Joy Break: Giggling Barrel Rolls, Kissing Preborn Twins and Other Stories to Make You Smile

By Nancy Flory Published on June 7, 2017

When we turn on our television or smart phones we are bombarded with news that brings us down. It becomes easy to wonder where all the good news has gone. Those stories are still there. Here are a few we hope will brighten your day.

Father-Daughter Time

Raphael Langumier took his then four-year-old daughter Léa on her first aerobatic ride in a plane a few years ago. While the video is in French, there can be no denying her excitement when her dad performed barrel rolls. Léa giggles and cheers when she feels the plane roll. Holding onto handles, Léa tells her father, “Again, again!”


Precious Cuddling Babies

Preborn twins Isabella and Callie provide an incredible snapshot of life in the womb. At their mom Carissa’s 25-week ultrasound, the babies cuddled and kissed in utero — and mom has the pictures to prove it. Baby “B” kissed baby “A” first on the cheek, then on the lips. The babies then appeared to cuddle. “I’m saving all of these [pictures] just so I can show them,” said Carissa. “They’re not going to believe it. They’re going to be shocked.”

They are a beautiful reminder of why life — even in the womb — is precious.


A School for Grannies

Last year a school opened near Mumbai in India. But this is no ordinary school. The “school for grannies,” as it is known locally, teaches women ages 60-90 how to read and write. As children, the women were deprived of an education and spent time at home or worked while the boys got to go to school.

Funded by a charitable trust, the school is challenging traditional attitudes, even with its colorful uniform of pink and gold, according to the school’s founder, Yogendra Bangar. “Most of the grandmothers are widows and are meant to wear white while mourning. We wanted to break this taboo and other older traditions to make every person feel they’re equal and part of the community, without any discrimination on the basis of poor or ric. So pink was chosen.”

The grandmothers are grateful for the opportunity to become literate. “I never went to school as a child,” said one woman. “It feels great to come now and study with my friends.” Another woman said it was embarrassing to go to the bank and give a thumbprint instead of a signature because she couldn’t read. “Now I feel proud and happy because I can sign my name.”


Impromptu Graduation Ceremony

New Yorker Jerich Marco Alcantara, 22, was set to walk at his graduation ceremony when his Queens train was delayed 90 minutes due to brake failure. When he realized he wasn’t going to make his Hunter College graduation ceremony at Radio City Music Hall, he told his fellow passengers “Thank you guys for coming out to see my graduation. I appreciate it.”

The passengers cheered, but then they did something unexpected. They gave Alcantara an impromptu graduation ceremony on the spot. Alcantara’s friend drew a “diploma” with an app on his phone, which he then gave to Alcantara before shaking his hand. Another passenger played Green Day’s Good Riddance (“Time of Your Life”). The whole thing was captured on video by yet another passenger. It has now been shared on Facebook over 2.3 million times.

Alcantara finally made his official graduation just as the ceremony was ending, but he wasn’t disappointed. “Everyone that graduates gets one of those,” he told the Washington Post. “Not everyone gets to have a commencement on a train.”

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