We always hear about how long it takes to organize a wedding. From booking the DJ to speaking to all of the vendors, but is that really what a wedding is all about? When it comes down to throwing the perfect wedding, it should really highlight the couple and their loved ones.
One Nebraska town was able to bypass all of the unnecessary fuss to give one dying man his sole wish, which was to see his daughter get married. Read on about how Dr. Dan Harrahill, a father of four, got to have his final wish come true thanks to the cleverness of one small community.
Think this is an impossible task? Click slide 10 to see how it all began.
10. A Doctor Who Touched A Community
Dr. Harrahill touched many people throughout his life as an obstetrician. When Dan Harrahill passed away, hundreds upon hundreds of people from the close-knit community left messages on the Facebook group dedicated to his memory. It’s easy to see that those who celebrated his life cherished him when he was still here.
Check out slide 8 to see how he touched many lives through his work.
9. A Passion People Hadn’t Seen Before
Shelly Harrahill, Dan’s wife, explained just how unique he was as a doctor. Speaking about his passion for his work, she said, “He just had a passion for medicine that people hadn’t seen before. He was always putting other people first. It wasn’t unusual for him to go out of his way for hundreds of people all the time.”
8. Even His Wife Had No Idea The Scope Of It All
One of the most unique things about Dr. Harrahill was his humility. His wife, who was arguably the closest to him, had no idea just how many people he made an impact on. ” I didn’t even know how many lives he had touched, by going to people’s homes and making extra phone calls and things like that.”
Check out slide 6 to see how the community gave back to Dr. Harrahill.
7. He Had Life Events Coming Up
Sadly, time stood still when Dr. Harrahill received a dire prognosis in March. Doctors diagnosed him with a later stage of colon cancer. Dan Harrahill still had a lot of life to live, despite his cancer diagnosis. He had his son Noah’s graduation and his oldest daughter Emilea’s wedding in June.
6. The Family Was Blessed By The Whole Community
According to wife Shelly, they thought they would have more time with him, despite his bad news. “We thought we would have at least five years with him. It turned out to be less than six months.” But the family was about to be blessed with amazing spirit from some generous people.
Check out slide 4 to see what happened next.
5. He Fought His Battle With One Goal In Mind
Even before his dire prognosis, Dan was fighting for his life with one goal in mind — to be there for his family. According to daughter, Emilea, the bride to be, “His goal throughout all of his chemotherapy treatments was to make it to May and June.” However, Dan’s cancer was causing him to lose time.
4. The Wedding Was Brought To Him
Due to the tragic turn of events, Mr. Harrahill was going to have the wedding brought to him. Dan’s daughter Emilea decided to move the wedding up and reached out to her mother, to let her know she wanted to exchange her vows with her husband-to-be, Kyle Harshman, at her father’s bedside.
Click to slide 2 to learn more about the special day.
3. Everyone Pitched In For The Big Day
After hearing Emilea’s plans, the community decided to band together, and pitch in to make this a possibility for the Harrahills. While one person fetched flowers, another booked a musician, and a caterer friend of the family took food in her own freezer to prepare a little something for the couple’s impromptu reception.
2. Social Media Had A Big Role
Reverand Ray Kosmicki of St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church was present to preside over the nuptials on the big day. According to Rev. Kosmicki, social media played a big role in pulling off this event. “Social media can do wonderful things, and they used it to get everyone there.”
Click to slide 1 to learn about the new perspective on an old tradition.
1. The New Perspective On The Wedding Dress
As for the wedding dress, which is usually the center of attention, it wasn’t altered yet, so they decided to do their best with a safety pin. Emilea was upset guests could see the silver pin, but one person had comforting words for her, telling the bride that this was “The part of the story that you were able to get that dress to fit to do whatever it takes to make this happen for your dad.”
In the end, these minor flaws wound up giving this makeshift wedding all the character it needed. As for Dan’s son Noah’s graduation? The town was able to throw a mock graduation on the same day, so Dan didn’t miss out on the biggest moments of his children’s young lives. According to Shelly, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, except for the bride and groom, who had made peace with the moment.
Dan Harrahill was “smiling from ear to ear the whole time.” And that is what the family will cherish when they look back on the day their community held them up when they needed it the most.
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