A few weeks before his daughter’s big day, a man acutely ill and was hospitalized. He was shattered when the doctors told him he was too unwell to attend the wedding. Surprisingly, his daughter coordinated with the nurses and hatched a plan.
A father’s love for his daughter is profoundly heartwarming and only stronger with time. While mothers and daughters are known to share a deep connection, there’s a good reason why “daddy’s girl” was coined.
At AmoMama, we love sharing stories that champion love, familial bonds, kindness, and hope. Interestingly enough, Janae Hauger and her father’s story encapsulate a similar theme.
[Left] Steve and Janae share an emotional hug; [Right] Janae dances with her father while resting her head on his shoulder. | Source: facebook.com/janae.r.price
FINDING HER PATH
Janae grew up in rural Ohio with parents Steve and Vicki Price. She had three sisters and a brother and was raised in a conservative, Christian environment. Her parents always encouraged her to uphold love and unwavering faith in God.
She was raised in a tightly-knit family where there was dinner at the table each night, no excuses to miss church, and endless family fun. But like many youngsters, Janae wished to find her way during high school and decided to take a different route.
According to Janae, she made poor choices and followed a boy who walked a wayward path. The woman said she was willing to compromise her faith de ella and the values her family de ella had taught her to please someone who didn’t have her best interest at heart.
DRIFTING APART FROM HER FAMILY
Janae explained that her life decisions drifted her farther away from her family, who disapproved of her company. She further added that her selfish desires prevented her from listening to her parents’ advice, and eventually, she left home.
leaving-home changed everything for Janae and broke her relationship with her parents and siblings, especially her father. Eventually, she started feeling lonely, lost, and broken. Janae said she felt like a complete failure and her conscience de ella nagged her for hurting her family.
According to the Richwood, Ohio resident, her parents’ faith in Jesus and steadfast prayer helped her find her way back home. Janae said she reached a point where she felt a sudden awakening from within and prolonged periods of home sickness. She counted:
“I looked around and saw nothing familiar, no warm dinners with family, no Sunday mornings at church, no laughing in the living room with my sisters and brother. No hugs from my Mom. No goodnights from my Dad.”
Soon afterward, she mustered up the courage to call her mom. Janae recalled feeling scared to face her father from her, but her fears diminished when he welcomed her with warmth and love. Then, she started over and began rebuilding her life.
A couple of years later, Janae met a man named Jesse Hauger. The two went on a few dates, and she instantly connected with him. According to Janae, Jesse was a funny and kind-hearted person and a follower of Christ.
He also got along with his family, and they embraced him like a son. A few years later, the couple was on a family trip to the Bahamas when Jesse surprised Janae with a marriage proposal. The delighted woman immediately said yes.
The wedding was planned to take place on August 11, 2018. Janae watched as her father worked on restoring the old barn on her family farm as the wedding venue. Janae said she had always wanted to get married at home, and her dad’s gesture de ella meant the world to her.
A SPECIAL MOMENT
She described how her father worked diligently to restore the barn until it appeared perfect. Twenty-nine days before her wedding, Ella, Janae embarked on a family vacation to Nashville, Tennessee.
Before going on the trip, Jesse helped her find the best song for her daddy-daughter dance, called “It Won’t Be Like This for Long” by Darius Rucker. Janae was over the moon when she discovered that Rucker was performing in Nashville.
Then, the bride-to-be made a poster and held it high, requesting the musician to play the song. To her excitement from her, Rucker saw the sign and asked Janae and her father, Steve, to dance. The moment became a special memory for the father-daughter duo.
A week after returning from Nashville, Steve fell severely ill and was taken to the hospital after complaining of crippling stomach pains. The then-59-year-old man was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis. He was hospitalized for three weeks and suffered severe health complications.
Steve was then taken to the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, and the family prayed for his speedy recovery. Janae also hoped her dad would be better before her wedding, as she had always dreamed of dancing with him on her big day.
But everyone was heartbroken when the doctors deemed Steve unfit to leave the hospital two days before the wedding. The then-23-year-old Janae knew her father de ella had always wanted to walk one of his daughters de ella down the aisle.
A DEEP CONNECTION
Even more crushing was that Steve had worked tirelessly on restoring the old barn for Janae’s wedding, and not being there in person caused him sheer discomfort. Janae also collected:
“We share an incredible bond and we have always dreamt of the day he was able to walk me down the aisle and share a father-daughter dance with me. When we were told he couldn’t attend the wedding and walk me down the aisle , I knew I had to at least dance with him.”
Throughout Steve’s time in the hospital, Janae and her family looked after him and tried their best to cheer him up. But Janae said she could see her father de ella was trying to stay strong for her. I have told her, “I need to get better, and you’re getting married no matter what.”
DANCING TO THEIR FAVORITE SONG
After much thought and with Jesse and her family’s help, Janae hatched a perfect plan. “We decided if Dad couldn’t be at the wedding, we’d take the wedding to Dad,” said Janae. She coordinated with the nurses at the hospital and prepared a great surprise.
A few hours before the wedding, one of the nurses told Steve the doctors had requested an X-ray. They wheeled him down the elevators and through the halls and took him into a chapel, where he saw Janae dressed in a wedding gown.
Janae described that her father raised tears of joy, sharing a long round of emotions. The daddy-daughter duo danced to their favorite song, surrounded by the rest of their family. The happy bride said it was a moment she would cherish forever.
A SPECIAL VIRTUAL PRESENCE
When Janae and Jesse reached their wedding venue, they talked to Steve via FaceTime and cherished his virtual presence at the ceremony. Janae walked down the aisle holding her brother and mom, but her father de ella was the first person she saw on the iPad screen. She recalled:
“We all felt at peace that my dad was able to see us. [The wedding] was amazing. It was absolutely perfect. I would’ve rather have been there. But, given the circumstances, it was absolutely beautiful.”
We’re so glad Janae and Steve enjoyed their special daddy-daughter dance, and we hope they continue to grow in love. If this beautiful story warmed your heart, please share it with your loved ones.
Here’s another story that you might like, and it’s about a father who died unexpectedly days before his daughter’s wedding, leaving behind a heartwarming letter. Click here to read the whole story.