Man Finds Photo of His Late Wife in the Wedding Dress He Never Got to See

man finds picture of late wife in wedding dress
Love What Matters/Facebook

Every now and then, you'll hear a story that reminds you to not take your loved ones for granted. John Polo and his late wife's story is one of those. In January 2016, Polo lost his wife Michelle, 30, to the cancer she had been battling for three years. The following week, he was going through the photos on her phone when he came across something that left him "both happy and devastated," according to his post on the Love What Matters Facebook page. 

  • He came across a photo of her in her wedding gown, which he never had the chance to see her in.

    Michelle was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 when doctors found a tumor in her kidney. It turned out to be a rare type, called proximal-type epithelioid sarcoma (PES). The loving couple rushed to get married in a courthouse right before Michelle's first surgery, "not knowing if she would make it out alive," he wrote.

    "I had to hold her up from the pain but we wanted to make sure it was legal and official before her surgery," Polo told the Huffington Post. "Immediately after we exchanged vows, we went to the emergency room and the nurses brought us wedding cake."

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  • After the surgery, they were told her cancer was terminal, and the two planned a real wedding. But she didn't make it to the real wedding.

    "She died two weeks before it was scheduled to take place," he wrote in his post. The surgery was thought to be a success, but the cancer returned and spread to her liver, ovary, tailbone, and lungs.

    "I have so many regrets," he continued. "Not getting to see her walk down the aisle is atop that list. But, she got that dress. Her dream dress."

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  • He recalled how, while in hospice, she would talk about how much she loved the dress and how she was so excited for the wedding.

    The wedding was slated to take place in February 2016 at the Ivy Hotel in Chicago, and she was planning to walk down the aisle to "At Last" by Etta James.

    "She wasn't coherent enough to realize that she wasn't going to make it to there," he wrote. 

  • The two had a long history together, dating in high school before going their separate ways and reconnecting in 2011.

    Polo plans on saving Michelle's wedding dress for her daughter, who is his stepdaughter. 

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    "I lost the love of my life and didn't think I could survive it, but I did," he told the Huffington Post. "It's only because of the strength that she gave me."