Remembering Dad

l love you, Dad!

Grace, Josie and Jim Zetz

Josie and Jim Zetz

In Memoriam

Josie Zetz's father won't be there to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day. But thanks to California photographer Lindsey Villatoro, the 11-year-old was able to experience what it might be like anyway.

Her father, Jim, 62, had already been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer when he and his wife, Grace, hired Villatoro -- a mother, photographer and founder of Love Song Photography based in Menifee, Calif. Two years ago, Villatoro began offering photography sessions for terminal clients or clients with serious illnesses to document their journeys and was referred to the Zetz family.

"I try to really showcase the person for who they are and not the illness," she told The Huffington Post during a phone conversation Tuesday afternoon.

Villatoro went to Jim and Grace's home for a shoot and offered to do one with their young daughter, Josie. After she left, she posted about the family on her website to get gift donations for the girl to help make her last birthday with her father a memorable one. But she decided to take the surprise one step further and dreamed up the idea of a wedding for the girl -- complete with flowers, desserts, a promise ring and a dress from L.A. Fashion Week -- so that her father could walk her down the aisle.

"I met Josie [the day of the wedding]," Villatoro said. "She was a little bit overwhelmed when her mom picked her up from school and told her. She just needed a moment. Later, she said, 'This is the best day of my life.' She was very glad and excited to have these moments."

The wedding came together and Villatoro captured it on camera and created the video above titled "Walk me down the Aisle Daddy."

The full meaning of the special day was felt by all. The story of the wedding went viral and was covered by local network KTLA as well as the Daily Mail.

"They want to get his story out, to let people know Jim and to feel a part of his family," Villatoro told HuffPost. "There is going to come a day very soon when he's not here. So for everyone to see those moments inside their family and connect with them is a really big thing for them. They feel very blessed ... The goal when I do these things is to preserve that person. Most people focus on the death and not the beauty of that person, who they were and the memories that they leave." Source Huffington Post. -- See Video.

Jim and Josie Zetz

Happy Father's Day!

Then, there's this.

Back when I was a child
Before life removed all the innocence
My father would lift me high
And dance with my mother and me and then
Spin me around ‘til I fell asleep
Then up the stairs he would carry me
And I knew for sure I was loved

If I could get another chance,
Another walk, another dance with him
I’d play a song that would never ever end
How I’d love, love, love
To dance with my father again

When I and my mother would disagree,
To get my way I would run from her to him
He'd make me laugh just to comfort me,
Yeah, yeah,
Then finally make me do just what my mama said
Later that night when I was asleep
He left a dollar under my sheet
Never dreamed that he would be gone from me

If I could steal one final glance,
One final step, one final dance with him
I'd play a song that would never, ever end
Cause I'd love, love, love
To dance with my father again

Sometimes I’d listen outside of the door
And I’d hear how mama cried for him
I pray for her even more than me
I pray for her even more than me

I know I’m praying for much too much
But could you send back the only man she loved
I know you don’t do it usually
But dear Lord she’s dying
To dance with my father again

Every night I fall asleep
And this is all I ever dream --

And then, there's this.

Semper Fi

See The Jim Zetz Story. 


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