When Natalie looked at her gown, the last thing she expected to see was her dad’s handwriting.
Losing a parent is one of the most heart-wrenching experiences anyone can endure.
The void becomes even greater during significant life events, like weddings, where their absence is deeply felt.
For many, the thought of not having a loved one present to witness and celebrate these milestones can be overwhelmingly sorrowful.
Natalie Crockett Jimenez, a young bride from Missouri, faced this very challenge.
Her father, Bruce Crockett, passed away unexpectedly in 2015 due to complications from a blood clot.
As she prepared for her wedding day, Natalie pondered various ways to honor her late father’s memory.
From considering a white balloon to represent him to planning a slideshow in lieu of the father-daughter dance, she wanted to ensure his spirit was felt during her special day.
The age-old tradition of “something blue” for brides symbolizes love, purity, and fidelity.
It’s a cherished custom that many brides incorporate into their wedding attire.
For Natalie, this tradition took on an incredibly poignant meaning.
Just before her wedding, her mother, Devona Crockett, presented her with a touching surprise.
During the final fitting of her wedding dress, Natalie discovered a blue heart sewn into the bottom.
Upon closer inspection, she realized it was crafted from one of her father’s old t-shirts.
But the heart held an even deeper significance.
Embroidered on it, in her father’s handwriting, were the words, “I love you Natalie, Daddy.”
This heartfelt message was a replica of a note her father had written in her yearbook.
“He had written me that in my yearbook,” Natalie shared with Good Morning America.
She added, “I’ve tried to find all these pieces of my dad just to hold on to, and I didn’t even think of yearbooks.”
The idea was entirely her mother’s brainchild.
Devona had painstakingly found the yearbook signature, digitized it, and then had it embroidered onto a heart-shaped piece of her late husband’s blue t-shirt.
She managed to coordinate all of this with the wedding seamstress, located over an hour away, without Natalie having any inkling.
“I remembered exactly what his handwriting looked like, so as soon as I recognized it, obviously tears.”