Lisa Wilson knew her father wouldn’t be there to dance with her on her wedding day. Her father, David, was in the hospital battling a rare form of cancer, so– at the 11th hour– Lisa decided to cancel her elaborate wedding plans, opting to move the wedding day up a week and marry her future husband at her father’s bedside instead.
Holding the nuptials at the UCI Medical Center wasn’t the wedding she’d envisioned as a child, nor was it what she had planned during her engagement. But her father’s attendance was so important that she and her husband, Robert Pantoja, were willing to make the sacrifice.
In late August, 2014, Lisa and Robert married by her father’s side.
Just 10 days after the ceremony, David passed away. But Lisa will always cherish the memory of saying “I do” with David as their witness, and Lisa will never forget their father-daughter dance.
“I said, ‘Daddy, I want to do my father-daughter dance with you,’” recalled Lisa. “He said, ‘I can’t dance,’ and I said, ‘You don’t have to. I want to dance with your hands.’”
And they did, to Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”
David Wilson told his daughter’s new husband, “Rob, you’re the lucky one. You won the lottery. You got my baby girl,” and called the bedside wedding “the best gift a daughter could give.”
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