FLORENCE, KY. – (WKRC) – This Father’s Day weekend for the Parsley family was one that the entire family will never forget.
In it, a moment that didn’t seem possible.
Surprising his wife Nancy with a simple dance is anything but simple for Steve Parsley. Four years ago, the now 70-year-old man was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre and the progression was full paralysis and intubation. It’s been an unbearable situation for Steve, Nancy and the entire family of two children and six grandchildren. After years of hospital stays the two now reside together in an assisted living facility in Florence.
The two were to have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in December but Steve fell ill. The party was moved to this weekend.
"Once we knew dad had planned this we knew we were in for an emotional moment,” said the couple’s son, Tim.
What Steve had planned, without telling his wife, was a dance with his wife to a special song, "Through The Years", by Kenny Rogers.
“She told me I had to get better because I had to dance with her at our 50th anniversary party and so that was the idea behind all of this,” said Steve Parsley.
Parsley began physical therapy with the help of Gateway Rehabilitation Hospital using a device called Next Step. The harness lifts the patient up allowing them to stand.
When Nancy entered the room for the anniversary party, her husband was standing, waiting to dance with her.
“Just to stand up next him face to face, I was just blown over,” said Nancy. “We’ve danced together a number of times but the last four years it has been pretty much side by side, so it was like old times.”
Organizing all of this without telling his wife is something the Parsleys children say is “classic dad.”
“It just shows how incredibly romantic my dad is, even with what he is going through right now,” said the couple’s daughter Becky Thompson. “They are definitely an example of faith and love.”
Nancy says to have all the grandchildren and their cousins here is no small feat, making it even more special everyone drove hours to witness the dance.
"For mom and dad to dance as they've danced throughout their marriage is powerful. It says that their marriage is bigger than the condition he is fighting,” said Tim Parsley.