor’s office and they were taking his blood pressure. As the nurse put the cuff on his arm, he said “Be careful!” I was worried he was going to be rude to the nurse, but he quickly followed up with “I have strong arms. Big muscles.” :)

  80. Jen says...

    Love it here. Thank you, COJ, and thank you to all of the lovely readers for sharing your stories. Feeling a little weepy from these gems, but in a good way.

  81. Mary Beth says...

    The chicken one!! My heart!

    My daughter is almost 2, and lately when my husband and I are putting her to sleep she will always ask for a few more sips of water. In between sips, she will hold out her little thermos to each of us a go “want some?” in the sweetest, most sincere way. She may just be an expert at dragging out bedtime but it always makes me laugh.

  82. DEANNE says...

    Last summer, I was sitting on a bench outside of a Target totally sobbing. My godmother had just gone into hospice and I knew that we didn’t have long. I was on my way to visit her and just couldn’t stop crying. A woman got out of her parked car with a tissue and asked if I needed anything. I just shook my head as the tears poured out of me. She told me she was going to go back to her car and wait until I left, in case I changed my mind. I cried for another 15 minutes and she stayed right there and waited until I left and then drove away.

    • Hillary F. says...

      That is so beautiful.

  83. Liz says...

    Thank you so much for the reminder that the world is a beautiful place, despite the dumpster fire that 2020 has become.

    • This is EXACTLY how I felt about this post.

  84. Graes says...

    What a great series of bedtime stories as I am reading this at the end of my day. Thank you!

  85. Emily says...

    Whew it’s been a week. The kind of week where a story of strangers clapping in a Trader Joe’s makes me cry. Thank you for this post! I needed a connection to humanity

    • Faith says...

      It made me cry, too! :’)

  86. Oneida says...

    Haha the Trader Joe’s story reminds me of my own *slightly* different TJs pregnancy story. I was on bedrest for 4 (!) months for my second kiddo. I was finally cleared to walk and was very excited, maybe too excited bc my husband and I decided to take the toddler on our former usual walk from our home, past the farm, along the river walk that would spit us out at our local TJs. Yeah, halfway through my back gave out and we didn’t know what to do! My husband was like…should I carry the kid and put you in the jogging stroller? Needless to say I finally shuffled my way into the TJs parking lot at a snail’s pace, holding my back while he made plans to run home and get the car. An older couple was putting groceries in their trunk and noticed me. The husband called out “if you need help, I’ll help deliver your baby!” I said, “oh, that’s so nice, are you a doctor??” And his wife hit him on the shoulder and was like, “NO he’s not a doctor!” She laughed and said, “I don’t know why he said that!” He shrugged and said, “I just wanted to be helpful!” Then turned to me and said, “I’d still help you anyway.” We all started laughing. It was so random and funny and weirdly sweet. Ha.

    • This is one is a gem! Making me laugh really hard!

  87. Katie says...

    This is the nicest post and I loved it so much.

  88. Monica says...

    “His wife is in labor!”

    What an exquisite reminder that beautiful things are still happening. We need those, I think, to wake us up once in awhile.

    My husband and I call them “human moments.”

    Awhile back, I ventured to Costco with my then 3 month old. It was a long process of nursing, crying, baby being scared of masked people, sanitizers, the whole experience. As I finished loading my car, an elderly couple walked by on their way into the store and the gentleman asked: “May I take your cart?”

    I burst into tears as he walked away. No gloves. No sanitizing. Someone was willing to touch a cart that had been touched by another person. In that moment, I felt like a human being.

  89. L says...

    Oof I so needed this! These dark times have been relentless – thanks for buoying us up to keep going. Jo you and this blog are such a light – it can’t always be easy and we appreciate it so much. xo

  90. Lisa says...

    so needed this today thank you

  91. Tiffani says...

    The pregnant woman’s story reminded me of something similar that happened to me. I was about 8 months pregnant, at work and feeling pretty miserable. A regular customer walked in and said “I know you don’t feel like it, but you look beautiful carrying your baby.” I was also growing my dreads out and another regular (who herself had a set of dreadlocks that I envied) told me that she “could see my baby in my hair” because it had grown so much. There were so many moment of kindness from people during my pregnancy and when my daughter was an infant that I could go on all day!

