At 102 years old, Stasia wanted nothing more than to watch her granddaughter, Tara Foley, get married.
Unfortunately, having just entered hospice care, Stasia wouldn’t be able to fly out to Texas for Tara’s wedding. Still, she was determined to hang on. The loving grandmother would do whatever she could to be there. But her heart was failing, and she didn’t have much time.
So, Tara decided to go to her Nana, instead, months before her wedding. In January, the bride-to-be secretly flew out with her unaltered dress to share an incredibly touching photoshoot with Stasia.
It was the best gift she could have ever given her Nana — and later, to her family as well. You see, Tara’s family and friends had no idea she’d gone to visit Stasia. Tara had something special planned.
“Words cannot explain how much these moments mean to me and I will cherish these memories for the rest of my life,” Tara wrote in a Facebook post detailing the last time she saw her beloved grandma.
“Her smile and her laugh are forever etched in my mind and the love between us will live in my heart. This was one of the greatest days of my life.”
“When I said goodbye to her that night, I think we both knew it would be the last time we would see each other. She grabbed my cheeks with her hands, looked me straight in the eye and said ‘I love you very much’ and 27 days later she passed away.”
Tara kept the secret for months, cherishing her final memories of Stasia. Then, in June, she finally shared them with her mom, dad, brother, and sister in law, unveiling one of the photos on her wedding day.
Photographer Misty McLendon captured the emotional, bittersweet moment the family wept together at the sight of the beautiful centenarian with the bride.
Tara said she will “never find the right words to express the love and emotions we all felt” that day and thanked Misty “for being my words when I had none. Your ability to capture everything our hearts were feeling is amazing.”
But Tara deserves some recognition herself. She made her grandmother’s dying wish come true, after all. Stasia may not have lived to see Tara tie the knot, but she got to see her in her wedding dress and become one of the most important parts of her big day. While she wasn’t there physically, she was certainly there spiritually. Tara and her family can attest to that. Rest in peace, Stasia. You were and still are so loved.
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