Over the past year, Lexi and her family have had to face some incredibly difficult truths as her mom battles Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Each month, Wendy's body has grown weaker, and Lexi has had to think about what the future might look like without her mom.
At just 19 years old, Lexi isn't engaged and has no plans to get married anytime soon, but she realized that there's one moment she refuses to let cancer take from her: wedding-dress shopping with her mom.
In a post shared with the Love What Matters Facebook page, Lexi explained that she's always had a fantasy of picking out the perfect white gown with her mom by her side. "As mom's health began to deteriorate slowly over the year, wedding-dress shopping occupied my mind more than ever," she wrote. "I couldn't imagine ever looking for the perfect dress without mom right next to me."
A few months ago, Lexi's mom decided to discontinue chemotherapy treatments and had a horrific night at home. "Although we didn't actually need a reminder, it did remind us of how quickly her health could take a turn for the worst," Lexi wrote. The pair spent the next morning in tears as they talked about the things they still wanted to do together, and Lexi brought up shopping for her future dress. "It was an emotional few minutes but mom agreed that it was exactly what we should do," she wrote. "Not long after we had that talk, mom landed back in the hospital."
Lexi and her dad decided not to wait any longer and got to work trying to make her dream a reality. They stopped by a bridal store, Devotion Bridal Lounge, and explained the situation. The owner, Tammy, was touched and offered them an after-hours appointment so that they could have the stores to themselves. Lexi also arranged for Mason Neufeld Photography to capture the meaningful moment.
"The following day (Saturday), we began making plans to take mom down to Devotion Bridal Lounge on a day pass from the hospital on Sunday," Lexi wrote. "Plans were all made by Saturday afternoon."
However, her health began to decline. By Saturday night it became clear that her body wouldn't be able to leave the hospital and make the trip to the store. "As reality set in that night, we all sat on mom's hospital bed in tears trying to accept the idea that mom and I would no longer be able to share that moment together," she wrote. "I contacted both Tammy and Mason and explained that mom had become too sick to follow through with our plans and that we would have to cancel."
Mason and Tammy continued talking throughout the night about how they could help this mother and daughter still have that special moment. "They decided that they would do whatever they needed to do in order for it to all work out," she wrote. "They went way over and above and decided to bring all of my favorite dresses up to mom's hospital room to try on with her."
The following day, an abundance of dresses and veils arrived at her hospital room, and Mason captured all of their emotions. "This moment meant more to our family than I can express," she wrote. "Without their kindness, my mom and I would not have been able to share this moment together. I will cherish these photos and the dress that mom and I chose, for the rest of my life. As people often say, 'Cancer cannot cripple love.' That is such a true statement and our family has experienced that first hand."