Josie Metz's father won't be there to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day. However, thanks to California photographer Lindsey Villatoro, the 11-year-old experienced what it might be like anyway.
Josie's father, Jim, 62, was already diagnosed with pancreatic cancer when he and his wife, Grace, hired Villatoro -- a mother, photographer and founder of Love Song Photography based in Menifee, California. Two years ago, Villatoro began offering photography sessions for terminal clients or clients with serious illnesses to document their journeys; she was referred to the Metz family.
"I try to showcase the person and not the illness," Villatoro told The Huffington Post during a phone conversation Tuesday afternoon.
Villatoro offered to do a shoot with the Metz's; she wanted to make Josie's last birthday with her father a memorable one. She decided to take the surprise a step further and dreamed up the idea of a wedding for Josie complete with flowers, desserts, a promise ring, and a dress from L.A. Fashion Week, so her father could walk her down the aisle.
According to the Huffington Post, Villatoro quoted Josie as saying, "this is the best day of my life."
Villatoro captured the events on camera and created a video titled "Walk me down the Aisle Daddy."
This memory is a great one for the Metz's. Villatoro told HuffPost, "There is going to come a day very soon when he's not here. So for everyone to see those moments inside their family and connect with them is a really big thing for them. They feel very blessed ... The goal when I do these things is to preserve that person. Most people focus on death and not the beauty of the person, who they were and the memories that they leave."