A wedding reception in Alabama had a poignant moment when the bride danced with her terminally ill father, guiding him around in his wheelchair.
Photo: sylviesorellephotography/Pixabay
Photo: sylviesorellephotography/Pixabay

Alabama bride has emotional dance with terminally ill father 

The traditional dance between a bride and her father is an emotional moment, but a father-daughter dance at an Alabama wedding last month was particularly poignant.

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Mary Bourne Roberts danced with her terminally ill father at her wedding reception, guiding Jim Roberts around the dance floor in his wheelchair to the strains of Lee Ann Womack’s 2000 hit, “I Hope You Dance,” AL.com reported.

Mary Bourne Roberts’ wedding to James Butts was held Dec. 29, 2018, in Point Clear, Alabama. Jim Roberts accompanied his daughter down the aisle at St. Francis at the Point Church, holding her hand. Jim Roberts returned to his room at The Grand Hotel to rest, but made it back to the reception in time for the their father-daughter dance, AL.com reported.

Holding her hand from his wheelchair, Jim Roberts accompanied Mary Bourne Roberts down the aisle at St. Francis at the Point Church in Point Clear to marry James Butts. After the wedding, Jim Roberts had to go to his room at The Grand Hotel to rest as the reception began. When he felt well enough, he arrived at the ballroom for their father-daughter dance.

It’s a song the pair danced to in the family kitchen when Mary Bourne Roberts was a child, the website reported. It took on new meaning in May 2017 after Jim Roberts was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive and incurable form of brain cancer. He began hospice care in mind-December, AL.com reported.

Mary Bourne Roberts majored in dance at the University of Alabama and teaches at the Eastern Shore Dance Academy in Daphne. She took her father’s hands and swayed to the music while looking into his eyes as he wiped away tears, AL.com reported. 

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

The bride told the network that her father said he “loved me so much” and that the dance “meant so much.”

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

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

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