Two sisters likely won’t have their dad present on their wedding days, so they decided to make the magic happen earlier.
On April 18, a family of four from Texas received devastating news: father Jason Halbert had a tumour in his brain stem.
A week later, it was confirmed he had Grade IV glioblastoma multiforme, the most aggressive and deadliest form of brain cancer with a 12- to 15-month life expectancy.
After six weeks of radiation and multiple rounds of chemotherapy, it was discovered that the cancer had spread to his cerebrospinal fluid, giving him even less time — two to three months.
In an emotional post on Facebook, Jason’s wife, Nicole Halbert, shared the tragic details of her husband’s fate.
But she also accompanied the story with a beautiful series of photos of her two daughters, Kaylee, 18, and Ashlee, 16.
They decided to don white dresses and “pre-create” the traditional father-daughter dance at a wedding — the one he’ll miss when each of his daughters eventually do get married.
In one of the photos, Kaylee can be seen crying while being embraced by her dad. In another, Jason holds Ashlee tight in a loving embrace.
“The dreams they had of their daddy walking them down the aisle had come to a screeching halt,” Nicole wrote. “The certain songs they’ve played hundreds of times while imagining themselves swirling around a dance floor, in the perfect dress, in the arms of the first man they ever loved, suddenly took on new meaning.
“When our girls look back at this chapter, I want them to remember not a journey of death, but a journey of life. Take the trip, snap the pictures, eat dessert first, go see your friends, play games with your kids, make your days matter.
“When you live your life surrounded by kindness and love, you have lived your life well.”
Nicole told Today the experience was “wonderful.”
“It was really the community that pulled together to make it happen for us. It was just a little request that my girls had,” she said.
“We were lucky, because a lot of kids lose their parents suddenly and aren’t able to recreate a memory … We were lucky that we knew.”
On Wednesday, Jason took to Facebook to wish Kaylee a happy birthday.
“You are a sweetheart. Beautiful inside and out,” he wrote.
“I know I’m going to miss a significant part of your life, but I’m so grateful to have gotten 19 years.”