“The only reason that I’m still holding on”, he’d said to me a few weeks earlier “is that I want to be here to see you and Stephanie get married and be happy.”
On a Monday evening in late October 2008, less than a week before my wedding, my dad went into the hospital. I rode with him in the ambulance and walked beside him as they wheeled him though the emergency room doors, a tradition that had become familiar as he battled with cancer. The next morning, his oncologist told us that while he’d be back home with us soon, that no more could be done. We made plans to get the entire family together for Christmas, and to make my Dad’s final weeks as joyous and filled with love as we could.
Late the next night, I’d fallen asleep on a couch in the waiting room when a nurse came and woke me up. He’d taken an unexpected turn for the worst. The next six hours were a blur – and a testament to the fact that I’d chosen to marry the most amazing woman in the world. Stephanie and I went for a walk to clear our heads, and out of nowhere she said the exact words that had been running through my mind all evening: “I think that we should get married in the hospital with your dad. It doesn’t feel right to do things any other way.”