By Norm Elrod

Another year is almost in the books, and what an emotional roller coaster ride 2018 has been. Every one of the last 365 days has been filled with more than its fair share of ups and downs. So, as the calendar circles back to January, and we prepare set off on the crazy ride that will be 2019, let’s pause and reflect on the past year’s most heartwarming stories.

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Deaf Child Hears For First Time At Dallas Mavericks Game

Four-year-old Dallas Mavericks fan Jace Lee wasn’t thinking about the team’s win, rare as such a thing was last season, because he just heard live music for the first time. See him dance to the drums he could finally hear.

Lost Cat Reunited With Family After 10 Years

Oliver, at two years old, escaped from his family’s home in the suburbs of Chicago. Ten years later — and 37 miles away — he was found. See him reunited with his owner.

Kindness Reunites 67-Year-Old Homeless Man With Birth Mother

It was a reunion 65 years in the making for a homeless man in Alameda County, California. Meet the man who lived on the street and the police deputy who showed an interest, which led to the life-changing discovery that his birth mother was still alive .

Donor’s Girlfriend Hears Boyfriend’s Heart Beating In Recipient’s Chest

Jim Donovan, a grandfather with congestive heart failure, gets a second chance. Aletha Gomez, the girlfriend of the firefighter — and organ donor — who died, hears the heart that gave him that chance. See her reaction to the sound of that heart still beating strong.

Teen Finds Her Voice Again After Battle With Cancer

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Cancer can take away so much. It can also help survivors figure out one’s purpose in life, as this suburban Philadelphia teen learned. Hear her sing again, after treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma took away her voice.

Nonverbal Student Gives Surprise Graduation Speech

Be unexpected. That was the message from Sef Scott, the graduation speaker at Plano Senior High in Plano, Texas. And he certainly was. Scott is autistic and usually nonverbal. Hear him him talk to his fellow graduates.

Recently Reunited Brothers Meet Long-Lost Twin Sisters After Viral Facebook Plea

Matt and Ed, two brothers adopted by different parents soon after birth, had just found each other. But the family reunion was just getting started. With social media and a sign, their message soon spread. And they soon found their older twin sisters, Dana and Donna, adopted long ago, by still other parents. Watch growing family celebrate the siblings they just learned they had.

Woman With Down Syndrome Lives Dream To Be Flight Attendant On Southwest

A dream took flight for Tracy Sharp, a Sacramento-area woman living with Down syndrome. Tracy always wanted to be a flight attendant, and on a recent Southwest flight from Sacramento to Seattle, she was. See Tracy get her wings and soar.

Newlyweds Find Stranger Who Serendipitously Introduced Them At Concert An Hour After CBS 11 Report

A chance encounter at the Off the Rails Country Music Fest near Dallas led to a date, a relationship and a wedding for Cortney Linard and Nick Martin. And a gregarious stranger set the wheels in motion. Meet the man who connected the lovebirds that night and will be attending their wedding.

Incredible Story: Detroit Barber United With Father He Saw On Random CBS 2 Story

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Karl Lindsey was shot in the arm protecting his players from gunfire on a Chicago football field. Being recognized as a hero led to being recognized as a father, by the son he didn’t know he had. William Deshawn Motley, a barber in Detroit, saw the story on the news, and even thought the man looked familiar. It almost ended there. Hear the full story of how Lindsey and Motley came to know each other as father and son.