He wanted to be there for his daughter on her wedding day, so he wrote a letter to be read on that day.
There are certain profound moments in life that remain etched in our memory forever. These moments together give meaning to our lives. A Liverpool dad went out of his way to add such an emotionally powerful moment in his daughter's life that she will reminisce her entire life.
Todd Excell lost his battle with cancer on Mother's Day in 2001 when his daughter, Emily, was just eight years old, reports the Mail. Todd knew that he will not be with his daughter to see her grow up, therefore, he wanted to write letters for all her milestones. Sadly, he did not have the time. Instead, he made plans to make his daughter's wedding a divinely happy affair, way ahead of time.
He wrote a letter to be read out on Emily's wedding. He dictated what he wanted to say, typed his words and placed them inside a freezer — ready for Emily's big day.
Emily got married in October 2016 with Shakeal Darbey; during the wedding, Todd's letter was read out by Emily's godfather and uncle, Peter. As the letter was being read out, Emily clutched her new husband's hand and sobbed profusely. The daughter who spent her growing up years without her father finally got a hint of fatherly warmth.
The doting father wrote:
"To my dearest daughter, Emily. You are my heart and soul and always will be. Love you, Emily. I know I would love your new husband. To your new husband, I will be walking with you, too."
The next part of the letter, which was for Emily's husband, is adorably hilarious and brings out the innocent charm of a father-daughter relationship.
He had this to say the son-in-law he never got to meet:
"To the new husband. I will not be able to intimidate you or ask you a million questions before you date my daughter, tell you I have a gun under my bed, or ask you why you are interested in dating my daughter, take your license plate down and the type of car you drive. But what I can do — is haunt you."
As Shakeal and Emily laughed together, they wiped their tears too. A year later, the couple decided to watch the letter reading part again.
Emily's mother, Suzanne Excell, told MailOnline, "Emily cried at the end with the pictures but was so happy for the memory she would keep. Shakeal laughed again at the point of being haunted and said he is on his best behavior." She added, "Some other family members that were not at the wedding were there and were so happy to see the video."
Here is the full letter:
To my dearest daughter Emily.
You are my heart and soul and always will be.
I'm writing this letter for your wedding day to tell you how I will not be there in body but I will be there in spirit.
I remember when you were just starting to walk and what it would be to walk you down the aisle on your wedding day.
Walking is another passage to a new beginning. A wedding day is like a new beginning to a life with another person you love. You will never do anything alone.
You will have a partner to be at your side in good and bad — something I would have loved to have done for you, if I was not dying. You have found someone to be that person for you. You will know the feeling as soon as you say your vows.
You have been my sunshine in my darkest days. I want you to have the best life and love that God can give you. I'm asking you and your husband to treat each other with love and respect. I hope that you have children to love and cherish as I have with you.
My advice for you and your husband is always to say 'I love you' to each other. Even when you get mad at each other or disagree because you still love the other person — it's just the other feelings that get in the way.
Love will hold the marriage together.
The other advice is be yourself and never change, that's why you love each other.
The things you bring only bring out the best in each other. Still have friends and family to go to when problem arise, they will always have an open ear. But always listen to your heart when making decisions.
I love you, Emily. I know I would love your new husband. I will always be there as you walk anywhere. To your new husband, I will be walking with you, too.
Welcome to the family, I love you.
To the new husband... I will not be able to intimidate you or ask you a million questions before you date my daughter, tell you I have a gun under my bed, or ask you why you are interested in dating my daughter, take your licence plate down and the type of car you drive. But what I can do -- is haunt you.
Treat her like a princess and the queen she will be.