“I grew up in a loving Christian household with my mom Missy, dad Kory and big brother Parker. My brother and I grew up playing sports, mine being soccer and Parker was baseball. Our parents would watch just about every game, or they would switch and each would watch one of us. My dad knew nothing about soccer and neither did mom, but they always cheered me on and supported me. Even after deciding last minute to play in college, they both supported me and made my dream come true.
Every time I came home on the weekends, dad and I would stay up for hours talking about everything. We became very close. One day I brought home my boyfriend at the time, Taylor, and dad loved him. Finally, he asked dad for my hand in marriage. They talked for hours and eventually brought mom and I into the room. Dad gave us their blessing and told us he loved us.
Taylor and I decided to transfer to Tarleton State University to start a new semester, we were engaged and at a new school. Everything was different but we loved it. About a week and a half before my 20th birthday I got a call from my big brother Parker, telling me that my dad was being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. Parker told me not to worry, but that he would give me updates on what was going on. The next few calls began with crying, saying that dad had a brain bleed and there was no way they could do surgery or do anything at all to stop the bleed. The last call I received from Parker was him telling me that I needed to get home — that dad wouldn’t make it. As soon as I got off the call, I fell to the floor and screamed. Taylor was there for everything.
We packed up and left Tarleton to make our way home at 1:30 a.m. During that drive, I told Taylor that if we got there and knew for sure that dad wouldn’t make it, I wanted to get married in dad’s hospital room while he was still here with us. On April 18, 2018, Taylor and I rushed around town to get our marriage license and get the 72-hour waiver signed so we would be able to get married that day. After we got everything done, we stopped by my house to rest and get ready for the wedding. Taylor didn’t have nice clothes so he borrowed some from Parker. I didn’t have nice clothes either so I borrowed a white shirt and jeans from my mom.
Before leaving the house, my mother handed me a small package. Inside was a pearl necklace that my dad’s father gave to my grandmother for their wedding day, and my grandmother gave it to my dad to give to my mom on their wedding day. Before dad had his brain stroke, he asked my mother if he could give them to me for my wedding day. Before leaving the house, my mother helped put the pearl necklace on me.
After getting to the hospital, I immediately went to my dad’s room. All the nurses in ICU searched the hospital for things to decorate the room with. They went above and beyond what their job is and I will forever be thankful for them.
After everyone arrived and Taylor and I talked to the pastor that married us, we got everyone in dad’s room. During that time, I asked dad’s best friend Jim to walk me down the ‘aisle,’ AKA the hospital hall.
Once everyone was in his room we decided to start the ceremony. We had a song playing while Jim walked me down the aisle and finally made it inside dad’s room and in front of my now husband.
After Taylor and I were married, we went around hugging everyone and thanking them for being there. After most everyone left I had some time with dad and told him that Taylor and I were finally married and that I knew he would be proud. At that point, I knew my dad wasn’t coming back.
The next day, dad opened his eyes. We took that as a gift that dad was telling us that we did the right thing and that everything would be okay. On April 22, 2018, at 2:30 a.m., we all went down to the operating room. Mom, Parker and I stood next to dad as his heart stopped. Dad is now up in heaven and watching over all of us.
I wish I could just have one more hug, or one more ‘I love you,’ or to just hear him laugh and see him smile. I sure do miss and love you daddy! I will forever have a sweet angel watching over me.”
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