On her wedding day, a woman who lost her son thought she would have to celebrate her special day without him. She saved a seat with him carrying a poem: “I’m in heaven for your wedding so what shall I do? I’ll come down to Earth to spend it with you. So save me a seat, just one empty chair. You many not see me, but I shall be there.”
Then she received a visit from someone who reminded her what a great man he truly was.
Becky Turney of Alaska lost her son Triston in 2015, when he was only 19 years of age. The family reportedly took some comfort knowing that he had been an organ donor, and in doing so, was able to save five other lives.
When Becky recently walked down the aisle, her fiancee, Kelly Turney, decided to honor Triston’s legacy with a surprise guest at their wedding. He invited 21-year-old Jacob Kilby, a man who received Triston’s transplant heart, who served as a the “mystery” sixth groomsman at the ceremony. Kelly eventually paused the events to explain who he was at the event.
“I couldn’t wrap my arms around him fast enough,” Becky said.
For her wedding present, Becky was able to hear her son’s heartbeat again.
“You can’t put it into words. It’s immense joy. That’s the coolest thing about the pictures. If you look at [them], it says it all. Total surprise, complete joy. My world was as complete as it could be.”
The whole event was captured by photographer, Amber Lanphier of Love Adventured.
Becky had previously talked with Kilby on the phone, which was arranged by her husband-to-be as a birthday present. Then Kelly came up with the idea of inviting him to the wedding after noticing how well the two hit it off; he wanted to give her something special.
“That whole day, I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t stop crying,” Becky said.
“Now I know why. My son’s presence was there.”
“(Triston) was a guardian to all of his friends. He was the kid who stuck up for the underdog,” she said.
“He lived every day like it was his last. He lived more in his 19 years than most of us do in a lifetime.”