Some things just can’t be erased from your mind, and when it’s the greatest feeling ever, you don’t want it to.
Many thanks to the Redditors who responded. You can check out more answers from the source at the end of this article.
1. A tornado destroyed about a fifth of the small town I grew up in. As I assume is the case in any natural disaster, there was a lot of misinformation. A state trooper talked to my neighbor and informed her that a nursing home had been destroyed and everyone in it had died, without realizing that my mom was a nurse there.
She came over to tell us. I was in 7th grade. My dad refused to believe her and went looking for my mom. The National Guard was there keeping people away from the worst of the destruction, but after my dad cried and begged on his knees, someone from the Red Cross gave him a little red and white sticker to let him pass. He found my mom helping with the rescue efforts.
All of the phones were down, so they weren’t able to call us or anything. I was sitting at the table crying, when suddenly he opened the door and my mom walked in, covered in blood and dirt. Absolutely the happiest day of my life…
2. When I was 6 years old I was canoeing with my Mom and Dad on the Buffalo River in Arkansas. We were making our way through a series of small rapid with the canoe hit a small boulder and capsized.
I went under water but was wearing a life jacket so I quickly popped to the surface. The only problem was that I popped up underneath the still capsized canoe. I remember coming up into complete darkness. I was panicked and for a second thought I might be dead and in some sort of dark afterlife place.
A few moments later (seemed like forever) my Dad flips the canoe back over and there I am, looking up at him with a big wet smile. He grabbed me up and gave me the biggest hug I’ve ever had.
I’m sure the panic I felt was minor compared to the panic my parents were experiencing during the small amount of time they couldn’t find me. But the feeling of relief and happiness whenever he flipped that canoe over is indescribable, for me and I’m sure for my parents also.
3. When I was 16-weeks pregnant, I fell down the stairs. It’s actually the safest time in a pregnancy to have a fall (at the beginning), but once I saw bleeding, I had a feeling of absolute terror.
My husband drove me to my midwife, and sitting in the waiting room, watching all of the happily pregnant people around me was absolutely awful.
The ultrasound tech set us up in the room, turned on the monitor, and within three seconds, turned the screen to us and said, “Here’s your baby. Here’s the heartbeat. Here’s the perfect placenta. And if you want to know the sex, I can tell you that, too.”
Seeing my son up on that screen, wiggling around in his happy little womb was the best feeling I’ve ever had. I thought, for sure, I’d lost him, or at least had a placental abruption that would have required a delivery that he surely would not have survived.
He’s 4-months-old now.
4. On my wedding day, about three hours after the reception ended, my wife and I sat in the restaurant at the Hilton Hotel at the O’Hare airport in Chicago (we were staying there overnight because we had a flight to Puerto Rico the next morning).
We had been talking, catching up (one has surprisingly little time with one’s future spouse in the day or two leading up to a wedding) and there was a moment of silence.
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I was toying with my beer and out of nowhere I said ‘These are some of the greatest hours that a decent man could ever expect to have.’
She smiled at me and raised her wine glass and we clinked them together. It was the happiest I’ve ever been.
5. I haven’t had very many amazing moments in my life, but I did have a pretty good one recently. I was having a really bad day at work, came home, and went to get a soda out of the fridge. Sitting inside the fridge, for no apparent reason, was a cold, fizzy gin and tonic with a lime wedge on the rim.
I have no idea how it got there, and I frankly don’t want to know. I prefer to believe that reality made a tiny exception for me that day.
6. When I got a text from my now husband saying “You should come back here, with me.”
We had been together for almost 4 years, then broken up for over 2. I couldn’t deal with being in Detroit, where we had all the same friends and I had to see him all the time, so I moved to Chicago. I had a roommate who lied about how much money he made and stole all my rent money, leading to me losing my apartment a year after I had moved. I texted my now husband to tell him what had happened, and was sitting on the train going to my sister’s house, trying to keep myself together. I got the message and started crying uncontrollably on the train. Probably looked like a crazy person.
I moved back to Detroit a month later, and he came and picked me up. He told me, “Leaving you was the biggest mistake I ever made, and I will never do it again.”
We have been married for almost 3 years, have a beautiful 1 year old daughter, and I have never been so happy in my life.
7. My greatest feeling to date was with my dad. I had just gotten off work from an internship in college. I was walking up to the house and my dad had just drove up from work. It was Friday and we both had our favorite 12 packs of beer under our arms. We worked on opposites sides of town but every Friday stopped by a liquor store to grab our beer. We preceded into the garage where their is a minifridge we keep our beer in.
