Rachel Wolf, 25, isn't even engaged, but earlier this month, she donned a wedding dress and got her hair and makeup done just like she hopes to for her real wedding one day. Then she danced a first wedding dance with her father, Dr. James Wolf.
Today showcased their story, and it's both beautiful and heartbreaking, as the reason they fast-forwarded to this moment is because Dr. Wolf is dying. He has pancreatic cancer and has been given less than three months to live. "There are a lot of things that I would've liked the girls to experience with me being there," he said in an interview. "And I'm not going to be there."
His daughter's wedding was one of them, but they came up with this so that he could be there in a way, no matter what. So they danced -- under a gazebo in a park to the song "Cinderella," as friends, family, and strangers watched. It's absolutely gorgeous in so many ways.
What a gift for both of them, as painful as I'm sure it was.
A wedding is one of the moments in life that as parents we dream of from the time our children are born. We see them sidle up to a little boy or girl at playgroup, and suddenly we're imagining them walking down the aisle. To even think that you might not be alive to witness it is excruciating.
In addition to weddings, it's things like a baby's birth, their first steps, their first birthday, losing their first tooth, getting a driver's license, their first date, and having a child of their own that we look to as monumental markers in their lives. And they are, but it's also the random minutes in between, like those little snuggles in bed, or giggles in the car, or a long talk where you realize how much they're growing that are just as important.
We don't want to miss any of them, but unfortunately sometimes we're given no choice. The best we can do is cherish those that we can and soak up each ounce of joy they bring.
What moments in your child's life have been the most special to you? What would you most want to do with your children if you knew you were dying?
Image via Today