Austyn Woolverton, a five-year-old girl, recently made a heartwarming request to her grandfather that has since captured the hearts of many around the world.
Austyn asked her grandfather to come with her to a local “Daddy-Daughter Date Night” for Valentine’s Day.
The special event is hosted each year for Valentine’s Day by Papillion Landing, a community recreation center in Papillion, Nebraska, for fathers and their daughters to spend quality time together.
Austyn’s mother, Kelsey Woolverton, shared the exchange on TikTok, where the video has since gone viral with over two million views. The heartwarming moment has touched people around the world and has been seen as a symbol of the unconditional bond between a father and his daughter.
However, Austyn’s date night was not going to be a typical one than that of the other girls in attendance because she could not attend the event without her dad. Her father, Michael “Mike” Woolverton, passed away when she was just 18 months old. Michael died from a drug overdose involving fentanyl, according to Kelsey.
Despite the loss of her father, Austyn’s love for him remains strong. Her request to her grandfather to accompany her to the Daddy-Daughter Date Night has become a poignant reminder of the love between a father and his daughter and the importance of cherishing those we love while we still can.
“She really doesn’t have memories of him, but from the very beginning we have talked about him,” Woolverton said.
“It was kind of just always something that we talk about, like we talk about the weather.”
The viral video of Austyn’s request has also helped to raise awareness about the risks of drug addiction and the devastating impact it can have on families.
As the video continues to spread, it has served as a source of inspiration for people around the world to appreciate the love of their fathers and daughters, and to never take a single moment for granted.
While Austyn’s father may not have been physically present, his love and memory continue to live on in the hearts of those he left behind, and his legacy will continue to inspire others for years to come.
Undeterred, Austyn decided it was time to ask her grandpa to be her special date for the night. She even drew a picture for him before making the invitation, which was captured on video by her mother, Kelsey Woolverton.
In the video, Austyn can be heard asking to her grandfather in a soft voice, “There’s a Valentine’s dance. But we need our dad to go.” She then added, “My daddy’s not going to go. Will you go with me?”
The touching moment has since gone viral on social media, with the video garnering more than two million views on TikTok. The heartwarming exchange has touched the hearts of people around the world, many of whom have left comments expressing their admiration for Austyn’s strength and resilience.
“There’s a Valentine’s dance. But we need our dad to go,” she asked her grandfather, then added, “My daddy’s not going to go. Will you go with me?”
Heartwarming and heartbreaking
“She is usually not that emotional about her father passing and so it just kind of struck us all with surprise that she eloquently asked him that way,” mom Kesley Woolverton stated. “I had no idea she would put that together that she needed her dad to go, but he wouldn’t be there.”
The video depicts Guenther’s delighted response to his granddaughter’s invitation, as he exclaimed, “I would love to!”
“It breaks my heart that Austyn will grow up without her dad,” Guenther said in an interview with Fox News Digital. “I feel blessed that Austyn and I have this bond and I can be there for her when her dad can’t.”
According to Kelsey Woolverton, the father of Austyn may be gone, but his memory still remains.
“He was a fuller-than-life person. Full of joy [and] loved people,” she stated. “[He] was never serious, almost to a fault.”
Austyn’s mother, Kelsey Woolverton, revealed that after her husband’s death, she and her daughter moved from Oklahoma to Nebraska to live with her parents while she pursued hairstyling school.
During the year-and-a-half they lived with her parents, Austyn and her grandfather grew very close. The two bonded over watching Nebraska Cornhuskers football games and attending a game together.
Guenther is also a regular attendee at Austyn’s soccer games, where he cheers her on from the sidelines. In addition to praising Guenther for his support of Austyn, he also acknowledged Woolverton’s positive parenting skills, which the viral TikTok video did not show.
“She has faced one of the hardest things anyone can ever go through and has done a wonderful job [of] raising Austyn and keeping Austyn’s dad alive in their hearts,” he stated.
Woolverton experienced a sense of being inundated in a positive way by the responses of TikTok users after sharing the video.
“I guess I didn’t realize how many people have lost their dads or don’t have a dad in their life until the video came out,” Woolverton stated. “That has been inspiring to me just to know that I’m not alone, and they’re not alone in our situation.”
She added: “It makes me really thankful for what I do have and what Austyn has.”
Austyn and her grandpa went to the Valentine’s Day dance on February 8th.