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.
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