Wedding Plan Changed So Mom Could Participate

Post a Comment » Written on May 18th, 2007     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (May 18, 2007) – It was a bittersweet moment as Christel and Terry Knight exchanged their wedding vows in the hospital room of Christel’s mother, Morta Wiedle, who did not have long to live.

Steven Jackson, a chaplain at Swedish Covenant Hospital, says he was honored to officiate at the wedding that had been quickly rescheduled to allow Christel’s 77-year-old mother to participate. Suffering from life-threatening post-surgical complications, Morta said she didn’t want to prolong her treatment and “was ready to go home,” Christel says.

WeddingThe ceremony originally had been scheduled for June, but when it became clear that her mother would not survive that long, Christel decided the plans had to change, and quickly. On a Wednesday morning, Christel called Terry at work and asked if they could get married the next day.

Jackson says he normally wouldn’t comply with a request to marry a couple so quickly, but he didn’t have to think twice when he heard of the situation. Providing such care is why Jackson says he entered the ministry. “It was a privilege,” he says.

The couple scrambled to make arrangements. They had obtained their marriage license and the wedding rings were quickly sized by a sympathetic jeweler.

Ten people were in the room to observe the wedding, including nurses. Workers in the cafeteria heard of the ceremony and sent up a tray of fruit and vegetables. A wedding cake was distributed among patients and staff on the floor.

“It was wonderful,” Christel says of the wedding, adding that her mother was able to participate in the wedding. Although weakened and unable to speak, “She had two sips of champagne.”

Her mother died early the next morning.

Christel weeps as she mourns the loss of her mother. She is saddened that the ceremony she had dreamed of could not take place, but says she knows the hospital wedding was the right thing to do. She also is thankful for the understanding and support of her new husband.

“I don’t know how I would have gone through this time without Terry,” she adds.

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