Your wedding is supposed to be a magical day where your family and friends gather to witness you say your vows and promise to spend the rest of your life with your new husband or wife. Weddings are such an important day that many couples plan it for a year or longer and families from both sides of the aisle make special arrangements to attend the ceremony, especially if they live out of town.
Thomas and Ellen were no different; they spent two years planning their perfect wedding at Disney World and couldn’t wait for their close family and friends to share in their special nuptials at the Magic Kingdom.
However, as the wedding drew nearer, they learned that they would be without one very special family member: Thomas’ dad Tommy. Tommy suffers from Parkinson’s disease, late-stage kidney cancer, and Hepatitis C. There was no way he would be able to make the trip to Orlando and nurses weren’t even sure how much longer Tommy would make it, period.
Knowing how much Thomas meant to his dad, the nursing home staff along with Thomas and Ellen planned a special surprise ceremony four weeks ahead of their actual wedding in Disney.
It turned out that Ellen had a few family members that couldn’t make the destination wedding so they attended the one at the nursing home instead.
“We try hard to do things like this for families,” Mary Walaszek, the director of activities for the nursing home said. “People have this impression of nursing homes as dark and dreary and full of death. We want to make sure we remind people: Life still happens.”
Those caring people made life happen for Tommy and his son. “This is the highlight of my life,” Tommy said after the festivities. “I’m just so overwhelmed by your love, and I hope I give you love, too.”
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The nursing home through a beautiful wedding for Thomas and Ellen and there wasn’t a dry eye in the place.
“I feel wonderful today, I really do,” Tommy said. “I just love my son so much. He’s such a good guy. I’m so proud of them.”
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