Last walks down the aisle
by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Electronic Communications Manager
I try to take care of you, loyal Hospice Matters subscribers, I really do. I realize that reading stories about hospice patients is not always uplifting and I do my best to not overload you with stories that will make you cry. I want to protect your fragile hearts. Today, though, I can’t do that. Sorry. Today you will probably cry. I’m just going to go ahead and put that out there. If you are a daughter or a father and don’t get even a little misty-eyed on this one, you are truly a robot.
Here’s the story (that upon reading yesterday, shattered my heart into a million tiny pieces). Fred Evans knew he had cancer but after a lung transplant, doctors discovered that his disease has spread. They then told him he only had a few months left to live. As devastating as that news was, Fred was perhaps more devastated that he wouldn’t be able to walk his two unmarried daughters down the aisle on their wedding days (neither were engaged or dating seriously at the time). So Fred decided to take matters into his own hands.
He told each daughter, Gracie and Kate, that he was planning a surprise for their mother (so they wouldn’t suspect anything) and he gave them each different times to arrive at their church. He told them to get dressed up because something special was going to happen. When his first daughter arrived at her appointed time, Fred (in a tuxedo, mind you) presented her with a bouquet and spoke to her quietly in the chapel for a few minutes. Once she realized what was about to happen, she broke down into tears. (Of course she did! Can you even imagine??) Fred walked her down the aisle (to a song he had chosen just for her) to the front of the church for a short ceremony. He then emotionally gave his daughter his blessing for the marriage he wouldn’t have the fortune to witness. When his second daughter arrived, he repeated the process, personalizing her ceremony as well. I’m surprised the church didn’t flood with the amount of tears that probably fell that day.
But Fred wasn’t done yet. He had one bouquet left. He offered it to his (shocked) wife, Karla, and asked her to take one more walk down that aisle with him. They renewed their vows right then and there, pledging to love each other for all the days they had left.
Sadly, there weren’t many. Fred passed away very shortly afterward. But I hope he took comfort knowing that before he left them, he gave his daughters and his wife a beautiful gift. He gave them a lasting image to always carry in their minds and hearts — Fred, frail but in a tuxedo, walking each down the aisle, proving three times over that the love and devotion he had for his “girls” would never end.
If you are a complete glutton for punishment, you can watch a video (pictures from the walks down the aisle set to heart-wrenching music) here.Explore posts in the same categories: cancer, end of life, hospice comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.