Lifestyle & Human Interest

Dying Dad's Unforgettable Dance with Daughter at Wedding Will Leave You Wiping Away Tears


Viewers are wiping away tears after watching a heartwarming dance between a newlywed bride and her terminally ill father.

For Alabama bride Mary Bourne Roberts, dancing with her terminally ill father, Jim Roberts, at her wedding was a dream come true.

It was a moment that both father and daughter had thought about for decades. They’d had their song picked out — “I Hope You Dance,” by country artist Lee Ann Womack — since Mary was little.

Then, in May 2017, Roberts was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an incurable brain cancer.

Roberts didn’t know if he’d live to see his daughter’s wedding, set for Dec. 29, 2018.

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By mid-December, Roberts was under hospice care.

When the milestone day came, Roberts was ready to play his role in his beloved daughter’s marriage to James Butts.

Using a wheelchair, Roberts was able to escort his daughter down the aisle.

And at the reception, the pair did dance — leaving guests (and everyone else watching) wiping tears from their faces.

“We had always planned to use the song,” Mary told Fox News. “We weren’t sure how he was going to even feel that day — we just knew that we were going to do it somehow.”

Blue Room Photography captured the dance and documented the rest of the day.

Mary, who majored in dance at the University of Alabama and currently teaches at a dance academy, held her father’s hands and gracefully danced with him in his wheelchair.

The duo moved all around the dance floor, singing the words to the tune they’d sung together since Mary’s childhood.

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The pair shared a heartwarming hug at the end, and the father of the bride wiped away tears.

The moment was perfect — and the timing was achingly beautiful. On the afternoon of Jan. 10, Roberts passed away, Fox News reported.

“It was such a good thing to happen to him,” Jim’s wife, Tracy Roberts, told “He would have cried through the whole thing even if he’d been on his feet.”

Tracy Roberts said the wedding was perfect and meant the world to her husband.

“He was overwhelmed with pride and the love he feels for her,” Tracy Roberts said. “It was a great day for him, a beautiful, perfect day for all of us.”

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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