When a woman is at the altar on her wedding day, usually there is only one man she has eyes for and reads her vows to. However, a woman in New York found herself up there with two. And her vows to the second man were what brought tears to everyone’s eyes at her wedding.
The bride, Emily Leehan, brought tears to her groom, Joshua Newville, and his son Gage’s eyes by the vows she read to both of them. During the ceremony at Quincy Cellars in Ripley, New York in 2017, Emily shared some warm words with the then four-year-old Gage, whom she knew since he was two, according to HuffPost.
“I want you to be safe and to try your hardest and to be a good person,” Emily, a senior airman in the Air Force, told Gage. “I know that you and I will butt heads, but I hope that with all my heart, that as you become a grown man, you will understand my methods and realize that I have only done what is best for you and that I love you. The last thing that I hope you learn that you are a very special boy. You are so extremely smart, handsome and kind to others. You have helped make me into the woman that I am today. I may not have given you the gift of life but life surely gave me the gift of you,” she said.
The child was crying profusely by then and alternatingly hugging his new mom and father, who is a sergeant in the Marines. The stepmom tried to keep the mood so she could finish her vows to the second most important man in her life. The beautiful moment was captured by the photographer, Jessica Husted.
“There were so many nerves leading up to this moment, which is why my immediate reaction was giggling. If I didn’t giggle I probably would have sobbed and not been able to finish,” she said. “I wanted to make sure he heard everything I had to say and that he knows how much I love him.”
Her vows ended with her hugging and kissing the little boy, who was clearly overwhelmed with the love he received that day. Joshua also teared up by her loving words for his son on this memorable day.
“When she started reciting the vows, that’s when the emotion took over and he lost it,” he told ABC News. “The whole day was pretty emotional, so I was just trying to keep myself together and keep him together.”
The groom told ABC News that Gage was told how great he was that day and how he made the day special. “We were telling him, ‘You did awesome,’ and our family and friends were saying that and told him he made it even better,” Joshua said.
All weddings are the start of something entirely new, but for some people, it also means being accepted by the children of the one they love. Similarly, when single parents remarry there is always a slight hesitation about how their child will be accepted by the stepparent. Some are lucky and some aren’t. However, the young boy in New York proved to be very lucky when his father remarried.
Even Gage’s mother Kali Nuckols praised Emily as a stepparent. She told Huffpost, “As his mother I can say that she is an amazing step-mother to him. I couldn’t have picked someone better. Gage is lucky to have her and I’m so thankful I can trust her to be there when I cannot be!”