Like many lucky little girls, Mary Bourne Roberts grew up dancing with her father, Jim Roberts. The two would dance around the family’s kitchen to “their song,” which was “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack. They always knew that when Mary would one day get married, it would be their father-daughter dance at her reception.
Mary, whose love of dancing may have been kindled by those moments with her father, majored in dance at the University of Alabama. Currently, she teaches at the Eastern Shore Dance Academy in Daphne, Ala. However, her most beautiful dance may have occurred on her wedding day with her dear father.
Jim was diagnosed with glioblastoma in May of 2017. The incurable form of brain cancer is fast-growing, and he feared he would not be alive to walk his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day, which was Dec. 29, 2018. By mid-December, Jim entered hospice care. Mary and her father, however, knew they would have their dance.
Jim was able to accompany his daughter down the aisle to marry her husband, James Butts, on Saturday. After the ceremony, he took to his hotel room to rest. However, during the reception, he felt well enough to appear for their long-awaited father-daughter dance.
Together, the two danced to their song. Jim twirled his daughter; Mary pushed him around the dance floor in his wheelchair during the chorus. Jim wiped away his tears.
Tracy Roberts, Jim’s wife and mother of the bride, told AL.com, “He would have cried through the whole thing even if he’d been on his feet.” According to Tracy, the dance was “a testimony to her love for her dad.”
“He was overwhelmed with pride and the love he feels for her,” Tracy told the outlet. “It was a great day for him, a beautiful, perfect day for all of us.”
Mary Bourne Butts did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.
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