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love story

Courtesy of Kisha Rose Woodhouse

Man surprises partner by performing haka alone at her graduation


Graduations can be emotional no matter if it's preschool, high school or college. Something about watching a loved one close one chapter to open a new one just does something to you. But sometimes people have a few more challenges getting across the stage that make it feel even sweeter.

One new mom, Kisha Rose Woodhouse, who goes by @kiisha.rose on TikTok, became pregnant and gave birth while finishing up her college degree. Clearly, determined to finish, Woodhouse walked across the stage at graduation with her baby on her hip. But that wasn't what got people all choked up while seeing her video, it was Woodhouse's partner who stood alone in the auditorium.

The man was visibly filled with pride from Woodhouse's accomplishments when he began doing the Tautoko, also known as the haka. Immediately the auditorium fell silent as the man's words and sharp movements filled the air. Seeing him perform such an emotional dance alone to honor his partner is enough to get just about anyone's eyes to water.


Woodhouse was visibly overcome with emotion when she heard her partner start the traditional Maori dance. While originally the haka was performed as a war dance, it has become a dance performed for major occasions, celebrations and funerals.

"Honestly that moment felt so surreal, it was completely unexpected and the way he expressed himself through his haka really summed up the respect and love we had for each other throughout all the challenges we faced to finally get me up on the stage and earn my diploma. And on that note, our son came with me as he deserved the diploma just as much as I did (he did attend every class while being in my tummy!)," Woodhouse tells Upworthy.

With everything the couple has been through up until that moment, it's no wonder they were both emotional. Their emotions and love can be felt through the video and it seems like just about everyone has something in their eye.

"I will never not cry when I see the haka. I think it's inside us as humans to know that outward display of passion, emotion and strength moves our souls. Imagine releasing that energy in celebration, in mourning or in the face of fear. You would never know what it meant to not face your emotions," one person writes.

"Performing haka alone, for her and their son, ALONE, in front of thousands. This is an existential form of love," another says.

@kiisha.rose One of the greatest moments 👩‍🎓 being able to walk across the stage with son and a surprise tautoko from my love ❤️ #maori #graduation ♬ original sound - kiisha.rose

"Whoa, that haka gave me goose bumps. You could hear a pin drop. Definitely felt the wairua [soul] in that one. Well done mama bear ka pai [good]. Good on you, someone writes, complete with heart emojis.

One commenter had a front row seat, "I was there graduating that day too and this made my eyes water! So beautiful."

It's nearly impossible to watch someone perform the haka without something getting into both of your eyes as you feel their passion move through you. If you've never seen the haka performed, you may want to grab a tissue because this is one of the most beautiful acts of love people get to witness.


This article originally appeared on 3.22.24

via Dorilee and Sean Lavin (used with permission)

Sean and Dorilee Lavin feel complete.

Dorilee Lavin, 39, was a divorced mother of 3 living in Vermont. When she was ready to find her next relationship, she made a list of characteristics she wanted in her next husband. “I manifested him hard,” Dorilee, 39, told Today.com.

Three days later, she saw a tall, dark-haired man named Sean walking his 2 daughters to school and hoped he was single. “It was the sweetest thing ever, like an image you’d see in a magazine,” she recalled. "They had such a happy energy."

After some research, she discovered that he was single, too. Unfortunately, their paths didn’t cross and the school year was nearing its end. "I never got the chance to connect with him, but the [after-school care] was tired of hearing me talk about him to them," she confessed in a TikTok video with over 1.7 million views.


“'OK, Dorilee, we can't have you be bummin' all summer, so we're gonna give him your phone number,” she recalled them saying.

#stitch with @Jackie Gansky 

@dailydoseofdorilee

#stitch with @Jackie Gansky #strategic #interested #perfectman #husbandmaterial #howwemet #waitforthegreats

So, on the last day of summer break, the employees at the after-school care program agreed to give him her phone number. Before he got the digits, she ran into him while she was leaving the center and didn’t think she made a great first impression.

“It was total verbal diarrhea. Like no pickup lines, no nothing here. I actually thought I scared him,” Dorilee shared in the video. Luckily for Dorilee, she didn’t. About an hour later, he texted her and they agreed to go on a date that Saturday night.

