Submitted by Michael Sullivan
With was less than two weeks until my wedding, my dad was in the hospital for emergency heart surgery. It was obviously a traumatic experience and the longest day of my life. Thankfully everything went well and the surgery was a success. Still, the wedding plans that my fiancée and I had made were thrown off course. We had planned to be married in the Red River Gorge in Kentucky. The idea was to take a small hike to a picturesque location where the ceremony would be held. Unfortunately, this was no longer going to be possible; my dad was recovering and couldn't travel in a car other than back and forth to the doctor's office, let alone take a small hike for a wedding. We found ourselves back at square one, trying to plan our wedding with less than two weeks until our intended date. We didn't want to move our date as my wife's family had made their arrangements already and we weren't sure when everyone would be able to be together at the same time again. We ultimately decided to get married at my parent's house so that my dad would be able to be comfortable. Still, finding an officiant at the last minute seemed problematic, and then in stepped my wonderful coworker, Melanie Sims. She knew the stress we were under and took it upon herself to offer her services to marry us. She had married another couple previously, so we knew she was legally able to perform the marriage. She met with us beforehand and helped plan our ceremony. The ceremony was beautiful and Melanie did an amazing job. She even helped us provide a great surprise to our families when she announced the sex of our baby at the end of a Celtic handfasting ceremony (a baby girl!). Melanie is always going out of her way to do small things to brighten people's days. She frequently brings in goodies to work for her coworkers, organizes flowers for those in the hospital, and always gives everyone cards on the holidays. She even is a pretty good last minute wedding officiant if you ever need one!