+
Family

Dad with terminal cancer pre-creates wedding dance memories with his two daughters

Oh, my heart.

Dad with terminal cancer pre-creates wedding dance memories with his two daughters

When Jason Halbert got the news that he had an incurable, inoperable brain tumor, his family's life took a dramatic shift. He was initially given a life expectancy of 12-15 months, but after the cancer leaked into his cerebral spinal fluid, that prognosis was shortened to 2-3 months. With two grown daughters, the Halberts had looked forward to a future that was suddenly and forever changed.

Jason's wife Nicole shared the story of telling their daughters about his diagnoses and prognosis on Facebook, along with the touching decision that came after.


RELATED: Viral stories of people helping strangers pay for groceries are inspiring other acts of kindness

In the now viral post, she wrote:

"Jason has always been the most attentive father. He's never missed any of their events. We have raised two daddy's girls and I was about to break their hearts. Their future suddenly looked very different. The dreams they had of their daddy walking them down the aisle had come to a screeching halt. The certain songs they've played hundreds of times while imagining themselves swirling around a dance floor, in the perfect dress, in the arms of the first man they ever loved, suddenly took on new meaning. In a quiet voice, holding back tears, they asked if they could have "their" dance. Yes, YES! You will have your dance! We create memories, we recreate them, why not PRE-create a moment?"

Friends and acquaintances immediately rallied to make those memories happen. People offered wedding dresses, hair and makeup, a facility, videography, and photography, without hesitation. "These people didn't just make it happen," Halbert wrote, "They made it perfect."

She continued:

"The day of the dance, the sun was shining through gray rain clouds, sunlight mixing with rain showers. I realized, afterwards, how appropriate the weather was for this day. That is what we've been doing through this whole journey, trying to find the light among the darkness, the sunshine in the rain. There was laughter and tears but in the end, there was an everlasting memory. There's a quote I love 'Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's learning to dance in the rain.' Our girls and their daddy did just that."

The photos are gorgeous, and the love between this daddy and his daughters is palpable. Thousands of people have shared the post with comments about how much it touched them, what a good reminder it is to seize the moments we have with our loved ones while they're here with us, and how much these young women will cherish those photos the rest of their lives.

RELATED: A photographer mom shoots portraits of girls in sparkly dresses and sports equipment because YES.

Nicole shared the reason the family decided to share the photo shoot with the world, instead of keeping it as a special, private moment. She also requested that people research Glioblastoma Multiforme and Leptomeningeal Disease, the tumor and condition that Jason was diagnosed with.

"We wondered if sharing this private moment was appropriate and although we are keeping the video tucked away for safe keeping until the girls' wedding days, we felt it was necessary to share a few of the photos. We wanted to share for a couple of reasons. One, when you are faced with having to fit a lifetime of memories into a few months, you pray hard and you lean into the people who love you. So many of you have been there for us through this journey and we wanted to share this moment with you. Two, there may be other young girls and boys out there that are faced with losing a parent, maybe struggling with the loss of what's to come. Maybe this story can strike an idea for someone else to PRE-create their moments, so feel free to share it.

Please SHARE it! It was because someone shared a similar story that planted this seed, and we will forever be grateful for that, so we'd like to pay it forward. And the last and most important reason we decided to share is to ask that anyone reading this researches Glioblastoma Multiforme and Leptomeningeal Disease. They are both extremely rare and get very little attention. Those living with this beast need more research, more funding, and we need a CURE! Having more people fighting along side those of us in this war is what will create much needed change."

Finally, Nicole reminded us all that it's how we live our lives that matters more than how long.

"When our girls look back at this chapter, I want them to remember not a journey of death, but a journey of life. Take the trip, snap the pictures, eat dessert first, go see your friends, play games with your kids, make your days matter! When you live your life surrounded by kindness and love, you have lived your life well."

A heart-wrenchingly beautiful reminder for us all.

All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Two couples move in together with their kids to create one big, loving 'polyfamory'

They are using their unique family arrangement to help people better understand polyamory.

The Hartless and Rodgers families post together


Polyamory, a lifestyle where people have multiple romantic or sexual partners, is more prevalent in America than most people think. According to a study published in Frontiers in Psychology, one in nine Americans have been in a polyamorous relationship, and one in six say they would like to try one.

However popular the idea is, polyamory is misunderstood by a large swath of the public and is often seen as deviant. However, those who practice it view polyamory as a healthy lifestyle with several benefits.

Taya Hartless, 28, and Alysia Rogers, 34, along with their husbands Sean, 46, and Tyler, 35, are in a polyamorous relationship and have no problem sharing their lifestyle with the public on social media. Even though they risk stigmatization for being open about their non-traditional relationships, they are sharing it with the world to make it a safer place for “poly” folks like themselves.

Keep ReadingShow less

Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

Keep ReadingShow less