They eloped in the woods 111 days after their first date. Dorilee believes she “manifested” Sean, he thinks he may have done the same for her.

“I later learned he had a dream of a woman with long dark curly hair and a captivating energy,” she told Today.com. “Then, when he saw me, he was blown away because I was the woman from his dream. I didn’t believe him when he first told me the story, then he showed me the texts. He had messaged his friends about the dream.”

Dorilee still can’t believe that her metaphysical request was honored. "It hit me hard about two months ago that I'm literally living the life with a partner I called in from the universe years ago and I balled like a baby,” she wrote in the comments.

Their kids get along very well and they’ve worked hard to create positive and peaceful relationships with their exes.

blended families, dorilee sean lavin, happy famileies

The Lavin clan with Sean's mom, Tracy Gandin.

via Dorilee and Sean Lavin (used with permission)

Dorilee and Sean told Upworthy that there are 3 “vital” elements to creating a successful co-parenting relationship: clear communication, open dialogue and always acting in the best interest of the kids.

It’s also essential to leave the past in the past.

“Letting go of any premarital resentment and leaving that in the chapter of your marriage is what helped us move forward with positive co-parenting,” Dorilee told Upworthy. “Raising kids isn't all cupcakes—it can be difficult when married, but there's a whole different aspect after divorce. None of the members of our parental party talk poorly of the others. We don't want to in any capacity have a child think there's any part of them we wouldn't love because they are partly made of the parent we divorced.”

It’s also worth noting that Dorilee has a rather charming name for her ex-husband, with whom she shares co-parenting responsibilities. She calls him her “wusband” (he was my husband).

Even though Dorilee and their family have created a happy and emotionally healthy second chapter in life, there are some who still think she had to employ stalker-style tactics to get her man, an accusation she denies...sort of. “Is it really stalking if I didn't follow him and just made myself available to bump into him at pickup, though?” she wrote in the comments.

103-year-old man tries to run to his wife after hospitalization.

Love is a beautiful thing no matter how old the couple is. Most people dream about growing old with the love of their life, making plans to have babies and sit in a rocking chair holding their baby's baby. It's a daydream that starts fairly early in life, growing and evolving as the holder of the dream does.

When you come across a couple that has been married for 50 or 60 years, people ask them their secret to long-lasting love. But there's one man who embodies what true love looks like when you're in your golden years. There's no advice he's giving, just an act of pure unadulterated love and the internet cannot get enough.

A woman from Colombia posted a video to her Instagram page, enfermeraestilosa, that shows her 103-year-old grandfather being reunited with his wife after he was hospitalized for 30 days. He was so excited that he forgot he needed his walker when he went running towards the love of his life.


The text that accompanies the video translates from Spanish to English to say, "This is how my 103-year-old grandfather receives the love of his life after a month in hospital where we thought he would leave forever. How sad that things have to happen to realize that the lottery touches us every day with health, with family and with the love of the people we are close to. Yes, today is one more day that we have hit the jackpot. Merry Christmas, grandparents, you are together again."

Commenters just couldn't get enough of his enthusiasm for seeing his wife.

Someone says, "I wish nothing else in this life that a love so pure and sincere that lasts forever."

"How beautiful, you made me cry with joy and excitement. What a pity that love of that generation is lost! Cheers to them, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and maybe great-grandchildren," another commenter writes.

This is a love that has obviously lasted a lifetime just as one person gushes under the video, "true love is forever without doubt.

Watch the two lovebirds below:

The funny thing about love is that the person we fall in love with, more often than not, we run into by accident. Another strange twist is that the love of our life is likely to show up when we least expect it.

The following story, which feels like the promise of a hit rom-com, comes courtesy of a twist of fate created by the World Cup and an Airbnb.

In 2013, after six years of battling an illness, Ana was living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Having been financially drained by years of being sick, she invested the last of her money to buy two bunk beds and convert one of her bedrooms into an Airbnb for small groups of friends.

The Airbnb was a last-ditch effort to pay her rent and medical bills. A year later, the modest investment grew into a success, Ana’s health began to return, and the World Cup, one of the largest sporting events in the world, was coming to Rio.

