We all have ambitions and objectives, things we aspire to do, and experiences we wish to have.
These frequently change as a result of having children. It’s not uncommon for them to become the focal point of our world and the foundation for everything we do after that.
This was certainly the case with William “Willie” Shelton. He wished to escort each of his seven daughters down the aisle during their weddings.
Unfortunately, the US Army veteran was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) in 2017, just one day after visiting his doctor about persistent headaches.
With only weeks to go and no prospect of defeating the brain cancer, Willie realized he would never be able to fulfill his wish of marrying off all of his adored daughters’ men.
His family realized they needed to act and planned a strategy to ensure he could fulfill his heart’s goal despite having just weeks to live.
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One of his daughters, Emily Flinn, had already married in a courthouse. Still, there had been no time for him to lead her down the aisle during the informal ceremony. As a result, Willie’s wife Cheryl informed him that she was arranging for Emily and her husband to reaffirm their vows… in their backyard.
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All seven of Willie’s lovely daughters were able to come in bridal gowns and walk down the aisle separately with the support of LifeCare Hospice, David’s Bridal, Taylor Elchert Photography, a hair salon, and countless other local businesses.
Cheryl previously stated to Fox 8 News Cleveland, “This concept occurred to us in three days. We acquired all of the bridesmaids’ gowns, and hospice supported us much with some of the planning.”
“He appeared a little befuddled, and then it was wonderful to see everyone,” Flinn explained.
Not only did the entire event mean the world to Willie, but it was also an extremely emotional day for his daughters, who may not have realized what they were missing.
“I always expected my father would be there to walk me down the aisle, and the prospect that he wouldn’t was everything,” one of his daughters, Lindsey Shelton, explained.
Willie Shelton died of brain cancer two weeks after the wedding, at the age of 44.
Cheryl, his wife, stated, “This was a very moving moment for him, and it was a dream that we could achieve to the best of our ability.”
While his daughters may not have their father escort them down the aisle in the future, each of them now has a personal memory and photographs of themselves in wedding gowns with him proudly by their side.
Additional information on the story can be seen in the video below:
I’m not sure about you, but this story brought tears to my eyes. Honestly, you never truly appreciate what you have until it is gone.
It’s heartbreaking that another beloved human being has succumbed to cancer. Still, perhaps some solace can be found in the fact that he could perform this wonderful thing before he departed.