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My father is the hardest working man I have ever met, working tirelessly to help me pay for college and doing everything he can to raise me the right way. In the garage we both crack a beer and starting bsing about our days. My dad who I have never seen cry got tears in his eyes, looked at me and told me he loved me and how proud he was of me. The happiest I have ever felt.
8. Making it to the 6 month mark in my pregnancy with my daughter. I’d had 6 miscarriages and lost 7 babies in the 6 years before that day, and was told I would never be able to carry her to term.
At the 6th month mark (all of my miscarriages happened between conception- 5months), I finally allowed myself to really breathe. She’s going to be 18 next month, and she’s awesome.
9. My wife had a full term stillbirth on my 30th Birthday, it was the worst day of my life. 4 years later after trying and failing to have a child, we traveled to Guatemala after a year of adoption paperwork.
We were waiting in a hotel room in Guatemala City pacing back and forth waiting for the knock on the door. We had only seen pictures of him at 3 weeks of age, he was now 6 months old. In my haste and nervousness I paced out front of the hotel and saw the cutest baby I had ever seen, and I hoped it was my son. A few minutes later the door knocked, and they brought my son Jake to my wife and me. We cried tears of pure joy. That was March 26, 2002. I can’t believe my son is 10. He has trouble watching the video of his parents crying because he couldn’t understand they were tears of joy.
10. Living in Holland when I was 10 and bicycling to school early in the morning through the cool foggy mist. One thing that always stuck with me was this hilly grassland area with sheep scattered all over, and I would only be able to see their heads popping out because there was a foot of fog across the ground. Cycling to school was always the best part of my day, and even though it was many years ago and I no longer live there, i always get happy when thinking about it.
11. Me and my girl/bestfriend ran away and slept in her car for a night. She died about six months ago. It’s the little things you remember the most.
12. I was writing a program in college for an AI class, the program was over 14000 lines of code, and it compiled without error the first time and furthermore ran flawlessly without any need to debug. I was so happy that I fell to my knees and cried a little.
13. My wife and I had tried to have a baby for 5 years and had gone through a lot of pretty rough times with miscarriages and disappointment. When my first daughter was finally here and everything was ok, I was the first one to actually get to hold her.
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She opened her eyes and gave a little smile at me, then went back to sleep. That was my greatest moment.
14. My greatest feeling (to date) was the day I woke up and realized I didn’t want a cigarette.
15. The first time I lost a pound and realized that this whole exercise thing actually works. Have lost 100 lbs to date. Only 10 more to go.
16. My wife was roughly 8 weeks pregnant, on her way to work, and got into a car accident. Some guy tried to cut across 4 lanes of road in his monstrous Dodge pickup and didn’t see my wife’s Saturn there. She drove under his passenger door at about 45 mph and into his rear passenger tire. The impact completely missed the safety cage/crumple zone of her car and instead caught the engine square on under the hood and peeled the hood back onto the windshield. The engine/tranny/front-end was pushed backwards the 3″ or so into the back of the tirewalls. This pushed the firewall back into the cabin and pushed the dashboard down as her legs slammed up into it. She was wearing her seatbelt and the airbags did their job and aside from nasty bruises, she wasn’t visibly bleeding anywhere.
I get a call at 6:30am from my now hysterical wife telling me to come to scene, some 30 mins away from our apartment. She won’t let me hang up with her until, mercifully, the responding officer comes by to collect her statement. There are few things harder than driving into morning rush-hour traffic without road raging like a mofo while listening to your wife crying her eyes out on the phone.
I get there and her car looks bad.
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The other driver was apologizing profusely… and then he found out she was pregnant… and he nearly breaks down in tears as well. We get everything sorted and head to her doctor’s office.
The ultrasound looks good, the heartbeat is strong, and thankfully there are no signs of bleeding or ruptures anywhere. We were super relieved and completely excited all over again about having a kid!
The kid is now an amazing little 2 year old 🙂
17. When I got good grades in my final exams. Jumping up and down screaming ‘I’m going to college ma!’ while I hugged my mother, pretty good feeling.
18. My first day after I finished Chemo. The entire world was brighter, colors were more vivid. I knew, intellectually, that nothing had changed, I was still suffering from side effects of chemo and I was only marginally more cured than the day before. The euphoria was just surreal, though. Everything was just more real, more happy, more good.
On that note, the second best feeling was when I finally got to 5 years out with no evidence of disease. To be told that my odds of re-occurrence are virtually 0, that was a great day.
