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Terminally ill father walks 11-year-old daughter down the aisle for last family portrait

MURRIETA, CA – A man with terminal pancreatic cancer knows he won’t get the chance to walk his daughter down the aisle. So, Jim Metz, 62, hired a photographer to document a trial run with his 11-year-old daughter, Josie. The event ended up being one of the family’s final portraits together according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, which first reported the story.

The daddy and daughter wedding was the idea of photographer Lindsey Natzic Villatoro. She got her friends and the family together in the family’s back yard for the ceremony. Her friends even helped to do Josie’s make-up, hair and dress.

After a short ceremony Pastor Gary Galbraith pronounced them “Daddy and Daughter.” They walked out to share a quiet, tearful moment before returning to a reception with family and friends.

Read more: KTLA-TV

20 comments

  • Jennifer

    This was the saddest and most beautiul thing I have even seen. I tried hard ….. God Bless this family.

  • tricia matousek

    my heart is breaking for this family…thank goodness they could act out walking her down the aisle.my daughter is planning a wedding in Hawaii away from family and friends,I’m crushed at the thought that her daddy won’t ger to walk her down the aisle and the rest of the family doesn’t get to be a part of her special day

  • Ginger Paige

    Why does there always have to be at least one Debbie downer spreading negativity on a board? Watching the video I saw the words “I managed to make one little girls wish to have her daddy attend her wedding come true…” It is the wish of most (can’t speak for everyone) parents to share in that special day. It is also the dream of (most) girls to have her father be the one to walk her down the isle. And when she does get married, I imagine this video (or one very similar) will makes it way into the wedding ceremony and she will feel blessed that she was able to share the day with her dying father. The memory of her father walking with her will make her wedding that much more special.

  • Sean

    Um, Brock…you do realize that parents do not walk their children to the podium at college graduations, right?

    • Moderate Millie

      Actually, while I generally agree with Brock in terms of girls having higher goals for themselves than getting married, I don’t think Sean missed the point at all. Walking a girl down the aisle is one of those rare father-daughter milestones, that I’d argue is as much about the father as it is the woman getting married.

      Most other milestones in life, frankly, are ones that don’t require a figurative or literal walking down the aisle. While parents can be proud of the career accomplishments of their children, those accomplishments are still just those of that woman or man. Even if the parents footed the bill. But weddings, or teaching a grandchild how to fill-in-the-blank, are very much personal, family milestones.

      My “Debbie Downer” comment is, couldn’t one argue that it’s a little selfish of the dying father to have his 11-year-old go through the bells and whistles of an emotionally trying video/photo experience that really is about him, not her. It’s still sweet but she’ll be the one having to live with the bittersweet memories of having made this video.

  • Andrea

    this is absolutely beautiful. something the daughter can hold on to and look back on when she does get married..knowing her dad is there. when that day comes..a neat idea would be to retake some of the pics with some of the same props or similar ones and put those all in a wedding album with the ones taken here. i pray for the family.

  • teresa edmond

    I cried and couldn’t stop. Felt as if it was my family and that was my daddy/grandpa. This was very beautiful. My prayers go out to the family.! I know this has to be hard.! May God bless you all.! From my family to yours.! ❤❤❤❤❤

  • Stephanie

    Brock, let me address you as a woman, daughter, graduate, wife and mother… Out of all the joyous days in my life, there is only one that I wanted my Daddy by my side the most which was my wedding day. That moment of holding into your father’s arm and ceremoniously being gifted to your husband is a moment most little girls dream of. The fact that this father acknowledged he would miss this day in his daughters life, if she ever chose for herself a life long mate, is a true testimony to his character and love for his child. He loved her enough to embrace the fact he would for certain not be around when, and if, she chose to marry and he wanted to gift her that precious moment. To me and to most people, that is true limitless love.

    I am blessed to be a woman with a Dad who is alive and well for the most part. Not all women are as blessed and many women would love to have had this opportunity. Stop making this about reaching higher and appreciate it for what it is. You don’t know the conversations that little girl and her father have had. Maybe her first question to hearing the news of her fathers illness was “Who will walk me down the isle one day Daddy? I only want it to be you.”

    This is love. I pray Brock you find a love like a fathers love and see through a fathers eyes before you too exit this cruel dark world.

  • Brock Landers

    Wow Stephanie, you are watching way too much Dr Phil. I’m all good here, no issues that you need to worry your pretty little head over. I already am a father with a daughter. Sorry my realistic and honest outlook ruins your little fairy tale world.

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