KALISPELL – Terminal cancer didn’t stop one Kalispell couple from fulfilling their dream of getting married.
Sharon Lucas says it’s a love story that spanned over 40 years. She met her second husband Gary when she was 15 but it wasn’t until years later they reconnected.
“I have never felt more loved and wanted in my whole life. Gary was my soul mate. Everywhere we went, we didn’t go alone we went together. If we weren’t together we didn’t go anywhere,” explained Lucas.
Gary’s health took a serious turn last year when he was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. Doctors told Gary and Sharon he didn’t have much time left.
Kalispell Regional Medical Center Chaplain Eric Robbins was brought in to guide Gary and Sharon as Gary’s health declined and during one of Robbins’ talks with Gary, he asked him if he had any regrets.
“You know, are there any regrets you have because he knew at that point he was terminal, barring an absolute miracle of some form,” Robbins said.
“I asked him if he had any regrets and he said the only thing he wished he would’ve done is they would’ve formally gotten married because they had been common law,” he added.
Gary and Sharon set a wedding date, but unfortunately, Gary got worse. Running out of time, Robbins performed a unique ceremony.
“I have not done a bedside wedding. I’ve certainly done many, many weddings. Many weddings — many unique types of weddings. But nothing where it was, you know what let’s do this, and we better make it quick,” Robbins told MTN News.
Hospital staff quickly frosted cupcakes and hung Christmas lights in Gary’s room to make their wedding day.
Hours before Gary passed away he married his longtime love Sharon who told us that her best friend made sure it was a day she’d remember forever.
“She had the cake, she had champagne glasses, my bouquet, his boutonniere, all of it. So, I’ve got that remember. It’s sitting in my china hutch.”
With the love of her life gone, Sharon says her next step is a fresh start. She plans on moving to Grand Prairie, Texas to be close to friends and family.
Reporting by Maren Siu for MTN News