A DAD has had his Instagram followers in tears, after sharing a touching post about his sons leaving home for university.
Brandt Barber, 57, started sharing a series of images of his three teenage boys last month, all taken at the exact same spot.
Brandt, from Atlanta, told BuzzFeed how he and his boys would go to the same ice-cream and fast food restaurant every week, sit at the same table, order the same food and more often than not, be served by the same staff.
But when his sons started heading off to university, the tradition seemed to dwindle, with the dad explaining it made him sentimental and nostalgic.
As a comfort, he decided to post three images of he and his sons enjoying their time at the restaurant, with the first snap including all three – Brooks, Bryce and Luke.
“So me and my boys have had a weekly tradition going back years now, where once a week or so we would go to DQ [Dairy Queen] after dinner,” he wrote.
“We would sit at the same table, order from the same little old lady, never deviating from our routine.
“We lost one of the team to UGA [the University of Georgia] that year, here we are, last pic at DQ before Brooks headed to be a big college boy.”
The next photo showed the dad sitting at the same table, but this time, he was with just Bryce and Luke – who are twins.
“And then there were three,” he said.
“DQ tradition continued but our numbers while strong were dwindling.”
But it was Brandt’s last photo that really tugged on followers’ heartstrings.
With both Bryce and Luke having left home for uni, the final snap showed the dad sitting alone, captioned: “And then there was one.
“DQ was never really the thing, 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.”
While the dad thought he was sharing the emotional snaps with just his friends, he didn’t realise that eldest son Brooks had seen the photos.
Taking to Twitter to share the sentimental Instagram posts, he tweeted: “Why did my dad have to go this hard on insta and why am I crying in Nashville RN?”
The tweet has now been shared thousands of times, with strangers getting in touch to admit they’d been in tears over the posts.
One wrote: “I just wanted to say thank you for making me cry this early in the morning” while another suggested Brooks drop out of uni to continue the tradition.
And after receiving messages from strangers – with some expressing how they didn’t have a great relationship with their own dads – Brandt says he’s trying to be “encouraging and uplifting”.
“I’ve looked at this as, OK, how can I be responsible in communicating back with some of these folks and be encouraging and uplifting to them,” he said.
The dad has since had to make his profile private after receiving so many requests.
MOST READ IN FABULOUS
In other parenting news, we told you how one mum was left in tears after a stranger smacked her autistic toddler for gently pushing another kid.
We also revealed one woman hit back at ‘prudes’ after she was roasted for giving her son a jar of booze and condoms for his 18th birthday.
And we showed you this genius mum’s traffic light clock tip makes her children lie in for longer.