"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, 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 into the emergency room, a tradition that had become familiar during the last few months as he battled with cancer. I was taking a walk downtown the next morning when my mom called to tell me that the doctors were giving him two to three months to live, but that he should be home on Thursday or Friday. We talked about getting the whole family together for Christmas, and how to make his last few months as comfortable and happy for him as we could.
Late Tuesday night, I was sleeping on a couch in the waiting room when his nurse came and woke me up. He'd taken an unexpected turn for the worst, and they didn't know whether or not he'd make it through the night. The next six hours are still a blur -- and a testament to the fact that I'd chosen to marry the most amazing woman in the world. After everyone had gone home for some much needed rest on Wednesday night, we went for a walk, 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 it any other way."