October 3rd, 2013
10:25 AM ET

Dad's Dying Wish Is Fulfilled

In today's edition of the "Good Stuff," a dad's dying wish is fulfilled.

Johnny Wells will never see his 10-year-old daughter Nicole get married, so he did the next best thing. The family held a ceremony from his hospital bed, complete with a bouquet, a beautiful dress, a tux for dad, and even a pastor.

The ring is from daddy to daughter, which she'll wear until her wedding band replaces it.  In return, Nicole promised dad to find a good man to marry, and if she does, dad promised to give his blessing.

The touching video has gone viral, and has inspired families across the country to hold similar ceremonies for their dying loved ones.

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Filed under: News • The Good Stuff • Videos
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. NYC Supporter

    To some of us it may be weird, or creepy, or uncalled for or maybe they could have chosen something that we like, painting etc, but who are we to judge what the family and dying father want? or like? or would make them feel better?

    this is my opinion, so dont get bent out of shape..... but there is no "next", no waking up, no 2nd try for the father. this was his only shot to be with his family, his daughter, his wife. there is no redo. it is a permanent game over/light switch. He is done. so if this makes him happy before he cashes out, i say the more power to them. i hope they all enjoyed it and will remember it always.

    December 27, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Reply
  2. Mona Lisa

    This is what this self-centered, egotistical, get-your-15-minutes-of-fame society has created.

    Senseless, undeserving instant cyber-fame.

    October 14, 2013 at 8:20 am | Reply
  3. David

    It's not about her getting married at all. She's 10. It is about everyone doing something special for dad in his final days. What if she never marries? Who judges what a good man is? What if her mom remarries? Who cares? On the other hand, when she's 50, no matter what else happens, she'll remember this moment with her dad.

    October 5, 2013 at 8:04 am | Reply
  4. Dennis

    From one father with a daughter to another – Bravo Sir! Well done and may God bless you.

    October 4, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  5. Laura

    Some people are unbelievably stupid. This is a sweet and touching moment between father and daughter. I don't have a father, and am getting married in two weeks, and this was all the more touching. Marriage isn't a career choice for women, and to you idiotic people that say, well a Dad wouldn't do it for his son...Um, Fathers give away their little girls. If you don't want to get married or believe in it, so be it. I hope your husbands don't want to 'give away' your daughters when they get married.

    October 4, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  6. irgrannygoo

    What is with all the comments of "what if she's gay"? Well, what if she is? She is ten years old and like lots of little girls, she dreams of wearing a wedding dress and being a princess. To her, her daddy is the most wonderful person on the face of the earth. He is dying. Her father did not request this..Nakeol was upset that she would never have this time with her dad, so my sister and I put together a ceremony so that one day...when she's grown and if she decides to have a wedding, she can have this as a very special memory with her dad. Johny suffered greatly to have this ceremony, he is very, very ill and there were doctors standing outside to monitor him during this time. And for all of you that think that having that big wedding with all the fluff is sexist and a display of a patriarchal society...so what? You have not managed to kill the dreams of enough women to put the wedding industry out of business yet have you? And would we have done this if she were a boy? Well, I guess we would have if it was what would've made him happy.

    October 4, 2013 at 11:40 am | Reply
    • Mar

      Bravo and well done! I wish I would've had this opportunity with my Daddy (yes, that is what I will call him until we meet again). Your little girl will cherish this no matter what life has in store for her. My cousin married someone at her also gravely ill mother's bedside. It is what my aunt wanted – to see her youngest graduated from college and married. She fought bravely for 7 years and then passed within days of seeing her married. Hang in there, Nakeol! Life's an adventure and live it accordingly. My prince (and he is just that) was given to me when I was 19 and I married him at 20 (like you said on the video). We've been married for 34 years now and many a roller coaster in life we've ridden. This doesn't mean you have to get married when you're 20. When your heart knows, your heart knows. You will have some tough times to come but always know your family will be there for you. Stay tough and God bless.

      October 4, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Reply
    • Maer

      All those people who ask "What if she's gay?" can be told that she'll probably STILL get married. I think it's a lovely little thing, and there is a bond between a father and a daughter that most people don't get... unless they've been there. So in this time, at this day.. it's lovely.

      My MIL knew she was dying, and she gave my (then) six year old daughter a cake topper for when she gets married, because she wouldn't be there. When someone is dying you don't ask if their fondest wishes are going to have a different outcome, you go along with it. Whether my daughter decides to marry or not, straight or gay, she's gonna have a cake at some point with that decoration on it, and I'll tell her (for the millionth time) about her crazy, awesome grandmother.