  92. Capucine says...

    I was riding my bike early in the morning past a second hand shop and an employee was just bringing items out to display around the door. He was carrying a set of wind chimes and at that moment a gust of wind made the chimes ring and we looked at each other and smiled big smiles as I zipped by. It was such a simple moment but our shared childlike delight in that moment made me feel like the world is inherently good.

    • This is my favorite story. There really is magic in the world <3

  93. Toni says...

    I’m not sure why but the hug from a stranger reminded me of a joke to a doctor scenario I went through earlier this year.

    I had a baby (my first!) in NYC right at the height of the COVID outbreak. A very nervous intern was overseeing my care before my doctor arrived. It was just me, him, and my squeamish husband who was chewing on ice and trying not to faint. That intern though. He was standing by the door pacing (probably cursing my doctor who was running late). I knew the time was coming soon but that it wasn’t yet showtime. I called out to the intern: “Did I do it? Is my baby here??” And after running to my side in what I can only assume was a state of sheer panic shouted, “WHAT?! NO! NOT YET!” I looked at his terrified face, smiled, and said “I know, silly!” We both started laughing and the atmosphere in the room changed instantly. We spent the next hour giving each other knowing glances from across the room until my doctor arrived just in the nick of time.

    Sometimes a little kindness to a stranger, can change the temperature in a room. Even if that stranger is delivering your baby!!

    • Meg says...

      This is amazing. How awesome are you?!

    • Lauren says...

      You are SO COOL

    • Julie M says...

      Oh how I love this story.

    • Tracy says...

      What an amazingly, wonderful “mom” thing to do! You will no doubt be a fantastic mother! Cheers to you, Toni.

  94. Johanna says...

    This whole blog feels like a warm hug. I just love what you’ve built.

    • DEANNE says...

      100%

    • Dee says...

      SAME!

    • Agnès says...

      Yes! Thank you so much !

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thank you so, so much. We adore this whole community.

  95. C says...

    Last year we were visiting DC, when a stranger came up to my 6 year old son, put his hands on his shoulders and said “I just want you to know that I think you look really cool and I like the way you look!”
    Mama bear immediately roared to attention, when my husband whispered in my ear that my son had been in the bathroom saying “dad, I really don’t like the way I look. Why do I look so weird?”

    Stranger swept in to boost some spirits and it was such a sweet moment.

    • Elena says...

      Oh man, this one really got me. What a sweet thing for someone to take the time to do.

    • Sara says...

      Managed not to cry while reading through these until this story. That is possibly the kindest and sweetest thing.

    • Julie says...

      So sweet! Thank you kind stranger!

    • Emma says...

      This is just the sweetest thing. I also had managed not to cry until I reached this one =)

  96. Anna says...

    These are all great. I especially love the ones about the kindness of strangers. I think there should be a whole post on it. If there was ever a time to reach out to a stranger with kindness, it’s now.

    • Megan says...

      YES! I read somewhere that a guaranteed way to boost your mood is to complement a stranger. It’s one of things I miss most about commuting, noticing someone’s cool jacket/shoes/jewelry and letting them know–it led to at least a big smile on both our parts if not further, lovely, conversation.

  97. Cynthia says...

    When I was a teacher, students were always surprised when they saw me at a mall or supermarket. I guess they thought I lived in my classroom! I needed this post. Thank you so much.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes! My boys are always shocked to see teachers “in the wild!”

    • Suz says...

      At the beginning of Covid, my husband and I started packing up our little kiddos in the car every Saturday and dropping off little surprise gifts (wine, art from our kids, doughnuts…) to different friends or family. We called it our kindness day and it meant a lot to us, because we were teaching our kids to do good for others, and to our friends who maybe hadn’t seen anyone for weeks. We haven’t done it recently with the air quality issues on the West Coast and other things popping up, but this post has inspired me to start this up again!

