Nurse, chaplain and kitchen staff pull together a very special wedding

January 6, 2020
white wedding cake with fresh berries
Longtime pair tie the knot in the acute care unit at the hospital in Sedro-Woolley

It wasn’t the kind of wedding everyone dreams of, but it was the kind that moved everyone to tears.

A patient was in the acute care unit at PeaceHealth United General Medical Center in Sedro-Woolley, Washington.

When it became clear to him that he didn’t have long to live, he and his longtime girlfriend decided to tie the knot before it was too late.

His nurse, Shannon Lauder, RN, quickly got the ball rolling to make a lasting memory for the couple and their families.

She enlisted the help of Mary Bosell, the chaplain at PeaceHealth United General, who wrote and officiated a meaningful ceremony (copy below), custom-made for the bride and groom.

Shannon tapped Muriel Thompson to provide refreshments for family members who would be there for the bedside vows. Even though the kitchen was working with a short staff and several members who were still quite new, the team gladly went the extra mile to bake a beautiful cake, decked out with fresh fruit amidst a wonderful spread of treats.Chaplain Mary Bosell and Cook Muriel Thompson

Dr. Song Hong, the hospitalist who had been caring for the patient, joined the couple and other caregivers for the memorable event.

“There wasn’t a dry eye in the house,” says Shannon. "It is days like today I feel my patients teach me more than I will ever be able to teach them."

October 15, 2019

Marriage Ceremony on the Acute Care Unit
Officiant: Pastor Mary Bosell
PeaceHealth United General Medical Center

Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here on this cloudy evening in October 2019 to recognize the union in marriage of these two people, patient and wife, who have devoted themselves to each other, to their family and friends and to serving this community for many years.

We acknowledge that this situation is not ideal. We are here in this hospital room and it seems that we never have enough time to do all the things we wanted to do, or to say all the things we wanted to say.

Even so, we CAN affirm is what is already true.

There HAS been time enough to do important work together and to help those in need.
There HAS been time enough to enjoy the beauty of this place and these people in your lives.
There HAS been time enough to learn to love and accept each other just as you are.

And today, there IS enough time to officially “tie the knot” before God and these witnesses.

For this reason, it is my honor and privilege to invite you both to affirm what is already true.

Do you, LS, take this woman (RL) to have and to hold….to love and to cherish….in joy and in sorrow….now and always? If so, say “I do.”

Do you, RL, take this man (LS)…to have and to hold….to love and to cherish….in joy and in sorrow….now and always? If so, say “I do.”

Let us pray,

Gracious God, source of all love--pour your blessing upon these two beloved ones, Roy and Rose. We give thanks for their lives together and all that they have meant to their family and friends, to this community and to each other.

Give them strength and courage in the days to come knowing that whatever happens—they are not alone and love never dies.

May they find peace and joy in these promises that they have made to each other and trust in your promise of life everlasting.

As now, an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran church of America and as a chaplain in Peacehealth United General Medical Center,…I now pronounce you husband and wife.

You may kiss your bride!