The photo instantly caught my attention. Even though the bride in the picture is clearly ill, she just seemed so beautiful to me, and you could tell how much she and her new husband loved each other. I decided to learn more about the couple, and their story touched my heart more than anything has in a long time. I wanted to share the story of Katie Kirkpatrick and Nick Godwin with you in case you had not seen it before. All black-and-white pictures were found at Katie's Facebook Tribute Page and were originally taken by photographer Romain Blanquart.
During her senior year, Katie was Homecoming Queen at Lapeer East High School in Michigan. She was beautiful, talented, friendly, and full of life. A few months later, she graduated as the valedictorian of her class and began her graduation speech with the following two lines:
“Life is a fragile chain of experiences held together by love. If there could be only one thing in life to learn, it would be to learn to love.”
One year later, on Valentine's Day, 2002, while a freshman at Rochester College in Michigan, Katie was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. The next year she was also diagnosed with an inoperable lung tumor. Her high school sweetheart, Nick Godwin, supported and stayed by Katie's side the entire time. Despite Katie's continually declining condition, Nick proposed and Katie accepted.
A few months later, on January 15, 2005, Katie, age 21 and Nick, age 23 were married at the Church of Christ in Hazel Park, Michigan. Katie died five short days later. After she passed away, Nick said this about the opportunity to marry Katie:
"It was wonderful. It was a dream come true. She was the most beautiful angel ever—just caring and selfless, and such an inspiration to everyone. She was always smiling no matter what happened, no matter what news she got. She was as close to perfect as they come."
|Katie and Nick's Wedding Ceremony.|
|Katie walks past a picture of her as Homecoming Queen a few years earlier.|
|Nick and his best men serenade Katie in her wheelchair.|
|Katie puts in her earrings as the finishing touches to her wedding dress.|
|Katie and Nick share a moment with Katie's parents.|
|Katie with her dad, Dave Kirkpatrick.|
|An exhausted Katie takes a break during the wedding dinner.|
|Katie in pain prior to the wedding.|
|Nick and Katie during a long day at the hospital.|
|Nick waits patiently with Katie during a medical |
procedure just eight days before the wedding.
Katie and Nick's example is a powerful reminder to me to try to love with all of my heart, because as Katie said in her graduation speech, there really is nothing more important in life than that. God bless you, Katie and Nick!