  98. Rose says...

    When my son was five months old we flew to see my in-laws. On the way back home our flights got messed up, and my husband and I somehow found ourselves on separate flights back home. I was exhausted and overwhelmed to suddenly fly alone with an infant. As I was waiting to board the plane my son was just crying and crying, so loud that the line of people just kept staring at me, clearly not wanting us to be on their plane too. I was so embarrassed and tired, couldn’t calm him or myself, and I finally lost it too, and boarded the plane weeping right along with my son. My seat was in the back of the plane, and I was dreading that long walk past everyone. But as I passed aisle 4, a middle aged man jumped up, gave me his seat, stowed my luggage, and disappeared. I ended up sitting with two sweet older ladies who helped me care for my son (and myself!). One of them insisted on walking me to my connecting flight once we landed, just to make sure I got there safely. She told me she was on her way to see her daughter, who had just gone into the hospital to have her first baby, and that I helped HER by giving her some practice in being a grandmother. I never got to thank that man, and I don’t remember their names, but I will never forget their kindness <3

    • Shannon says...

      oh my gossssh <3 <3 <3

    • Cynthia Miller says...

      Kind people on airplanes when traveling with a child are incredible. I try to be that now- even if just a smile.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, how beautiful, rose. there is so much good in the world.

    • Louisa says...

      Rose, I flew from Florida to California at 7 months pregnant and – similarly – a man in first class got up and gave me his seat as I got on board. That 6′ tall man rode in a middle seat in the way back of the plane as I ate ice cream up there in front. I’m seriously hoping I can repay that some day, though can’t imagine I’ll ever have a first-class seat again! I think of him all the time <3

  99. Jane I. says...

    Ugh!! That last one got me!

  100. kati says...

    Reader comments are such a fave. Always give me the smile cry. Such a wonderful community.

  101. Lydia says...

    COJ…what would we do without you.

  102. Holly says...

    Thanks. I needed that.

  103. Sandra K Peterson says...

    Love these. And just this week as the rain poured down in Houston, Tx – from a 5 yr old – “Boy – God really loves to water his Earth” .

    • SJ says...

      So sweet

    • Diana says...

      I am going to hold this in my heart for our next storm! Thank you.

  104. valeria says...

    ‘AND I’LL ALWAYS BE YOUR GRANDMA!!’” ahahahaha!

  105. Love this. So many faces now popping up who extended kindness to me. Thank you, COJ.

  106. Carrie says...

    A hug from a stranger…argh! so heart wrenching and so beautiful. Thank you for these, COJ.

  107. Daniela says...

    This was a lovely read. Even hearing about pregnancy right now makes me ache (fairly certain I just lost a very, very early but very much wanted pregnancy) but it still made me happy to read this. Thank you.

    • Heather says...

      If you’re right about your loss, then I’m deeply, deeply sorry. Sending you love and comfort, mama.

    • Kait says...

      Daniela, I wanted to acknowledge your ache. Sending you hugs and strength from a stranger.

    • Alexandra says...

      Sending love.

    • Anna says...

      I’m so sorry Daniela. I hope you’re ok.

    • S says...

      You sound like a wonderful person with an open heart and I hope very much that things work out for you!! Sending warm wishes.

    • Lisa says...

      I’m so sorry, Daniela. Please feel virtually hugged. I’m thinking of you.

    • Rachel says...

      Sending a giant, virtually sanitized hug to you Daniela x

    • Nicola says...

      I’m sorry to hear it Daniela. Sending you hugs from a stranger.

    • Cat says...

      Sending hugs to you Daniela..

    • Rachel says...

      Oh, Daniela, I’m so sorry. Wishing you peace and strength. <3

    • Diana says...

      Daniela, I am so sorry. You are not alone.

    • Daniela says...

      Thank you so much to all of you, I have no words for how much your support means. It makes me feel less alone and even more appreciative of this lovely blog and its readers.

    • JS says...

