John has dedicated his life to his children. He worked blue collar jobs in factories, sometimes two or three at a time, to support his family until he retired at the age of 84. He not only made sure his children went to college, but that they each left debt-free.
When John’s daughter Lori got married in 1980, however, he and his wife were unable to travel to the wedding due to financial constraints.
“I want to fulfill my obligation as a father. I feel like I didn’t accomplish my role. We wanted to go to the wedding. The ceremony was simple. I just want to fulfill my obligation as a father. I’ve always felt guilty that I wasn’t able to give her away,” he said, tearing up.
Not only has John given to his children, he has also given to many others in his community. He has given to charity for years, and he and his wife enjoyed purchasing gifts for underprivileged kids during the holidays. Since he arrived at Brookdale Marietta in 2014, he never passes up an opportunity to assist another resident and goes to every funeral for every resident who passes away. He stayed with his wife of 68 years through every stage of Alzheimer’s until she passed away, and also cared for his wife’s mother for 15 years before she passed away.
On July 22, 2016, Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale helped make John’s wish to walk Lori down the aisle a reality when she and her husband renewed their vows. John’s oldest son and daughter played the violin and piano during the ceremony, and his other son officiated the wedding, to make the moment extra special.
After the ceremony, John said, “I feel like now for each child I have fulfilled my commitment, and it has surpassed all my expectations.” Lori, who was walked down the aisle, simply stated, “I feel like dad is whole again.”
Photo credit: Allie Bennett Photography