19. I’ve been an artist for a long time but I’ve always wanted to write, never thought I’d be any good at it. Worked on something really hard and a few months later found out I’d won a national literary award. Changed my life right then. Embarrassingly, I sobbed out of joy and relief. “I’m allowed to be a writer,” was all I could think.
My husband didn’t know what was wrong with me. He had no idea I’d ever wanted to be one in the first place. I told him even I had no clue how much I’d wanted to be one and for how long.
20. I was like stupid in love with this girl for about 5 years. One night she’s in the hospital on a bunch of drugs and thinks she’s gonna die (not even close). So she uses her (possible) last remaining moments to call me and tell me she realized she loves me too and didn’t want to die without letting me know.
She had a kidney stone. She was fine the next day and were still together.
21. Hanging my college degree on the wall of my new townhouse after my divorce, and realizing my education was the one thing no one can ever take away from me. Lost a house, dogs, friends, even family….but that degree I earned is all mine, just for me, as long as I breathe.
22. My father used to work as an accountant near the twin towers before 9/11.
That day I went to school and all of the sudden the towers get attacked. I instantly start worrying about my father and where he is. An hour later my mom comes to pick me and I ask her if she got in contact with my father.
She says all the lines are down and I really start getting worried. All day I kept calling his cellphone but all was in vain.
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Later that night he comes home and says he didn’t go straight to work but had a meeting with his friends downtown. He was forced into a bomb shelter and couldn’t contact us or leave until many hours later. But seeing him come home was the greatest feeling i ever had.
23. I recently found close relatives (cousins, aunties and uncles) from the other side of the world who I thought I would never meet – having grown up without knowing my father’s whereabouts since I was 18 months old, and therefore no addresses. This was one of the greatest, if not THE greatest moment of my life, however it was shortly followed by one of the saddest… Finding out my father had been dead for 10 years.
24. I was the result of a high school fling. My mother was 16 when she got pregnant with me, my father was 18. She didn’t tell him about my existence until after I was already born, and what followed was a few months of confusion as each tried to figure out what they were going to do, and started to rearrange their life plans to somehow make things work.
Then, almost exactly four months after I was born, my mother (17 at the time) went to a homecoming party. She never came home. That night she was killed in a car accident. My father, who had never had contact with my family (just my mom) disappeared from my life completely.
As I grew up the only thing I knew about him was his name and the fact that he had joined the military after I was born. Otherwise, I was basically an orphan. I was raised by my grandmother, who was also taking care of my uncle. We never got along too well–I was just too different from the rest of the family–so I didn’t really connect with anybody, and even though I was and still am close to my grandma we’ve never really had a parent/child relationship.
As I discovered the internet I started to regularly look for anything I could find out about my dad. It was mostly curiosity–I just wanted to see what he was up too, if he had married, if I had siblings, even just a picture of him would have satisfied my curiosity. But year after year, I found absolutely nothing. The only picture I had of him was a cutting from my local newspaper, from his time in the military.
That all changed about a year and a half ago, when I did yet another random search and who should turn up but dad, right at the top of the search results. I, of course, did the most logical thing and friend requested him. (I was way too shy and freaked out by the situation to send him a message. It was more a way of saying ‘hey, here I am’.)
I got a message from him right back saying “We need to talk”. So we started to e-mail back and forth, standard getting to know you stuff. He never stated outright that he was my father, even though it was obvious he wasn’t denying anything. I wasn’t certain anything would even come of it and even asked my friends several times “Do you think I’ll ever actually meet my dad?”
Then, a few days before Thanksgiving in 2010, I’m hanging out on the computer when I get a message through Facebook. My dad wanted to know if I wanted to meet up for dinner, as he was going to be in town over the holidays visiting his parents and brothers. (He actually lives in another country now.) I nervously say “Sure”.
The greatest moment ever was also the most terrifying. We agreed to meet up at a coffee shop and I’m just sitting there, waiting, freaked out of my mind. I hear this voice from behind me say my name. Then the minute I get up and say hello he just gives me this hug like he’s never going to let go. Then after dinner and a long (awkward) talk, as he sends me on my way, he hugs me again and says “You’re going to see me again. And we’ll keep in touch. You may even get sick of hearing from me so much.”
It’s a year and a half later now and we still talk all the time. He helped me get back into college, and has finally started calling himself my dad. So I went from being an orphan to having a parent, for the first time in my life, at the age of 23.
Greatest feeling ever.
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