      Daniela – I know your pain deeply. You’re not alone, and that awful ache lessens with time. <3

  108. Leslie says...

    I’m working on a group project for my job right now and we collaborate via online messaging frequently. Instead of using the like icon to share feedback on comments, our team members started using the heart icon. It sounds silly, but that extra dose of positivity totally makes my day right now!

  109. Heather says...

    So beautiful. I have my own version of the restaurant story…

    When I was going through a divorce, I had a weekly therapy appointment on Monday afternoons. Afterwards I couldn’t go home, because my soon-to-be ex-husband would be there with our kids. So I started going to a local ramen restaurant. One day the sweet woman at the counter said “we always see you on Mondays. What’s the rest of you Monday routine?” I answered her honestly that I was just coming from therapy and always appreciated how comforting the soup was at this restaurant. On every Monday after that day, they employees would always bring me an extra treat with my ramen – a cup of green tea, a steamed bun, a perfectly ripe sliced tomato, something special. They never mentioned why and we never talked about my Monday routine again, but it always made me feel loved, tingly and warm in a very cold, hard time.

    • Christine says...

      What wonderful people. Thank you for sharing.

    • Cassie says...

      That is lovely. Thanks for sharing!

    • Anna says...

      That’s so lovely. I teared up a bit!

  110. megan says...

    I loved this post SO much. So well timed. THANK YOU. And does anyone know the abarloados poem? I’d love to read it. xoxox. M

    • ally says...

      Me too!

    • Elle says...

      I think I found it, Megan – it is beautiful!

      A tu barca quisiera, vida mía
      Mi barca, para siempre, abarloar
      Y dejar, de este modo, nuestras vidas
      Al albur de los vaivenes de la mar

      A bordo de tu barca yo estaría
      Siempre que así tu lo quisieras
      El timón de mi barca empuñarías
      En bellos días de primavera

      Abarloadas zarparían nuestras naves,
      Cada día al despuntar la aurora.
      Abarloadas surcarían nuestros mares
      Arribarían a los puertos siempre a su hora

      Firme, como las drizas de tu barca
      Alzaría la vela del palo mayor
      Siempre, al vaivén de la botavara
      Se mantendría vivo, por ti, mi amor

      Ayuda mutua en las tempestades
      Siempre prestos nos dispensaríamos
      Cuando creciesen los profundos mares
      Juntos, unidos, jamás zozobraríamos

      Y si algún día el destino caprichoso
      Hiciera nuestras naos juntas naufragar
      Me sentiría aún mucho más dichoso
      En la mar, siempre juntos, por la eternidad.

    • Agnès says...

      Thank you Elle, poetry will always save the world..

    • Angie says...

      Thank you so much for tracking this down! I was wondering the same thing!

    • jane says...

      from google translate:

      I would like your boat, my life
      My boat, forever, will sail
      And leave our lives in this way
      At the mercy of the swings of the sea

      On board your boat I would be
      Whenever you want it that way
      The rudder of my boat would you wield
      On beautiful spring days

      Our ships would sail across it,
      Every day at dawn.
      Embraced would sail our seas
      They would arrive at the ports always on time

      Firm, like the halyards of your boat
      I’d lift the mainmast sail
      Always, swinging the boom
      It would stay alive, for you, my love

      Mutual aid in storms
      Always ready we would dispense
      When the deep seas rise
      Together, united, we would never capsize

      And if one day the capricious destiny
      Make our ships together wreck
      I would feel even happier
      At sea, always together, for eternity.

    • megan says...

      AWWW. I LOVE YOU GUYS ALL SO MUCH. THANK YOU. And THANK YOU Joanna and team. You all are just the best. xxxxxxxxxxxx. M.

  111. Amanda says...

    “I’LL ALWAYS BE YOUR GRANDMA!” I might start saying that to people. Hahahaha. So good.

  112. M says...

    They were all sweet, but the chicken one…instant tears. Love you all at COJ. :)

  113. Giulia says...

    Thank you SO much for this. It just did the trick, I am happier. <3 love and a kind happy thought to you all! xx Giulia

  114. Meagan says...

    These are all so uplifting. Crying into the dinner I am preparing– this was just what was needed.

