There are many things we place value on in life: getting an education, bringing home enough money to pay all the bills, getting married, and starting a family. However, not everyone has the same idea of what’s important in life. Some people may even share the same values but prioritize them differently. But one thing is for certain for most people: family comes first, especially when a loved one has fallen ill.
For Becky Carey, getting engaged to the love of her life back in 2018 was an important and thrilling milestone in her life. But when the engagement photoshoot was coming up, she had other plans. Her father, U.S. Air Force Colonel Timothy Carey, who had been diagnosed with stage 4 prostate and pancreatic cancer four years prior to her engagement, was worried that he wouldn’t get the opportunity to attend his daughter’s upcoming wedding. So, along with her fiance’s approval, Becky canceled the engagement photoshoot and had her photographer film a video of her and her father instead.
Behind the camera lens on October 14, 2018, Timothy and his daughter engaged in what they called a “just in case dance” to his favorite song “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers. The emotional, caught-on-film dance would be a replication of the traditional father-daughter wedding dance we all know and love, just in case Timothy had already passed away before his daughter’s big day.
“We whispered to each other this was just practice, but I choked up at the end, realizing how important it was,” Becky said in an interview with Good Morning America.
Becky knows she did the right thing. Even the owner of Bonnie Turner Photography thought the same: “Photos are everything you have when people are gone; it’s what we have to look back on to feel that person with us.”
Becky was lucky to get the footage of her father when she did because on March 29, 2019, her father past away peacefully in his sleep before her September 2019 wedding date.
Not only was Photographer Bonnie touched by Becky and her father’s situation, but she felt compelled to do something to help.
“I shared their heartfelt story on Facebook and so many of you have given a tremendous outpour of love. You all have asked to donate to her engagement photos and wedding expenses,” Bonnie shared online.
So, in response, she set up a GoFundMe page for Becky’s family.
“Not only could they use the help with the wedding, but her darling mom, who stood right by his side and cared for her husband for years, could also use some relief with any kind of medical, funeral, and/or home expenses,” Bonnie explained in the description on the GoGundMe page.
Since the page was put up, over $8,000 has been donated.
Although Becky and her family were able to receive monetary relief during their difficult moment, the wedding would not be the same without Timothy. But thanks to the stunning footage shot by Bonnie, Becky still felt like her father attended the wedding as they played the video of their father-daughter dance over a big screen among all of the guests. Everyone cherished the touching footage while mourning the loss of the strong man who had an incredible, 30-year-long military career and courageous battle with cancer.
“I had been in chosen denial about how sick he was. We were able to talk and laugh… He fought cancer harder than anyone. He should have died at least seven times prior. I know he was holding on for me,” Becky said.
View the images from the emotional father-daughter photoshoot session below. Although her father is no longer here, the photos and video Bonnie Turner shot and the memories that were made that day will always be there!