      October 5, 2013 at 12:00 am | Reply
  7. jenn

    Yeah so what to some of you it may seem patriarchal and archaic...its not your life! She's going to have many life long events that her father will miss, I'm sure that high school and college graduations were on the list. But guess what, this family chose to do this! And to me the little girl doesn't look like she's being forced to do this. Here's another point to ponder...no matter how she "turns out" , gay straight or other, she will have a beautiful memory of her father! People need to look past their own prejudices and see beauty in life and try not to judge others unless you want to be judged!

    October 4, 2013 at 11:10 am | Reply
  8. Q

    Quite amusing, but when it really comes down to it, you cannot deny that this is super creepy.

    October 4, 2013 at 10:22 am | Reply
  9. Angi

    Some of you need to shut up
    Who cares if she never marries or becomes a lesbian. As a parent we want to see the best for our kids but I'm sure most of us also want to see our children walk down the isle no matter who it's to. Let the man die happy and mind your own business.

    October 4, 2013 at 9:01 am | Reply
  10. ANGIE

    So touching and I strongly believe that when that day comes for his little girl he will be there in spirit and she will feel his presence! Very sweet.

    October 4, 2013 at 2:40 am | Reply
  11. Anna

    This is super creepy, sorry. And it is drenched in patriarchal bull. It's nice that she'll have this memory but why is it always this "daddy is protector needs to give daughter to new protector" creepiness. Why is her wedding the most important thing to him? It's never for boys. Fathers are always sad they won't see their boys graduate college, or get such and such career, or have kids, but their daughter? Oh well we won't be able to see them find a "good man" to "take care of her" Why not a mock high school or college graduation ceremony, celebrating the independent human being she is going to become instead of some puritanical metaphorical incest ceremony?

    October 4, 2013 at 1:48 am | Reply
    • Karen

      I don't agree with this....It will make her whole focus in life to "find a great husband". I understand his feelings of wanting to walk her down the isle etc. but life is so much more. I agree with other posters, you would NEVER see such a display for a son.

      October 4, 2013 at 8:48 am | Reply
      • irgrannygoo

        Why would this be the whole focus of her life? It's a moment, one of many that she will have in her life. She is a very well adjusted little girl who has a blue belt in Karate, she plays sports, she attends a kids group in church and wants to be a doctor when she grows up. When she read all the comments of how she might be gay, her comment was "ew, that's creepy"..so I think we can count that out. I have a son who's gay. If my niece decides that is her lifestyle, we will discuss that when it happens. This was a private ceremony that my sister and I did for our niece to have a memory for her someday when she grows up. We posted it on Facebook for our friends and family. Some of them reposted and shared and then others picked it up. Before the night was out, the local news had picked it up. This was never done to be a public event.

        October 4, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Carl

      BS? Excuse me, but just because you may come from a different culture and upbringing where the Father is not seen as the Daughter's protector, that does not mean you have the right to call it BS. If you don't agree with it, fine, but don't call it BS you ignorant idiot. According to your reasoning, that means that just because I may not agree with Islam or Judaism, it makes it all BS. Get real...

      October 4, 2013 at 9:06 am | Reply
    • irgrannygoo

      Anna, this was done because Nakeol was sad that her daddy would not be there for this day. She's ten..she's thinking of beautiful dresses and being a princess...not to the exclusion of the rest of her life, but this is just what she was sad about. We did this for her to give her a memory for her future grown self. Her father suffered tremendously to do this for her. We even had to cut the clothes down the back to put them on him because he was in so much pain. During the filming of the video, there were doctors and nurses standing just out of sight monitoring his heart and lungs. He did these things because he loves his daughter and wanted to make her happy. This was a little girl's dream, not a dying man's wish.

      October 4, 2013 at 11:24 am | Reply
    • c-bass

      you seem fun

      October 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Reply
  12. talesoftheorient

    I think this is awful. He should have had more respectful "dying wish" vis-à-vis his daughter, like seeing her graduate from high school or college, hear her laugh, hear her sing. I would be very disappointed if all my Dad wanted would be for me to get married. Marriage is not a goal! It is a choice. This sends a very bad message. All my father would want would be to see me smile and make him laugh, knowing that I am happy.

    October 4, 2013 at 1:08 am | Reply
  13. pixiekitty

    Are you kidding me? Seriously.

    What if the girl chooses to not marry? I'm sorry, but marriage is not the be-all and end-all of a woman's life. THIS is what the father wants to spend his last moments doing? Shoving marriage down the throat of his child?

    What if the girl is gay? We're not all super straight Barbie-doll Disney Princess wannabe's waiting for Prince Charming to come along and sweep us off our feet. Why isn't this father talking to her about what she wants to do with her life - you know, besides get married and pop out a few babies. She might - gasp! - have dreams and goals for herself. For a career. For a life outside of the institution of marriage.

    It's so sad he has no respect for his daughter's personhood. It's so sad she'll live with the "find the right man" pressure for the rest of her life. It's sad this is forced on a young girl who has no ability to express an opinion about it.

    Here's how you know this is misogynist bulls*#t: would this father have done this same ceremony if it was a son he had, instead of a daughter?

    October 4, 2013 at 12:21 am | Reply
    • irgrannygoo

      Maybe to you marriage is not the be all end all? But to a ten year old little girl, it's what she was thinking about. This was not a father's last wish..it was a daughter's wish before her daddy died. The headlines are wrong. The father suffered great physical pain to go through with this for Nakeol. What she decides to do in her life as she grows is up to her...that's beside the point. The point is, her daddy is dying and this gave her a moment of happiness.

      October 4, 2013 at 11:28 am | Reply
      • lw

        ignore the negatives. This is about a little girl and her daddy, how many of the negative posters lost their father at ten years old? its hard when your 30 but at ten your world flips upside down. let her have this because one day odds are in her favor she will marry someone, and this will make her feel like daddy is still there watching her. I think the ring is sweet, my grandpa gave me a gold chain before he died and I still wear it to this day. she may even have that band added to the new wedding ring you never know

        October 4, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
  14. Kwan

    it is crab idea from the mum that encourage her kid to wear the wedding dress at the age 10 instead of doing something together with kid in the kid way such as painting or do other things and show her dad or else tell him think about the goodness he has done so he can die peacefully-is the brightness.

    October 3, 2013 at 11:10 pm | Reply
  15. Mark

    Your dad is awesome child, he'll be with you forever. Cherish the great moments with him. I empathize with you 100%

    October 3, 2013 at 11:10 pm | Reply
  16. ELaine Walters

    this brought tears to my eyes beautiful

    October 3, 2013 at 9:44 pm | Reply
  17. jimmy

    What if she's a lesbian and will never marry a man?

    October 3, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Reply
    • irgrannygoo

      If people are born gay, wouldn't we already know by now?

      October 4, 2013 at 11:30 am | Reply
  18. Joseph Wells

    this made me cry

    October 3, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Reply
  19. edouardaskmo

    I find this to be totally ridiculous and creating a strange pressure on the little girl. I have girls of that age. I don't dream of playing God with them. Yes, I may not be there when they marry but I can be replaced. So this is a way to impose oneself after one's death and try to go from mortal and temporal to immortal to eternal. I believe in Jesus Christ and try to follow him and hopes He considers that I'm one of his true disciples. I believe that people who can't accept that they will loose power to influence their kids after they die are playing God more than anything.

    October 3, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Reply
  20. Courtney

    Very sweet and deeply touching. Thanks for sharing.

    October 3, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Reply
  21. b rodrigrez

    So sad

    October 3, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Reply
  22. Kim

    I'm already tearing up! :'(

    October 3, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  23. Margot

    That's just weird.

    October 3, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Reply
  24. william nantwi

    very touching!!! i pray she grows to find a wonderful man who'll love her as her father

    October 3, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  25. kaoutarchahbane

    Reblogged this on Kaoutar Chahbane and commented:
    Beautiful, touching, amazing and inspiring video... I can't find words to describe it... Worth watching <3

    October 3, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Reply
  26. Gerardette McCarthy

    How great that is! Something u will always remember!!

    October 3, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Reply
  27. justyna

    sorry, but for it's stupid.. what if she chooses to be nun??

    October 3, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Reply
    • justyna

      * but to me

      October 3, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Reply
  28. Kelly

    that is very sweet.. although I didn't need ANOTHER reason to cry since my dad is dead, I'm getting married in a couple of weeks and have no venue thanks to the government shutting it down. :( :(

    October 3, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  29. safaneh

    Yes, because marriage will be the greatest accomplishment of her life. Thank God he did not want to see grand kids ...

    October 3, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  30. Name*

    Aww how sweet

    October 3, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  31. Kyle Morton

    I love seeing stuff like this in the world :)

    October 3, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  32. sophia

    Of course, because marrying is the best thing that can happen to a girl. Patriarchy at its best.

    October 3, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  33. bomber

    But what if she finds a good woman to marry?

    October 3, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  34. Sonny

    What if she's gay?

    October 3, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Reply
  35. 3J

    God Bless!!

    October 3, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Reply
  36. Leó

    Good !

    October 3, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  37. dominic

    One great dad.

    October 3, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Reply

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