  115. K says...

    oh my gosh… the chick, the new beginnings <3

  116. Angela says...

    Thank you for this post. I needed this today.

  117. Elizabeth says...

    I got this sweet text out of the blue today from my college-age daughter: “we’re doing reproductive epidemiology in women’s health today! very exciting. Talking a lot about infertility and I feel special because I know how much I was wanted. I am special.”

    I think it was within the past year that I told her about our infertility. It wasn’t a “big moment” or “big conversation.” It just came naturally out of another discussion that I don’t remember, and we moved on quickly. Getting that text today just made me smile – it meant a lot to her and she’s pretty special!

    • Alison says...

      Thank you for your sweet story. We are about to start our IVF journey and this warmed my heart.

    • Rachel says...

      Oh, Elizabeth, that’s beautiful! <3

  118. MsMaryMary says...

    In his memoir, Stephen King has a similar story to the Trader Joe’s guy. He was at a drive-in movie with friends, and they stopped the movie and announced over the soundsystem, “STEVE KING, YOUR WIFE IS IN LABOR. STEVE KING, YOU NEED TO LEAVE IMMEDIATELY.” Everyone honked their horns and flashed their headlights as Stephen King and his friends sped out of the drive-in.

    • Kuntala says...

      I remember reading this story in On Writing (most probably). Thank you for reminding :)

  119. Cynthia Miller says...

    I don’t need a Mary Oliver poem to cry- I just needed this beautiful post!

  120. CS says...

    That restaurant hug from a stranger. Sob. That’s all.

    • Charlie says...

      A great reminder: We can all be the hugger.

      The same thing happened to me years ago in a library. I forget what was so upsetting, but I burst into tears. A woman came over, and just hugged me. Simple as that. Didn’t pry, didn’t ask why, just loved me in that moment. What a big kindness.

    • Shannon says...

      I also had a hug moment years ago at a Dixie Chicks (“The Chicks” now!) concert where I went to get beers for myself and my two friends. I was trying to be fun and free, but those expensive concert beers put a knot in my stomach. On the way back from the bar, I tripped in front of everyone and spilled all of the beers, tearing up my elbows and knees in the process. A woman came over and enveloped me in a huge hug while I wept, and told me to go back to the bar and declare that I needed three new beers for free. I did, and they gave them to me, and I will always remember how that woman closed me away from that vulnerable moment.

  121. Ramona says...

    There is so much goodness around us. Every night I watch World News Tonight with David Muir. At the end of the broadcast they do a segment called ‘America Strong.’ So many feel-good stories. I cry most nights while watching. ?

    • Lindsay says...

      OMG! me too!! It became a joke with my husband and I as I would always say through tears “Damn you David Muir!”

  122. Julie says...

    These were so lovely to read. A wonderful moment in my day.

    Especially “piano hands” – made me tear up.

  123. Laura S says...

    Oof. I didn’t know how badly I needed to read each & every one of these. Thank you so much, COJ, for restoring my faith in humanity if even for the time it took me to read these.

    • Lindsey says...

      The other month I was at the store and a lady approached me and while really LOOKING at me said, “I just want to tell you that you are beautiful! Like a real classic American beauty!” I was so taken back, and then despite myself felt so delighted. I’m pretty ordinary, guys, but this lady believed wholeheartedly that I was a classic American beauty! I kept telling my husband later joe lucky he is to be married to someone so beautiful. Hahahaha.

  124. Anna says...

    Showing the chicken the world – my heart! Such a good reminder that for all of what we’re all feeling right now, the world is so, so beautiful.

    • Kristen says...

      The sweetness is almost unbearable!! This little girl and her chicken made me think of Mary Oliver right away: “When it’s over, I want to say: all my life, I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.”

  125. AMK says...

    Aww the Trader Joe’s moment!! Made me tear up. Beautiful communal moment indeed ????

    • Ceridwen says...

