Emilea Harrahill, daughter of a community doctor from a small town in Nebraska, was engaged to her sweetheart and planned to get married in June. However, after she heard that her dying father wouldn't make it through the week, she did something extraordinary.
Emilea and her fiance, Kyle, were driving to visit her father in the hospital when she had a thought. She had her wedding dress in the car because she knew her father would want to see her wear it, but Emilea and Kyle had a better idea than just trying the dress on for him. They looked at each other and said, "Let's just do this now."
Emilea wasted no time putting together a surprise ceremony in the hospital where her father could see her get married and walk her down the aisle. Her mom, Shelly, called her son's high school to put together a small graduation ceremony on the same day so Dr. Dan Harrahill could fulfill two of his goals - to see his son graduate high school and to walk his daughter down the aisle.
The community exceeded the Harrahill's expectations when it came to the planning and logistics of the events. Within a few hours, they had flowers, cupcakes, food (supplied by a community member who also happened to be a caterer) and a safety pin to hold Emilea's dress together because it didn't fit quite right yet.
The family was touched by the dedication of the people in their community to pull together a graduation ceremony. There were volunteers who found caps and gowns while the valedictorian and salutatorian prepared their speeches and the choir practiced "Pomp and Circumstance."
The proud father, Dan Harrahill, sat in his wheelchair on the front row of the ceremonies and was smiling the entire time. He sadly passed away a week after the wedding and graduation. His wife said, "He later said to me that it was one of the best days of his life."
Everyone in the community adored "Dr. Dan," so this incredible act of kindness was a pleasure for them to participate in. They were all happy to give their time and talents to this event because Dr. Dan had given so much to them. His wife recalled that he absolutely loved his job and his patients loved him. He was humble and kind, and one patient noted on Dan's Facebook group that, "[Dr. Dan] did so much for me growing up and my sons. It didn't matter how far away we lived, the two-hour drive was worth seeing the greatest doctor."
This is just one of the many comments made on his memorial Facebook page, "Dr. Dan's Fans." The page has approximately 1,500 members who pay their respects and share their fond memories of the doctor, family member, community figure, friend, husband and father.
He will be missed by many, but Emilea and her brother, Noah, will look back on their wedding and graduation with fond memories of their father. They will still be celebrating on the original dates of the events, but they are happy to know that their father was able to take part in these milestones.
Lindsey loves traveling and shopping, and her favorite place in the whole world is Disneyland. She also loves spending time with her family and cute husband. She is studying Professional and Technical Writing and is part of the content team for FamilyShare.