July 27 was her 58th birthday, so Rosalind Scott was not suspicious when her daughters told her they wanted to take a special picture with her. They suggested the nurses at the Taylor House Hospice Home, where Rosalind was staying, give her a bath and help her put on a new outfit. But, afterward, as she was wheeled into the chapel at the Taylor House Hospice Home by her husband, Andre’, she realized something else was going on.
“What are you doing?” Rosalind asked her daughter, Sharmaine Lee, who was dressed in white and standing in the front of the chapel with her fiancée, Cicero Porter. Before getting an answer, Rosalind figured out what was taking place and began to cry.
Together, Sharmaine and Rosalind had been planning Sharamaine’s coming September wedding for the past several months. However, Rosalind had terminal gastric cancer, and it was becoming clear she would likely not be able to attend the big event.
Sharmaine’s older sister, Tiaeesha, had the idea of holding a ceremony that their mother could attend. Together, the sisters worked with the staff at the Taylor House to plan the special event. With the help of Lynsey Ludwig, UnityPoint Hospice social worker, they made a request from the UnityPoint Health Foundation Legacy and Last Wish Fund, which provided a cake, flower bouquet and corsage for Rosalind to wear.
“It’s absolutely an honor to be a part of someone’s life wish like this,” Ludwig said.
Several of Sharmaine and Cicero’s family members also attended the touching event, hiding in the Taylor House kitchen before the ceremony, so not to spoil the surprise.
Once in the chapel, Rosalind sat just to Sharmaine’s side and looked on as the bride and groom exchanged vows, placed rings on each other’s fingers and shared a first kiss. Amy Murray, one of the chaplains at Taylor House, was asked to perform the ceremony.
“It was just amazing,” Murray said. “Parents in Rosalind’s situation often want to be able to be there at a special event to be a part of that memory for their children.”
After the ceremony was complete, Rosalind got the first picture with the newlywed couple.
“I thought it was very special,” Sharmaine said. “I’m so happy she was there to see me get married.”
Rosalind passed away three weeks later on Sunday, August 7. She was in the hearts and minds of many when Sharmaine and Cicero held their originally planned wedding on September 17.
UnityPoint Hospice is committed to surrounding patients and families with support and comfort. Learn more about UnityPoint Hospice services near you.