Wednesday, October 12, 2016

My Daughter’s Wedding

Three dates I'll always remember:

On October 22, 2001, I was diagnosed with MS.

On July 11, 2008, I started using a wheelchair.

On August 20, 2016, I walked my daughter down the aisle.

People from all over the country descended on Hardy Farm in Fryeburg, Maine, that weekend. Dave and Stephanie King, who got married in our backyard last summer (click here), flew in from Las Vegas. More on Dave later. Kim’s brother and his family drove from Michigan. No less than five of our friends pried themselves away from Cleveland, where the celebration of the Cavaliers' NBA championship was (and is) still going strong, to visit the woods of western Maine. Folks from every corner of New England also made the drive.

Just like last summer, my brother Tom officiated the ceremony. One of the difficult decisions Amy and I had to make was whether I would attempt to walk her down the aisle. Given the rustic setting of our venue, we would be navigating up a grassy hill, over a footbridge, around a stump, and through the dirt to get her where she needed to be. For the past couple of years, I’ve been crossing my fingers that my iBOT wheelchair would still be operational on August 20, 2016, and it was. Still, we worried that Amy’s wedding dress train would get caught up under my wheels. I really wanted to walk her down the aisle. It’s something every father dreams of. Imagine, if you will, how it might feel for someone in a wheelchair.

Amy had put me in charge of writing the ceremony. Leading up to the rehearsal on Friday afternoon, she and I were still tweaking the script, and we needed to make a decision. A crowd of people had gathered in the kitchen where I had my computer set up, so I pulled Amy aside.

“I would love to walk you down the aisle tomorrow, but …”

“Absolutely. Let’s do it. I’m only going to wear my wedding dress once. I really don’t care if it gets run over.”

I burst into tears of joy and buried my head in Amy’s shoulder. Just kidding. I was thrilled, though. I may have cracked a smile.

Everything proceeded wonderfully for the rest of the weekend. After the ceremony, Kim said Amy's train came so close to my wheels that she couldn’t understand how I didn’t run over it. Amy and I had kept our gaze on the altar, so we oblivious. Had such a calamity occurred, we would have laughed it off anyway.

Back to Dave King. On July 5, 1986, about 30 years ago, he sang a song at our wedding reception—Landslide by Fleetwood Mac. Amy appreciates history and tradition, so she asked Dave to sing the same song at her wedding. Here’s a video showing a little from both of those performances. Remember, the video of 1986 is from a 30-year-old VCR tape recently digitized, and the 2016 song was shot by Stephanie using a smart phone from about 30 feet away. However, the message of friendship spanning decades and generations couldn't be more clear.

For those of you receiving this through email, please click here to watch the video.

And here are a few more photos from Amy’s wedding. Click on individual pictures to enlarge them.

Kim and I being introduced…

 Kim's father quite ably stepped in for me
 on the father/daughter dance…


  1. Congratulations to the father of the bride. I'm surprised you weren't in the 'standing' mode of your chair for the group photo.

    Best wishes too your daughter and her beloved for a long and happy life together.

    1. I definitely considered balance mode for the group photos, but the ground was very rough and uneven, and it takes me about 5 seconds to transform from four-wheel-drive to balance mode, and the photographer was moving people in and out at lightning speed… No, you're right. I should've been in balance mode!

  2. Beautiful bride, beautiful pictures, beautiful story!

  3. What a joyous celebration! It doesn't get much better than that!!!

  4. Love every single thing about this. Seems as if it could NOT have gone more smoothly. .........Ginny F.