Langford, B.C. father of 6 with inoperable cancer gifted 'magical' wedding
LANGFORD -- Josh and Melissa were in their 30s when they happened to meet in a local pub, and encounter he calls "fate."
"We weren’t in our 20s," Josh laughs, reminiscing about the late nights and long talks that followed. "But we definitely acted like we were in our 20s!"
"I thought, ‘Man! He’s beautiful!’" Melissa recalls their first meeting. "He was funny. He made me feel like I was the only person in the pub!"
Melissa says they were inseparable after that. Josh wrote a message to her on social media describing his love as uncontrollable, undeniable, and the best thing that had happened to him in years.
Perhaps the very best thing was how well his three kids and her three kids connected.
"Brady Bunch! Baseball team! Whatever!" Melissa smiles. "We really just became a family."
So, Melissa proposed. When I ask how Josh answered, he breaks into a big smile: "Oh yeah, I said yes!"
Their life couldn’t have been going better until Josh suddenly couldn’t have been feeling worse.
"The doctor said to me, ‘This isn’t good.’" Josh recalls, before struggling to hold back the tears. "‘It’s cancer.’"
"The first thing (I think about) is all my children. How are the children going to take this?" Josh cries. "I didn’t care about me."
Josh was just 35. Now he says the stage four stomach cancer is inoperable and has spread throughout his body to his brain.
"We definitely don’t have the time," Melissa says. "So last week we decided to postpone our wedding indefinitely."
That’s when Josh’s cousin, Brittany, contacted a wedding dress maker named Lily and asked for help.
"How do I not do this? I have to do this," Lily recalls thinking after hearing about Melissa and Josh’s situation. "I can [help]. So why wouldn’t I?"
So Lily reached out to a dozen local wedding professionals, including Tasha Cline Photography, Tanner Biggan Productions and Outlooks for Men. They agreed, despite losing so much work during the pandemic, to donate their goods and services to the couple.
"[Melissa and Josh] don’t have everyday to look forward to," Lily says. "So they need just one special, happy day."
The professionals condensed a year's worth of organizing into just three days and the love of a lifetime was celebrated in one perfect afternoon.
"It was magical," Melissa says, recalling how all six children played a role in the ceremony. "It was perfect."
"I’m super proud to call her my wife," Josh says between tears. "Super proud to have her by my side."
And they're super grateful for the priceless gift of having one more day to make countless more memories surrounded by their children together.
"That to me is the point of life — family," Josh says. "To be happy and love each other."