Laurie Zakaria, a beautiful bride wanted her terminally ill mother to be there on her wedding day. Laurie's mother Wadad Zakaria, who lay dying from lung cancer, knew her final wish to see her only daughter marry would be realized.
Doctors called the Zakarias at 4:30 a.m. advising them to hurry to St. Joseph’s. Wadad’s oxygen levels were depleted, and she was expected to die at any moment. But as family members trickled into the hospital, Wadad’s condition improved. She opened her eyes and resumed breathing. "I broke the news to her that we’re getting married in a few hours and asked if she could just hang in there," Laurie said.
After nearly 3 years of illness, Wadad, 60 years old, watched from a wheelchair as Laurie, 28, married Ahmad Obeid in the tiny 4th floor sun room at Toronto’s St. Joseph’s Hospital. Several of the nearly 50 family members in attendance shed tears as the couple softly recited their vows before an arch adorned with white lilies.
For Laurie, Ahmad’s decision to push forward the wedding date was an ultimate act of love, one that will live long after Wadad dies. "He knows that it meant the world to me," she said after the ceremony, clasping Ahmad’s hand, tears resting on her cheeks. "In a weird way, this situation proved it to me. It was important and he stepped up." "It is sad on one side and so happy on the other side," Bill said. "I bet now she’s so happy that she’s seen her daughter get married right in front of her eyes. She wanted her to get married before God took her away."
As family later milled about the hospital wing, snacking on reception sandwiches and cookies, Laurie, her flowing white wedding gown resting in a pool on the hospital floor, knelt quietly next to Wadad’s bed.