To take advantage of the soccer fanatics flocking to the Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City), Ana and her roommate, Fabio, turned a half room in their apartment into an Airbnb rental to give tired soccer fans a place to sleep.

“Though it was a small (pantry!) room, we added a bunk bed and listed two beds on Airbnb. One day after the listing went live, we had tons of requests for ‘Fabio’s Pantry,’” she shared. “It was fully booked for the entire World Cup period except for one week in July.”

Around this time, Ana was feeling well enough to go on her first vacation in years and took a quick trip to Uruguay. Just before she left, Ana received a reservation from a man named "Darko B." for the only unbooked days in July.

“I have always been a big fan of the movie ‘Donnie Darko’ and thought it was a strange coincidence, but didn't think anything of it,” Ana wrote. “I accepted the request, let him know I would not be there for check-in and Fabio would care for him until I was back the following week.”


When Ana returned after her trip, she had no idea that her life would change forever. Upon opening the door to her apartment, there stood Darko, who was so taken by her that he nearly fell over. “I was sure he stumbled because he had sand on his feet and didn't wash it downstairs as the rules of the building say, and I caught him, lol (everybody does that!). But it wasn't sand, it was just love at first sight... for him, I was still mad about the imaginary sand,” she joked.

As Ana worked on her business classes and workshops in her apartment, Darko lay around watching TV, barely venturing outside to see the marvels of Rio. Even though Ana told him all the great spots to visit, he was just as happy to hang around and talk to her when she took breaks.

It seemed that all Darko really needed was right there in the Airbnb.

“We chatted about everything in life during my breaks and got more and more connected,” Ana remembers. “We were still keeping a respectful distance because, from my perspective, he was my guest and I wanted him to feel safe.” As the temporary tenant, Darko was in a strange position, too. He was a “strange man” in Ana’s home and didn’t want to be too forward.

Ana believes that because the two kept a safe distance, their feelings had more time to grow. “That distance was the key for our friendship and connection to develop organically,” Ana said.

As Darko's week-long stay neared its end, the duo decided to catch a sunset at the Arpoador Rocks. It was a mesmerizing evening with a dual spectacle: a breathtaking sunset on one side and the grandest supermoon in three decades on the other. Moved by the magic of Rio and his growing bond with Ana, Darko extended his stay by three months, sidelining his plans to travel across Brazil to watch soccer.

“We had 3 awesome months together exploring Rio,” Ana wrote. “We did not go to the stadium to watch the games live, but we went to ‘watch events’ with friends, traveled to small places around Rio, and stayed in an Airbnb in Ilha Grande.”

Sadly, after 3 months, Darko had to return to Canada for work, and it seemed their blossoming relationship had come to an end. “I thought our journey would be over and we would remain as friends, but we kept in contact every day until he came back 3 months later for another 3 months in Rio together,” Ana wrote.

Three years after Darko fell, or at least stumbled, in love at first sight, the couple was married and recently celebrated their 6th anniversary. All because of a chance Airbnb booking in “Fabio’s Pantry.”

Airbnb brought Ana and Darko together and continues to be a big part of their lives. “We went on a big trip together in 2016/2017 to Southeast Asia, and we stayed in tons of Airbnbs in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia,” Ana wrote. Her relationship with Airbnb, which started in Rio and moved on to Asia, has now gone worldwide.

“By 2017, I was recovered and traveling the world as a program manager for entrepreneurship programs. I had projects (and Airbnbs!) in Brazil, Guatemala, Panama, USA and East Canada (New Brunswick) and luggage all over the world,” Ana wrote.

In 2018, Darko took Ana to his birthplace, the former Yugoslavia, which is now Bosnia, and they visited Rovinj by the sea, a place Darko fondly regards as paradise. Naturally, they used Airbnb during their trip, extending their stay across various Croatian cities.

Darko and Ana’s story is a beautiful example of serendipity's role in people’s lives. The right people found each other in the perfect place and had all the time in the world. Nice job, Airbnb. If any aspiring screenwriters read this, “Fabio’s Pantry” is a great name for the film adaptation.