Ovation: Jaquie Goncher ‘s Walk Down The Aisle.
Like many people, the day I got married was one of the happiest of my life. Ours was a small affair, just the two of us, two wonderful friends serving as witnesses and an officiant hired to perform the ceremony. I’ll never forget the moment that I changed from “single” to “married”. It was amazing.
Getting married didn’t just happen, of course, and quite a bit of planning and preparation was required. But the effort we made to make our dreams come true on our big day pale in comparison to the journey to the alter made last May by Jaquie Goncher.
Eight years ago, Jaquie broke her neck while diving into a swimming pool and has used a wheelchair ever since. But, through hard work and determination, she stunned her friends and family on her wedding day when she stood and walked down the aisle.
About four months before her wedding Jaquie decided that, not only did she want to walk down the aisle, but she wanted to dance at her reception, too.
“I wanted to have the endurance to enjoy the wedding without the chair.” – Jaquie Goncher
On her wedding day, Jaquie rolled her wheelchair to the end of the aisle. Then, with help from her grandfather and her mother, she stood and walked toward her soon-to-be-husband. The wedding guests, as well as the groom (who was in on the plan) cried tears of joy and amazement.
Jaquie left her chair again to join her guests on the dance floor, where she danced with her new husband, Andy, and mingled. She was on her feet for more than four hours that day. Before then, she could stand for only twenty to thirty minutes at a time.
“What kept me going was my strength in God.” – Jaquie Goncher
And she hasn’t given up. Although she’s walking more, Jaquie still primarily uses her wheelchair. After eight years she’s quite comfortable in it but says that she’s working to spend more time outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a can, and she’s determined to use it more to get around.
I’ve always been a softy who cries at weddings. I can only imagine how far the floodgates would open if I saw a wheelchair-bound loved one rise and walk to take her vows. What an amazing day it must have been. Jaquie and Andy will never forget their wedding day and the moment that they changed from “single” to “married”.
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