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5.13.2009

The Father of the Bride

This isn't going to be a happy post. Like... not even a little bit. There is something that I have never mentioned on my blog, and it has been itching at me for awhile. Regardless of how much planning I do and how many projects are on my list, there is one very important element that will undoubtedly be missing from my wedding. That element is the Father of the Bride.

Just over 7 years ago, my Father passed away after a long and difficult battle in and out of the hospital that we still don't fully understand. We were told for several months that he had a blockage in his duodenum but that it wasn't cancerous and could be removed. On Halloween of 2001, we were told that it was cancerous. And then literally the very next day we were told that it was not. He was in the hospital for months on end while my patient and devoted Mother sat beside him day in and day out and would not leave his side unless forced to do so. He lost weight quickly due to the blockage and each time that I saw him, it became painfully harder to look at the strong and powerful man that I had known for 20 years as he lay in a hospital bed filled with tubes looking increasingly more frail and lifeless.

On the afternoon of January 24th, 2002, I had just returned to my apartment after my classes at UK when my sister called to tell me that our Dad had a perforated bowel and that they were going to have to do emergency surgery to fix him. I threw a bunch of clothes in my bag and sadly, something told me then and there that I needed to bring something to wear to my Father's funeral. UK is approximately 115 miles from my hometown, and I made it there in approximately 63 minutes. My friend Haley and her Mom had called me on the way to tell me that they were on their way to the hospital to meet me there in case we needed anything. To this day, I'm not sure they know how much that meant to me.

I met my family along with my friend and her Mom in the waiting room and sat impatiently for about 15 minutes until a doctor said he would like to speak with the family in another room. We followed the doctor and he proceeded to tell us everything that happened during the surgery. I don't remember anything that he said until the very end of his description when he said "and then we lost him... and we couldn't get him back."

Since that day, not a single day has gone by that I have not thought about my Father in some capacity, and the last 14 months of planning a wedding without him have made that even worse. My Dad and I had talked about my wedding a lot. I am the baby of the family, and he always told me that my wedding day would be such a sad day for him because it would mean that all of his children were gone and on their own. We talked about what we would dance to at the reception. We had it narrowed down to Life's A Dance by John Michael Montgomery because he said that song had made him think of me since I had gone to college; or Blueberry Hill by Fats Domino because he taught me how to play it on the piano... and he sure did like to sing and dance around to that song.

As a small tribute to my Daddy, here is the bouquet charm that I will carry on my wedding day, along with a few pictures from our rehearsal video.


As I sit here with tears streaming down my face, I know in my heart that I would give up all of the work, money and time that has been put into this wedding if only my Father could be here to see it. Thank you for reading, and for allowing me to share a very important part of my story.

23 comments:

Prep-E Girl said...

You're very brave for telling us this. It couldn't have been easy. Your photos are so nice and the bouquet charm is beautiful.

I wish I could say something to make it just a little bit easier - but, there really are no words.

Just remember that your dad is watching over you from above, always.

Much love!

-E

Christin said...

What a great tribute to your father. Like I've mentioned on my blog, my dad died when I was young. I plan on having a picture of my dad in a locket in my bouquet.

Have you decided who will walk you down the aisle? My mother's remarried now, but I'm having my father's father walk me down the aisle.

I plan on having a picture of my parents and a picture of my fiances parents cutting their cakes on their wedding days next to our cake at the reception. That may be another good way to incorporate your dad/parents into the day.

:)

Erica said...

Thank you for sharing this with us, I just recently lost someone very close to me as well and am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for posting about the bouquet charm because I am already looking into them on Etsy for my walk down the aisle! My Pop-Pop is going to be at my wedding one way or another =)

Kim said...

I know that your dad will be watching down on your wedding! I love the charm you are putting on your bouquet, it's such a great touch and tribute to him.

LovesPINKandPEARLS said...

im proud of you for being so strong! personally being there, having lost my mom, youre being such a trooper. and im sure your dad will be looking down on you with a huge smile and a proud heart!

chin up! smile!

ill be praying for you!

amberpeace said...

Thank you,

3 years ago, my cousin - the girl I have been closest to my entire life - died suddenly in a car crash. I was half a world a way. I never got to attend the funeral, I've never really had any closure. I always assumed she would be my maid of honor. Now I'm planning my wedding, and she isn't here for it. I have a charm with her picture that I'll be wearing.

Prayer for you and love.

