One of the joys of being a father to a daughter is walking her down the aisle on her wedding day.
A Windward Oahu man got that chance just days before his passing.
After 10 days in the hospital, Jamesy Gonsalves-Figueroa knew the end was near for her father. “He was really down. His body was starting to shut down,” she said.
Her wedding was scheduled for July 23 and it was Colin “Kimo” Gonsalves’ goal to walk her down the aisle. She was told he may not make it.
“We decided that we were going to go through and have this wedding done here (at the hospital), whether it was at Dad’s room or here in the chapel,” said Gonsalves-Figueroa.
An impromptu wedding was going to happen at noon the following day at Castle Medical Center. Gonsalves would not be denied his final wish.
“When we came, it was beautiful. Probably one of the most beautiful experiences I ever had in my life, truly. I’ll never forget it. I play it in my mind everyday, really,” said Gonsalves-Figueroa.
She recalls watching her father being wheeled into the chapel: “He stopped the procession and he said, ‘No, I’m walking my daughter.’ And he stood up and he walked me to the front and he asked Chaplain Dave, or he actually asked me, ‘Doesn’t he have to ask me something?’ We laughed and Chaplain Dave asked him, ‘Who gives this woman to this man?’ and my dad said, ‘I do.’”
It was a special moment for everyone.
“It was almost like he had so much energy that he was able to walk me down the aisle, but he also was able to tell me how much he loved me, how much he cared,” Gonsalves-Figueroa said.
Once the wedding ceremony was done, Gonsalves had one more request. He turned to his wife of 33 years, Ann, and the couple renewed their vows.
“We just spoke to one another, told each other how much we loved each other,” said Ann Gonsalves. “It was God’s plan because he wasn’t able to do Saturday.”
Kimo died four days later.
“He got to do what he set out to do. His maybe final responsibility. He got to walk his oldest daughter down the aisle,” said Gonsalves-Figueroa.
“It’s been a little struggle for our family, but we know one day we’re going to meet again,” said Ann Gonsalves.
Photographs by Ken Lincoln and Chad Brownstein. Video by Keone and Monique Benz.