The death of a parent is never easy to endure, and losing them at a young age is especially painful. Children feel the absence of their moms and dads every day, and they long for signs that they are still with them.
Not all parents know if their time with loved ones might be cut short, but one dad did, and he decided to leave behind something special for his precious daughter—she received it 15 years after his death.
HER FATHER PASSED AWAY
When Todd Excell learned of his cancer diagnosis, he was shattered. His daughter was just a child, and he didn’t want her to grow up without him. His sickness progressed, and he lost the battle in 2001 when his precious Emily was only eight years old.
The young girl of Liverpool, New York, had to be brave in the years that followed his passing. She faced her teenage years and young adulthood without his guidance, and it was challenging because he was her hero.
THE DAD’S HEARTFELT IDEA
During his final months on earth, Excell had an idea that would mean the world to his daughter one day. The father desired to write a letter for all of the significant moments in Emily’s life.
However, his time was short, so he penned a few words for one of the biggest days in her life—her wedding day. He typed the heartfelt letter for his beloved child and crafted each word carefully.
The father knew it would be something his daughter would cherish forever, so he placed the letter in a freezer, and it waited there until the time was right.
THE WEDDING DAY
In 2016, Emily married the man of her dreams, Shakeal Darbey. The day was filled with love and joy, but the woman missed her dad immensely. She had no idea he had planned something special for her.
When her godfather and uncle, Peter, revealed the letter, she could not contain her emotions. In a heartwrenching video, Emily held her husband’s hand and wiped away tears as Peter read her dad’s words written 15 years prior.
THE LETTER SHE WOULD CHERISH FOREVER
The letter offered Emily advice and served as a beautiful reminder that her dad was still watching over her. Excell expressed his love for her and shared his desire to be by her side on the big day.
In the letter, the father wrote:
“You are my heart and soul and always will be. I’m writing this letter for your wedding day to tell you how I will not be there in body but I will be there in spirit.”
THE FATHER’S ADVICE FOR THE COUPLE
Excell left behind some wisdom for the newlywed couple and instructed them to love each other even when arguments arose, and they faced challenging times.
“Always to say ‘I love you’ to each other … It’s just the other feelings that get in the way. Love will hold the marriage together.”
A MESSAGE FOR HER NEW HUSBAND
The doting father also included a message for Shakeal. He wanted his daughter’s husband to know he was walking with them and loved them immensely.
He also included a comical note for the groom. He said:
“To the new husband. I will not be able to intimidate you or ask you a million questions before you date my daughter … But what I can do — is haunt you.”
The words left audience members in stitches and made the bride smile. Excell had a final instruction for Shakeal, and it was simple, he wanted the groom to look after his daughter and treat her like the princess and queen she was.
IT WAS AN EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE
Throughout the reading of the letter, Emily and her husband were holding back tears. The bride was stunned by the big surprise, and she was beside herself with joy.
THEY WATCHED THE VIDEO AGAIN
In the video, guests could also be heard responding to Excell’s words, and they were deeply touched. The couple shared that they rewatched the clip one year after their wedding and were delighted to have the memories.
Emily’s mother, Suzanne Excell, shared:
“Emily cried at the end with the pictures but was so happy for the memory she would keep. Shakeal laughed again at the point of being haunted and said he is on his best behavior.”
HIS WORDS TOUCHED THE WORLD
The father’s letter gained popularity online, and his sweet words touched many people. Netizens shared their own stories of loss in the comment section.
One user noted:
“I couldn’t even listen to all of it cause I was crying so hard. So glad [your] father thought ahead to give u such a special gift! I miss my father so much. [He] died from cancer too.”
Another commenter who lost their father at ten years old added that they knew how Emily felt. They expressed: “This is beautiful. But very sad. I know exactly how it feels to not have your dad there by your side on your wedding day.”
A FATHER’S LOVE IS THE PUREST
Many online community members highlighted the importance of a father-daughter relationship. They sympathized with Emily and others who walked a similar journey.
One user added a special message for Emily. They wrote:
“I wish you nothing but happiness and joy for the rest of your life. You deserve everything after all you’ve been dealt. May God bless you and your family.”
They also shared how much their dad meant to them and called a father’s love “the purest love” Emily’s story encourages us to cherish our loved ones and make more time for them while they are still with us.
Grab your tissues and click here for another heartbreakingly beautiful story about a bride who received a surprise letter from her deceased father.
Source & Credit: news.amomama.com