One of the most classically "Upworthy" stories of the past decade is the story of Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench. In a twist of fate, Wanda texted her grandson about Thanksgiving plans in 2015, or so she thought. The number she texted belonged to a young man named Jamal, who said she wasn't his grandma but could he have a plate anyway? It was a joke, but she invited him to join her family's dinner—and he came.
Jamal and Wanda became fast friends, and they have gotten together for Thanksgiving nearly every year since. They've seen a lot of life changes together—Jamal finding love, Wanda losing her husband, a global pandemic. And Jamal is still getting random texts from random numbers on occasion, which is just a reminder of the story that has delighted millions over the past eight years.
Jamal and Wanda made this week's list along with some other delights, both old and new. May these tidbits of joy lift your spirit and bring a smile—or 10—to your face.
1. Three cheers for the greatest college trick-or-treaters ever
Swipe to see the whole thing. Reason #739 to not put an age limit on trick-or-treating.
2. Woman who worked as a housekeeper for 30 years to help fund her son's pilot education gets the best surprise
There's nothing like a mother's love. Nothing.
3. 4-year-old Emi is out here making eternal optimists out of all of us
"Everything that changes has a sweet to it." Wise words, little one.
4. It's year 8 of the greatest Thanksgiving story ever told and we are here for it
It never gets old. (Scroll through for the whole story.)
5. Baby girl repeatedly pranks her parents by pretending to have her arm stuck in a bottle
The acting chops, though. So adorable. Read the full story here.
6. The way this mama cat introduces her baby to her doggo friend
It looks like she's teaching him how to be gentle with her baby. So sweet.
7. Backpacks of school supplies in lieu of flowers? We don't deserve teachers.
"A teacher to the end" indeed.
8. Ever seen two cellists rock an AC/DC song? It's amazing how well it works.
This isn't new, but it's new to some people and definitely worth revisiting for those of us who have seen it. Read more about 2Cellos here.
9. Hummingbird gets stuck inside, but lets a gentle human help
Here's to helping the gorgeous little birdy find its freedom.
10. Ginormous dog sounds like Chewbacca while getting a bath
First of all, how is that dog real? Secondly, what on Earth is he going on about? Does he like the bath or hate it? Or maybe he's just trying to make conversation with the hairdresser like the rest of us.
Hope this roundup brought a few smiles to your face! If you enjoyed this post and want to see more like it in your inbox, subscribe to our free email newsletter, The Upworthiest, here.