Dad had been so determined to walk me down the aisle on my wedding day... I stitched a picture of him into my dress
The daughter of Tom Tyreman, who died after his new liver gave him cancer, has revealed how he did not live to fulfil his dream of walking her down the aisle.
Her mum Judy took his place at Emma’s wedding in April, two months after her dad died.
Heartbreakingly, she had stitched a photograph of her dad inside her dress so he would be beside her on her big day.
Emma said: “It was a joy to have mum by my side but nothing can make up for not sharing that moment with dad.
“He had been so very ill as we were planning everything. But he was so determined to be there on my wedding day, I’m convinced that kept him fighting his illness. Even in hospital it was foremost on his mind.
“We all lived in hope that our dreams would come true and he would make it.
“Family was everything to dad. He was so proud when my brother Jonathan married last September. The photographs taken of mum and dad together that day are very precious because they look so happy.
“But by the time my own wedding came round, dad was clearly very unwell.”
Emma revealed how they had all been upbeat about the news that Tom would get a transplant.
“As a family we had been delighted when we got the call that he was getting a transplant after waiting just three weeks,” she said.
“I think dad hoped it would give him a new lease of life and he’d be so much better by the time he was due to walk me down the aisle.”
But the dreamed of recovery never came and within a short couple of weeks, Tom’s frantic family could see him going even further downhill.
To keep her dad’s spirit’s up, Emma took her wedding rings to him as lay fighting for his life in Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital critical care ward.
She said: “It’s so sad that by that time his eyesight was beginning to go. He struggled to see them. But I was able to put them in his hands so he could feel them.”
Despite the shattering blow of losing her dad in February, Emma and the family knew Tom would have insisted on her wedding going ahead.
She said: “It’s a huge comfort to me that because I’d bought my wedding dress before dad went into hospital, he at least got the chance to see me in it.
“I’m so glad I didn’t keep it a secret and we had a special moment when he saw me as a bride. I won’t ever forget the look on his face when he saw me in my wedding dress.
“I cherish that memory. He was so proud.”
Determined Tom would still be close to her heart on her wedding day, Emma and her mum took material from his favourite shirt and cut it into a heart. Along with a photograph of her dad and the flower she had wanted him to wear in his button hole, Emma and Judy stitched the special tribute to Tom inside the wedding dress.
On her wedding bouquet, she carried a much-loved photograph of father and daughter taken when Emma was a toddler.
Emma said: “We knew as we walked together, that dad was with us, our special tribute to him hidden inside my dress, close to my heart.”
But the loss of Tom, as a father and husband, from their lives is a wound which will never heal.
Judy said: “Tom would have loved to be a grandfather. That was taken from him. It was taken from all of us. He was a great dad and he would have been a wonderful grandfather too.”