One father had vowed to his daughter that he would throw her a huge ceremony when she eventually got married -- However, life took a turn, standing in the way of this sacred promise.
Many fathers dream of walking their daughters down the aisle. Nevertheless, that vision seemed impossible. Thirty-one-year-old Andy Barnard, from the town of Thetford in England's little toddler, had been diagnosed with cancer.
This heartwrenching tragedy began in February 2016 when the little angel Poppy-Mai Barnard visited the doctor's office. She struggled to eat and drink while suffering from constipation.
Poppy-Mai Barnard eating an apple [left]; Poppy-Mai Barnard’s dad Andy holding her while she wears her “wedding dress” [right].┃Source: facebook.com/voaportugues twitter.com/correio24horas
BREAKING THE NEWS
The doctor thought she was teething. But, she soon ended up in the A&E, vomiting with sky-high calcium levels. Her mom, 29-year-old Sammi Barnard, recollected:
"At the worst, I thought she maybe had a really bad infection."
The baby was diagnosed with kidney cancer that had spread to her lungs. They attempted to treat it with chemotherapy, but the disease expanded into a section of her brain, where doctors couldn't operate.
TAKING BACK HER FUTURE
In March of 2016, doctors gave Poppy-Mai only two short days to live. Although devastated, her parents intended to make the most of the limited time they had left with their daughter.
Knowing he wouldn't be able to share this memorable moment with his baby, Andy arranged to walk her down the aisle on her "wedding day."
Some of his work colleagues arranged the bittersweet ceremony. The father walked in holding Poppy-Mai, who was wearing a baptismal gown -- a wedding dress fit for a princess.
The toddler began to brighten up and spent time with her loving family for a few more days. She appeared in perfect health, laughing, dancing, and going to the zoo.
However, she slowly grew tired and passed on May 3, 2016. Poppy-Mai wasn't alone when she died. Her parents were with her -- the toddler's father lovingly holding his angel in his arms.
FINDING PURPOSE WITHIN THE GRIEF
In memory of their beautiful daughter, the parents began raising money for a retreat to assist families with ill-stricken kids. Andy said:
"We could not save Poppy-Mai but we can do this for her and we will. Her legacy will live on. She has touched lives around the world and will never be forgotten."
The parents had gathered thousands of online followers with hoards of cash coming through for the fundraiser. It is incredible that even though she lived such a short life, Poppy-Mai made a considerable impact.
Of course, the impact of death is so utterly catastrophic for those that are left behind that there may be no purpose in sight.
However, due to this tragic nature and just like Poppy-Mai's passing, whatever project or lesson may come from it tends to have a significant influence.
Cody James Holland. │Source: facebook.com/cody.holland.5
A STRANGE REMEMBRANCE
Twenty-five-year-old Cody James Holland also reflected this with his death leaving behind an important lesson. However, his family passed on this teaching peculiarly by insulting Holland in his obituary.
Although generally complimentary and playful, the obituary referred to their loved one as a "dumb [expletive]" for causing his death while driving drunk. They encouraged others not to do the same.
It is wondrous that although they may not be here with us anymore, Poppy-Mai and Holland continue to touch the lives of many.
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