Ashley said...

You are incredibly strong to tell this story. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss and it must be even harder to live without knowing why. I like the idea of the charm. It's a great way to honor your father.

Lynsey and Brian said...

You are very strong in sharing this. Your father would be proud of you. It's a wonderful tribute to him and I know he will be watching over you on your big day. And he will be smiling the entire time. I'll be thinking about you and praying for you.

Domestic Designer said...

What a wonderful tribute to your father and what a beautiful touch to carry the charm on your bouquet. I know that your Dad will always be in your heart and I believe he will be looking down on you on your special day with a big smile on his face. God Bless!

Sarah Elizabeth said...

That was really brave of you to share that on here. It's such a personal part of your life and I feel blessed that you trusted us enough to reveal your thoughts. I can see how this is hard for you. Although I can't understand your exact situation, I know that your family and friends will be there to support you when you need it on your big day.

august15bride said...

Whew. I have tears filling my eyes. Especially when I read the part about your father/daughter dance songs. I'm not sure how we deal with having someone missing at our wedding. I'm trying to figure it out. But unlike you, I haven't been brave enough to blog about it...yet. Thanks for sharing.

Prissy Southern Prep said...

How strong and courageous you are to be able to share this story. I can't imagine the pain you felt that or still feel right now. You will be in my prayers. I just don't know that I could deal with losing anyone so close to me as my Dad. I will pray for your continued strength and a peace on your wedding day. God Bless you for sharing this. And, I think the things you are doing at the wedding in his memory are precious.

The Mrs. said...

I can not tell you how much your story has touched my heart. You are so brave to share it and to open up your heart to all of us. We will be praying for you and lifting you up. I love the special touches you are incorporating to make your dad part of your wedding.

Much Love!!!

Dana said...

Thanks for sharing such a personal moment with us. Your father will be with in spirit and he will always be in your heart.

Always Organizing said...

Thank you for sharing this deeply personal part of your life with us. Nothing can fill the hole in your heart from losing him, but I know your dad will be with you on your wedding day and watching over you. The way you are choosing to honor him is just wonderful.

jessica lynn said...

hey girl! not sure if you read my little blog or not, but my dad passed away 3 months before our wedding....i was {and still am} devestated. just know that your dad will be there, in spirit throughout the day. you'll feel/notice him in the smallest little things and it will still be a beautiful day. he will be so happy for you and proud of you. i looked at it as that my Dad had the best seat in the house {heaven} to watch me marry my best friend. :) if you want some ideas as to other small ways to honor him on your big day, i would love to chat with you about it! :)
hugs and hugs from someone that knows how you're feeling and what youre going through.

Alicia, Brandon and Reagan said...

I LOVE the idea of the charm...absolutely the perfect touch. Whenever I think of my dad and the things he is missing out on, I remind myself that he is no longer hurting anymore and that we made so many memories before he passed. Arlie would be so proud of you and everything you have accomplished. He would be blown away by all of the work you've done for your wedding. You have to remember that he is always with you and will be there watching next weekend with a huge smile on his face.

Kristal said...

My dad will be in attendance at my wedding but will have no role in the wedding itself. It's hard for me to think about because when I was little I always dreamed of him walking me down the aisle and giving me away and then there's the daddy daughter dance. I'm so sorry that you dad will not be at your wedding in person but I'm sure you know he will be looking down on you beaming, so proud of you. :)

The Adventures of Maverick & the Mrs. said...

Bless your heart. I know I don't know you personally, but none the less, I'm sitting here with tears for you, my blog friend. How special to have that boquet charm. He'll be watching down on your big day! Hugs to you.

KLC said...

Such a touching post! Your dad will be smiling down on you for sure on your big day! Xoxo

Morgan said...

Hey, I gave you an award on my blog! So come by to get it!!

Jenny.Lee said...

Thank you for sharing such a personal moment with us. I went through a similar situation with my Mother before she passed in 2001. I so wish she could have been there on my special day and met her grandchildren.

Hannah D. said...

Ok seriously, talk about a loving post. Your dad would be beyond proud of everything you have accomplished.

Our stories about losing our dads are eerily similar and I already know how difficult it will be come my wedding day (I already cry about it sometimes too). You are so beautiful, poised, and classy that I know you will make it through.

Your charm idea is so lovely and heartfelt too, I love it. I've always said that when I get married, I will melt my dad's wedding band and make it an inner layer of my ring.