It looked a lot like a wedding. There she was, walking down the aisle, hair perfectly coiffed, dress white and long, her dad by her side. There were bridesmaids dressed in pink and bouquets of pretty flowers. Music played while people danced, and rings were exchanged.
Despite all the trappings, Whitney Moore of Kingsport, Tennessee, wasn’t actually getting married. The ceremony was a tribute to the love between a father and his daughter, the creation of a memory that would otherwise not be shared.
Last year, Moore’s dad, David, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Doctors said he had only a few months to live.
(Story continues below.)
“It really … hit me," Moore told the Kingsport Times-News of her father’s diagnosis. "I questioned it. I got mad. I questioned God and I got mad at God. I was just wondering why it had to be my dad.”
Though she was in pain, Moore recognized that she couldn’t wallow. Time was running out, and there were things she desperately wanted to do with her dad.
Inspired by the story of Josie Zetz, the 11-year-old girl whose cancer-stricken father walked her down the aisle in a beautiful wedding-like ceremony earlier this year, Moore decided to stage a similar event for her and her family.
"I knew time was of the essence," her dad, who gave both Moore and her brother rings during the ceremony, told the Times-News. "We went ahead and planned it, did it. It was very emotional."
It might not have been a real wedding, but after the ceremony, Moore said on Instagram that she'll "cherish forever" the memory of the special day.
In a moving message to her dad, she added: "In my future I may love a man a lot, and some day I will marry him, but in the end let me remind you that no matter what happens, I'll love you and you will always be the best man I know. I promise you that I will always be your little girl."