I’m going to start this blog post a little differently and with a single photo photo. It might seem a little out of place but in itself, the story it tells is powerful and it gives power to the idea of the story too.
This is Ray, Trudy’s father embracing her seconds after he first saw her in her wedding dress. I suppose this image is filled with emotion for a number of reasons but beyond the obvious, there is a bittersweetness.
The sad truth is that Ray’s wife and Trudy’s mother, Valerie, passed away from pancreatic cancer a year or so before this wedding day. She fought on against one of the most aggressive and sadly fatal types of cancer for two long years but, like 95% of others with this condition, she lost the battle.
From the way Ray spoke to me about Valerie during the day along with the images of her up on the walls of his house (including the one you can somewhat see just to the left of Trudy and Ray), it’s clear that she was not only beloved, but was the heart and soul of this family. Her passing shattered the lives of the people around her – this is truly a testament to the hole that her loss left in peoples’ lives. She must have truly been a special person.
Ray is a strong man that has endured much heartbreak in the past few years but beyond this father-seeing-his-daugher-in-her-wedding-dress moment, there was cause for joy and there was much cause for sorrow. Ray wept and held his daughter tight knowing that today was going to be a difficult day for their family. But they remembered her in every way that they could, they honoured her memory with stories about her life and most importantly for them, believed that she would be looking down at them with happiness.
This is the power of the story and it is also what I am so privileged enough to share in each weekend. Stories let us know what we have in common, and also what differentiates us too – but this story is one most of us can relate to on some level and at the end of the day, that common ground is what brings us all closer together as humans. I asked Trudy and Ray whether I would be able to share their story and they allowed me to so here it is.
Trudy and her husband Gary decided to forgo bomboniere in lieu of a donation to the Cancer Council – if you would like to donate, please go to this website: http://www.cancer.org.au/get-involved/donate.html