Tommy DiPaolo couldn’t make his son’s wedding in Disney, so his nursing home arranged an impromptu ceremony. There was hardly a dry eye in the place.
NEPTUNE — Tommy DiPaolo stood up, which in itself was an act of fortitude. The 65-year-old is suffering from late-stage kidney cancer, Parkinson’s disease and Hepatitis C.
With one hand gripping a walker and the other cradling a glass of cider, the father of the groom fought off tears and offered a wedding toast straight from the chest: To the happy couple, of course, but also to the folks at Imperial Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.
Here’s why: For the past two years, Ellen Tyndell and Thomas DiPaolo planned a destination wedding in Disney World. When it became clear the elder Tommy couldn’t get there, the nursing home brought the wedding to him. They threw an impromptu ceremony in their courtyard Saturday, four weeks before the main event in Orlando.
“This is the highlight of my life,” the grateful dad told the assembled crowd of about 50, most of whom were Imperial residents and staffers. “I’m just so overwhelmed by your love, and I hope I give you love, too.”
You could hear a pin drop. Even the birds were quiet.
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