Her Father Was Dying of Cancer, So She Planned a Wedding in 24 Hours

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July 03, 2017Jul 03, 2017

On April 1st, 2016, Sarah Richards and Wyeth Killip had just gotten engaged when he asked her another big question—one that sounded like an April Fool’s joke. He glanced down at his watch, looked down at her, and said, “How about marrying me tomorrow?” Killip told the New York Times in an interview.

Killip was in such a hurry to marry Richards because he knew he had to keep a promise he had made to her father a year earlier—that he would get to see his daughter walk down the aisle. Her father, Dr. Arthur Isaac Richards had a rare form of cancer, peripheral T-cell lymphoma, and his condition had recently deteriorated to the point that doctors were recommending hospice.

“He often talked with me about wanting to see Sarah walk down the aisle, but now he was really sick, and all of a sudden, we weren’t sure just how much time he had left,” shares Killip.

When Killips asked her, Richards didn’t know how to react. “Already overcome with emotion, Ms. Richards had a hard time processing the logistics surrounding the question,” writes Andrew Spear for the New York Times. While the couple was already in Cincinnati where her parents lived, other friends and family seemed out of reach. Killip’s parents and a sister lived in Kansas City, Missouri; his two other sisters lived in Denver and Stuttgart, Germany; and the couple’s friends lived in Manhattan where the couple lived and worked.

“It’s just not possible,” she told her new fiancé.

But he had already taken care of the logistical problems. He revealed to her that he had already begun making preparations. “My family is on standby, waiting for my call,” he reassured her. “They can hop on planes and be here tomorrow.”

So Richards agreed. “I knew how badly my dad wanted to be there on my wedding day, and it was heartbreaking because Wyeth and I weren’t even engaged yet,” she shared with the New York Times—with tears in her voice. “But now we had this opportunity, so I said, ‘Sure, let’s go for it.’

Read about their wedding and her father's reaction on the next page. 

Next: Her Father Was Dying of Cancer, So She Planned a Wedding in 24 Hours Jul 05, 2017