Being the father of five children, four of them daughters, at some point I always knew that four weddings were very distinctly in my future. And as tradition has it, the parents of the bride foot the bill. Luckily, I have a set of skills that allow me to do a wedding, and especially the reception, at cost.
Recently though, my second daughter’s wedding exceeded any parent’s expectations on a variety of levels. Allow me to digress to some background.
Our second daughter, we'll call her Celia because that's her name, had a boyfriend. We'll call him Geff, because that's his name. And, no, it's not spelled wrong. Geff once asked my permission to marry Celia and I very politely recommended that he wait to marry my daughter. That was five years and two kids ago. Luckily for all of us, Rowan and Logan came along anyway.
So, young Logan, was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma (an aggressive brain tumor) at 17 months old in February 2016. He had surgery to remove a large tumor and continued with chemotherapy treatments for 6 months and was released from the hospital in August. We threw a big party to celebrate.
Awesome! Celia and Geff can continue their wedding plans. Not so fast......young Logan develops another brain tumor and is admitted to Nationwide Children's Hospital the day after Thanksgiving. The cancerous tumors spread throughout his brain and down his spine. A second brain surgery is immediately scheduled and the largest of the tumors is removed. The other tumors were inoperable and are being treated with chemotherapy and going in the right direction, for the most part.
Now comes the wedding.
Celia And Geff decide that they should not wait until 2018 to get married. Since Logan, and the parents are somewhat trapped in the hospital, they decided to get married at the chapel within the hospital.
Now if you've ever been involved in planning a wedding, there are more details that you can shake a stick at. Technically, all I must do is walk the bride down the aisle. So, because I didn't want to get in the middle of the various details because of the other issues surrounding the hospital wedding, I mainly stood on the sidelines.
So, the bride has her sisters and mother readying themselves at our Downtown apartment and my only job is to Uber the bride to hospital and walk her down the aisle. All the other details were handled by the bride and family.
Now here is where we get to some morals of this story. Because Logan is in a delicate condition, only family members could be in attendance. Because of this, only parents of the bride and groom, grandparents, two great grandparents and siblings are the only invitees. Remember that young Logan has been in a hospital room for over a month, even for Christmas, and none of the attendees have seen Logan. Including his older brother, we'll call him Rowan, because that's his name.
A wedding with only the people that really NEED to be there. No guest list to create or pare down. Just all the people in your life that matter, no disrespect to all others.
A very touching way to celebrate the sacrament of marriage. Logan and Rowan in their superhero bow ties, Geff the Groom in a white shirt and superhero tie. Very simple and quite touching. Along comes the beautiful bride, up a flight of stairs from the outer area of the cafeteria (our staging area) through a long walk through a hospital lobby. Through an enchanted forest area and wood sculptures of various rabbits and squirrels.
The bride arrives at the chapel and a brief but impactful ceremony ensues. At one point, Logan needs some attention and is lifted from his wagon by his father and the ceremony continues with Logan safely over Geff's shoulder.
Bride and Groom leave the chapel and must return to their Multifunctional Downtown Loft Apartment, aka Logan's hospital room. Mother of the Bride, we'll call her Megan because that's her name, snaps a picture of the family, less Rowan, going back to the reality of Logan's challenge with cancer.
I’ll finish by saying that a father walking a daughter down the aisle on her wedding day is one of the most emotional and honorable things a father can do. I can't be more proud of the way these two newlyweds have dealt with Logan's challenges and managed to get married in the middle of it all.
Oh yeah, the reception ended up in the back room of Dempsey's while oldest and already married sister, we'll call her Allison because that's her name, tended to Logan in his hospital room.
Thank you, Celia and Geff for being my superheroes on your wedding day.
(We’ll call me Dad because that’s my name)