      Trader Joe’s sounds like the best place in the world! So many good stories come from there. If I ever have the chance to travel to the US from my home country, Australia, it won’t be to visit Disney Land, it’ll be for Trader Joe’s! :)

    • Lucy says...

      Ceridwen, this made me laugh! I hope it lives up to your expectations :-)

    • Lara says...

      Haha Ceridwen, when I visited Washington DC from the U.K. last year I was unbelievably excited to *finally* get to do all our food shopping for the week at the TJ’s next to our holiday flat! I’d heard so much about it from CoJ – and it lived up to my expectations – that it ended up being one of the highlights of the holiday!

    • Ana says...

      Fellow Aussie here who lives in LA. There’s a lot to be afraid of at the moment living in the US but TJs is still such a wonderful place. Sometimes (in this locked down life) I feel like the folks at Trader Joe’s are my real friends. At the start of the lockdown when everything was terrifying standing in a 45 minute queue to get into a nearly empty TJs and the staff were walking up and down the line handing out water, snacks and playing guessing games to keep us all amused. I loved it!

  126. Louisa says...

    We went backpacking with my 6 year old this summer. Up at a high mountain lake, she took a fishing rod and kept lowering things – grass, twigs, etc – into the water. “What are you doing?” “Showing the fish our world.” <3

    • Fgb says...

      Louisa, I love this so much! Thank you for sharing.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, how incredibly sweet.

    • jane says...

      I just watched “My Octopus Teacher” last night after a COJ comment rec – it was so moving I had the most beautiful dream last night, obviously inspired by it. Kids are so spot on.

    • margaret says...

      My favorite comment from an enormous list of lovely comments!

  127. Oh, that last anecdote: I teared up!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      me too!!

    • meg says...

      me too!

  128. Lisa says...

    Similar to the piano teacher comment – the other day I was taking my children to our local park, and we saw our postman coming back from delivering post to one of the buildings. My son asked if that was his house, or the next building that he went into. I had to explain that the postman doesn’t live in all the houses, he just takes letters and parcels. He has his own house somewhere else.

  129. Kristin says...

    I needed these right now. Thank you!!

  130. Megan B Kays says...

    The comment about the stranger’s hug in the restaurant reminds me of a similar kindness I experienced. I had just gone through a rough breakup and was at dinner with a friend. I ordered only tea, and my friend explained to our very kind waitress that I was post-breakup and had no appetite. When my friend went to use the bathroom, the waitress came over to me and said “I didn’t want you to have to sit here alone.” She chatted with me until my friend came back from the bathroom. I think about this sweet moment whenever I feel hopeless about the world or need a reminder how even my small acts may be very meaningful to others.

    • Julie says...

      That is just so kind!

    • Christina says...

      That is really beautiful. Made me tear up. XO

  131. Jess says...

    I’M NOT CRYING YOU’RE CRYING

    • EXACTLY

  132. Laurel says...

    Best post ever. Have been reading since Toby was a bub and this one is hands down the best. I’m all tingly and ready to go out in the world full of generosity. Thanks COJ!

    • Charlie says...

      Agree, best post ever.

      Jo, do another one! <3

  133. Colleda says...

    Why am I crying?! These are so beautiful, thank you for sharing.

  134. Angela says...

    I got chills at the “piano hands” comment!

    Reminds me of a visit to an elderly lady, the relative of a relative, when I was about 10 or 12. She looked at my sister’s (very thin, long, elegant) fingers and said “Oh your hands are so beautiful! A piano player’s!”

    I was looking down at my shorter, pudgier fingers when she said, “And yours are the ones I want to hold!”

    • Kathryn says...

      My heart! She has the gift to see people as they are. It’s so valuable to see admirable qualities, large and small, in every person. You just have to be humble and curious! I wish I could learn to be more like her.

      P.S. I wept at the Trader Joe’s story! We humans have it good, getting to share moments like that.

    • Liz says...

      Oh my heavens, that is so sweet!

    • CJ says...

      Oh my goodness, how sweet! I love that.