TOLEDO (AP) — A Michigan woman who had been planning a traditional wedding at her church instead took the ceremony to an Ohio nursing home so her father could walk her down the aisle.
Miriam and Mark Davis, of Canton, Michigan, married Saturday at the Foundation Park Alzheimer’s Care Center in Toledo.
A beaming Bernard Reeves, 64, gave his daughter away as many of the 30-some wedding guests struggled to hold back tears.
Reeves is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
“My dad has been my hero my entire life and I know that if he was well, he would be at my wedding front and center,” Miriam Davis, 31, told The Blade before the ceremony.
“And I thought, ‘Why not move it there and it would be more of a special event.”’
Davis and her husband had been planning to marry at their church in Ypsilanti, Michigan when she realized about a month ago that her father just had to be at her wedding.
She worried that if he was brought to a ceremony away from his nursing home, he might wander off.
She said the nursing home was enthusiastic about hosting the wedding ceremony.
Davis said her father still knows who she is but rarely talks and can’t care for himself.
Reeves, a Vietnam War veteran, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2006 and moved to the Toledo nursing home two years ago when his symptoms worsened.
Reeves also was a police chaplain for a time.
Most recently, he was a pastor at the New Creation Church in Detroit.
Marie Reeves, Davis’ mother and Bernard Reeves’ wife, said even though her husband may not have understood everything that was going on Saturday, his simple presence meant so much.