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Are you ready to learn a little something about love?
Okay, prepare the tissues. We've rounded up the top ten viral love stories of the year. These stories are the ones that tugged at our heartstrings and went wild on the internet. And for good reason! These stories set the internet on fire and nearly crashed our computers, all because they revolve around the most important emotion in the world: love.
Our first story comes to us from San Diego, where Jesse and Kelly Cottle took a simple photo. But a little background first. Jesse was serving in Afghanistan when he stepped on an IED, wounding him severely and taking both of his legs. After a long recovery, he was on one of his first outings in San Diego (to a swim meet), where he met Kelly. His bravery and perseverance intrigued her, and they eventually married. This past summer, on a family trip, a photographer was called in to snap some family portraits. As they finished up, Kelly was carrying her husband back to his prosthetics when the photographer got in one more. "I was carrying Jesse back to his legs, and the photographer was like, 'Oh we’ll get a couple of shots of you together.' It wasn't planned or anything," Kelly said of the tender moment. Their love and devotion to each other is clear in this portrait. Jesse said of being wounded, "If I hadn't stepped on that IED I wouldn’t have met her. I wouldn't take it back ever."
Next up we have some of the most honest and heartfelt words you will ever read. Seth Adam Smith reflected in an article titled Marriage Isn’t For You how he learned (the hard way) that marriage isn't about you, but rather the person you have chosen to spend your life with, and how you must support them and put them first. His father had some inspiring wisdom to share: "You don't marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn't for yourself, you're marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn't for you. It's not about you. Marriage is about the person you married."
Perhaps the most heartbreakingly sad, moving post on our list concerns the spoken word poet Neil Hilborn. His poem OCD (you can watch his performance here) details the rise and fall of a romance that was both created and killed by his affliction. His struggle with OCD is clear even as he recites his poem, and your heart will break for him. This spoken word piece is absolutely beautiful. The emotional range of his voice along with his intricately structured words are heartbreaking; this is such a lovely account of what it means to love someone with all that you have. PS: If this doesn't make you cry, we can't help you.
Married for 73 years, Fred wrote a sweet and powerful song about his wife Lorraine after she passed away. Submitting it to music company Green Shoe Studio's song writing contest, they recorded it and documented his reaction after hearing it for the first time. Fred's gentle nature and overwhelming love for his late wife will thaw even the coldest hearts. It's no wonder this short video made the internet blow up.
When Jessica Shyba started posting pictures of her son Beau and their new dog Theo, she had no idea they would become as popular as they did. Apparently, Beau (2) and Theo nap together every day without fail. Nothing can prepare you for the utter sweetness of these pictures. The pure adorableness of the photos is heartwarming, and reminds us of the simplicity of love in the world. She said of her project, "We are inundated with terrible, tragic news all of the time, so I think this is a refreshing, bright spot amongst all of it, and I'm happy to be a part of it." And boy is she right.
And the award for the sweetest couple of the year goes to... James and Colleen Pinegar! This adorable Utah pair brightened James's stay in the hospital by singing “You Are My Sunshine” to each other, and teaching us a little thing about love in the process. You can hear the emotion rising in their voices as they sing, and the way that James’s voice cracks with fear and love at the end will break whatever is left of your heart after getting halfway through this article. Go watch it now. Like, right now. We can wait.
Great, you're back. Moving on, we have a proposal gone wild. The video might be a little glitchy, but it's very much worth a watch. UCLA football player Stan McKay proposed to his girlfriend after a game. Now, they are as cute as all get out, but it is his teammates' reactions that will really get you. They remind us of the joy that we can take in the love of others. Never forget that!
Next up is the cute video to end all cute videos. Though intended as a tutorial on bathing babies, no one paid much attention to the technique. They were too focused on the newborns holding each other in an obvious display of love. Check out this incredible video here, and try not to melt into a gooey puddle of love on the floor.
Now we have the absolutely precious reaction that one baby had to her mother's voice. No, she wasnt' a terrible singer (actually, she's quite lovely, as you can see for yourself). But rather, the emotion was so intense for the child that she had to cry. Their love is undeniable, sharing emotion and the beauty of music through their mother-child bond.
"So things got a little crazy at my friend’s wedding…" Yeah, that doesn't even begin to describe all that this picture encompasses (though the poster on imgur tried). Wedding photobombing meets some serious photoshop skills in this amazing picture that swept the web. Seriously, who wouldn't love this?