An Atlanta-area dad recently went viral after he shared a special message on social media commemorating the years he spent with his sons before they went off to college.
The photos tugged at Americans’ heartstrings, depicting how challenging it can be for parents to let go once their children are all grown up.
“So me and my boys have had a weekly tradition going back years now,” Brandt Barber shared on Instagram in late August.
“Once a week or so we would go to DQ after dinner.”
The photo shows the three boys posing and smiling in a Dairy Queen booth.
“We would sit at the same table and order from the same little old lady, never deviating from our routine,” Barber wrote.
Why did my dad have to go this hard on insta and why am I crying in Nashville rn pic.twitter.com/Bv7fCfnE2g
— Börks (@BrooksBarber) August 31, 2019
“We lost one of the team to UGA That year,” the proud dad joked.
“And then there were 3,” he added in another post, attaching a second photo of his two younger sons captioned, “Me with Bryce and Luke at DQ. Soon they will head to college.”
The third image showed Barber sitting alone at the same booth.
In a heartbreaking post, he wrote a beautiful description of the memories that he would treasure for the rest of his life, delving a bit into what it means to be a dad and what truly matters in life.
“And then there was 1. DQ was never really the thing,” he said.
“Spending time driving to and from and talking, listening to their music and watching all of them interact as brothers, now that was the thing. Maybe I’ll get by here every now and then and certainly when they are all home but with them not here it’s just ice cream.”
The lonesome dad’s oldest son, Brooks, shared the touching tribute on Twitter, where it gathered thousands of reactions.
“Why am I crying in Nashville” he tweeted last month, deeply moved by his dad’s words.
The photos quickly went viral, as people responded to the story with love and tears, sharing some of their own fondest moments and family traditions.
Some also said they wished they had grown up with such a good father.
Brooks responded to the comments, saying, “My dad and I have an incredible relationship and yes my little brothers and I will be heading back to DQ with pops soon.”
To give everyone some piece of mind, my dad and I have an incredible relationship and yes my little brothers and I will be heading back to DQ with pops soon
— Börks (@BrooksBarber) September 1, 2019
But the family was in for another surprise.
After Dairy Queen got wind of the story, the fast food chain reached out with a special gesture, officially dedicating the family’s favorite booth to them.
“Well folks, we finally made it back to DQ with our Dad, only this time with our new booth,” Brooks tweeted late last month, posting a photo of the plaque with the family name.
Dairy Queen replied via Twitter, “Thanks for helping us pull it off! We can’t wait to see your family back in the Barber Family Booth again soon.”
Well folks, we finally made it back to DQ with our Dad, only this time with our new booth pic.twitter.com/L19YGpipWy
— Börks (@BrooksBarber) September 25, 2019
Barber himself responded to all the attention with humility, seemingly grateful that his words had been able to touch so many hearts.
“God is good and I am a blessed man,” he wrote in an Instagram post.
“As our 15 min of fame winds down its been fun and I’m thankful for all the kind words that have been shared with our family.”
The sweet story perfectly captured what it means to watch your children grow up, reminding us how important it is to savor the little moments.
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