A wedding to remember

WHITESBORO -- Newscasts these days seem to be packed with stories about fires and murders and crimes.

But, every once in awhile, a story comes along that deserves our attention because it reminds us of the power of our community.

Thanks to the people of Whitesboro, as well as a California charitable organization, one local man had his dying wish granted.

"People would never have believed how much this means to me," said Tommie Riley.

"We're renewing our wedding vows," said Nancy Riley.

Tommie Riley of Whitesboro is dying. He has a lethal form of lung cancer. Doctors tell him that he has less than a year to live. But, that didn't stop him from sweeping his wife of 40 years right off her feet Friday night.

"When we got married the first time, we were married by a Justice of the Peace in Dallas in a ceremony that took about 2 minutes," Nancy said.

"I have tried for 40 years to redo that, to make it up to her. Finally now though the Dream Foundation, they were able to make it happen. This is my dream come true," said Tommie.

The Dream Foundation is a national organization that grants a final wish to terminally ill adults. They connected with Craig Phillips a local business owner, and gave the Riley's a night to remember.

"We were all able to just pitch in, and be a community. We were able to help out and fulfill a dream, a life long dream that is 40 years in the making," said Phillips.

The tux, gowns, salon treatments, reception food and the like were all provided by local businesses as Whitesboro rallied around one of their own. And Tommie was overjoyed.

"That's what we live for: it's for life. I'm enjoying it to the fullest today. I don't know whether I want to stand still, sit down, or run. Half the time, I want to start balling, but I try not to," said Tommie.

He held it together throughout the evening, and afterward had one final thanks for his fellow citizens.

"This city is a miracle city. I have never seen people that have so much love and so much care to give to somebody. May God bless you all," Tommie said.

And what makes this story that much more touching is that the Riley's only moved to Whitesboro about 6 months ago.


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