Last walks down the aisle

by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Electronic Communications Manager

Fred Evans_walking down the aisleI 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

Tags: , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

7 Comments on “Last walks down the aisle”

  1. David Bayer Says:

    Many of you probably skip over these posts. DON’T SKIP THIS ONE. And at the end, click on the “here” at the end to see photos set to music. You won’t regret it.

  2. Kurt Powell Says:

    Good stuff

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Suzanne Says:

    I know you warned me Andrea.. but I just had to read this anyway.. and then the glutton that I am I also watched the video…….. but it was all beautiful and puts so much in perspective… I think I will call my dad and tell him I love him 🙂

  4. Anngie Williams Says:

    Ok you got me. I thought I was gonna make it with no tears but there they are…..What a beautiful thing. Thank you for sharing!

  5. They told the girls Fred had something special planned for their mom, and gave them each a different time to arrive at the chapel […] When the girls arrived, their dad greeted them wearing a tuxedo. They each shared a special, quiet moment alone with their dad in the foyer of the chapel. He gave them each a bouquet and told them just in case he would not be there the day they get married, he wanted to walk them down the aisle and give them his blessing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: