The first day of spring is all about new beginnings. I can think of no sweeter way to observe the birth of the re-birth season than by sharing these lovely wedding photos of David Williams and his new bride, Pam Dooden.
The couple tied the knot this afternoon at The Cancer Treatment Centers of America's campus at 1331 E. Wyoming Ave., in Juniata.
I know - a hospital is a strange place to say "I do." Except that CTCA, says Dave, is responsible for his still being alive to utter the words to Pam, to whom he'd been engaged for three years.
So the hospital's fifth-floor chapel became their wedding chapel today.
The couple lives in Elizabethtown, PA, near Harrisburg, where Dave's local doctors basically told him there was nothing more they could do to treat the cancer that was ravaging both his lungs. He then heard about CTCA, he says, and began treatment here in December.
Three months later, his prognosis is still uncertain, but he is still here, his symptoms are under control and he has something he says didn't have in the dark days of December: Hope.
That's why he and Pam, his fiance of three years, decided to hold their wedding at the hospital rather than some place closer to home. They found the staff at CTCA – from the van drivers and physicians, to the nurses, therapists, dieticians and kitchen staff– to be so caring and supportive, they seeemd more like family than hospital workers. And they didn't want to exclude them from their big day.
So they traveled to Philly for the day, their biological families in tow, with plans to return to Elizabethtown for a party, after their small reception at CTCA following their ceremony.
"The people here have given us hope," Dave told me, tearing up, just before he and Pam exchanged vows in a brief, beautiful and emotional ceremony attended by about 50. "I didn't have hope before I came here. Now I do."
Mazel tov, Dave and Pam. Thanks for allowing me to join the crowd of weepy well-wishers who witnessed your promises today.
May your 25th wedding anniversary be as joyous.