Jessica Booth
Updated January 19, 2018
Antonia Nicol /

With all of the upsetting news and messages floating around on social media, it’s easy to feel hopeless about humanity as a whole. Luckily, there are still plenty of times where something proves us wrong — and a viral tweet from this past week is a perfect example of that. The tweet in question is a story about how, years after one woman’s cancer-caused death, her husband finally figured out that she had played one last joke on him…and to be honest, it’s so heartwarming that it’s going to make you simultaneously laugh and cry.

On January 16th, Antonia Nicol, a 46-year-old firefighter in London, England, shared this sad but adorable tale about her parents on Twitter, and it’s too good to keep as just another retweet. Nicol’s mother, Phedre Fitton, died of cancer in 2013. She had lived with Nicol’s father, Nigel, in Johannesburg, South Africa, when she passed away.

Since her mother’s death, Nicol has been traveling to South Africa to visit and take care of Nigel. She says that, four years ago, one of the last things Phedre asked Nigel to do was to “water the plant in the bathroom.” Nigel did so “religiously” and was really proud of how amazing the plant looked years later.

The catch? When Nicol was helping Nigel pack up to move into a retirement home, they noticed that the plant was plastic and fake.

Nicol and Nigel immediately recognized the mishap as a joke Phedre had played on her husband, and they both found it really special. Nicol spoke with Buzzfeed and said,

Shortly after Nicol tweeted out her story, it went viral, and users couldn’t stop talking about how cute-yet-heartwarming it was. Nicol had used a stock image of a plant in her original tweet, as she didn’t have a photo of the actual plant, but she later added this one of Nigel with a plant (he was so into the story, he actually reenacted it for the camera):

Twitter users were a mess of emotions, with some talking about their own parents passing away and others sending their condolences. One user pointed out that something like this was a much-needed reminder of the little things we often forget about a person when they pass away. false

Other users said they thought the mom must have done this to give her husband a task to distract himself from the grief.

Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure: this story has definitely made us smile through tears today.