Most fathers dream of the day that they get to walk their daughters down the aisle. Unfortunately, some men don’t live long enough to see that happen.
U.S. Army Veteran Willie Shelton of Millersburg, Ohio had long dreamed of that day. Well, seven days because he had seven, yes seven, daughters.
“The one constant was always, ‘I want to see my girls grow up, and I want to walk them down the aisle,’” his wife, Cheryl Shelton, told Fox 8.
Shelton, however, was diagnosed with terminal cancer and knew he wouldn’t be able to give them all away on their wedding day. So, his family came up with a secret plan to make his dream a reality.
Within a few days —and some help from LifeCare Hospice, David’s Bridal, Taylor Elchert Photography, and a local hair studio— their plan was ready to take action. Shelton would get to see all seven of his daughters in wedding gowns on the same day.
“We had this idea we put together in three days,” Cheryl said. “We got all the wedding gowns for the girls and hospice helped us out a great deal with some of the planning.”
On the big day, Shelton thought he was only going to be giving away his eldest daughter Emily Flinn as she renewed her vows.
Since she was married in a courthouse but there was never a formal ceremony where he could give her away so this was his chance. The family gathered in their backyard as Shelton, who was in his dress uniform, watched all seven of his daughters walk out in beautiful white gowns.
“He looked a little confused, and then it was just great to see everybody,” said Flinn.
Shelton ended up passing away about two weeks after the ceremony.
“I always assumed that my dad would be there to walk me down the aisle and when the possibility was there that he wasn’t going to be able to — this was everything,” said Lindsey Shelton.
Even though he has passed, each of the girls will still have a piece of their dad with them on their wedding day. They each have a locket with a photo of them and their father in their wedding dress with the words “a father’s love never ends” inscribed on the back.
“Even though part of the dream was fulfilled last week, when they get married, the rest of it will be because he will still be with them,” said Cheryl.
You can watch Fox 8’s exclusive story on the Shelton family in the video below.
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Source: Fox 8