Every girl who dreams of getting married thinks about who is going to walk her down the aisle. For many, that person is their father, and that special walk will be a moment they never forget. For new bride Charlotte Galbraith, truer words have seldom been spoken.
Just moments after her father, 65-year-old Alan Bates, escorted her to the waiting arms of her husband to be, he died of a massive heart attack. To make the tragedy all that much more grim, Bates was in the middle of giving a speech to the newlyweds when he fell to the ground. I cannot even begin to fathom the horror that must have enveloped that reception.
The bride was quickly rushed from the room by some well-meaning friends. A group of wedding guests, including an off-duty firefighter, did what they could to help revive Bates. Unfortunately, they were too late. The family accompanied Bates to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead.
Charlotte described the whole event as being an unreal blur. That's probably putting it mildly. The happiest day of her life quickly turned into the stuff of nightmares. Still, she will always cherish the photos taken of her father during the ceremony, and the memory of him escorting her to meet her husband, the father of her 2-year-old daughter. "The most important thing," she said, "was that he got to walk me down the aisle and saw us get married." In a confusing time doubtlessly filled with much grief, the happy moments before her father's death are sure to provide her with strength and comfort.
Can you imagine anything so awful happening at a wedding?
Image via silent shot/Flickr