Touching photos show 4-year-old posing in late mom's wedding dress

Posted November 17, 2016

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A mother often dreams of seeing her daughter in her wedding dress, and when one North Carolina woman realized she wouldn’t live to see that day, she took matters into her hands.

At just 4 years old, little Nora Davis still has some time before she has to think about marriage, but she recently donned a very special dress in honor of her late mother, Amber Davis.

Davis passed away last summer after a long, tough battle with a rare form of cervical cancer, Today reported. After a year of chemo, radiation and brain surgery, the mother of three realized her cancer was terminal.

“Even when she was going through awful pain, all she could do was encourage others,” Davis’ sister, Adrianne Blackwelder told ABC News. “It’s so easy to get caught up in things that don’t matter, but she was the mom that knew very much of what’s important. It blew my mind because where we would crawl up in bed and be depressed, she was up and full of life.”

After stumbling upon a photo of a little girl in her mother’s wedding dress, Davis decided she wanted to recreate the image with her little girl, so she reached out to her photographer friend, Heidi Spillane, and asked her if she could help make it happen.

“I said, ‘Let’s plan a date to get it done,’” Spillane told ABC. “But after that, she kind of took a turn for the worse. She was all about spending time with family, so we never got around to scheduling everything. I think she just had that vision of Nora having that special moment to be connected to her mom, by wearing her dress.”

Sadly, Davis didn’t live to see her daughter in her special dress, but more than a year after Davis’s death, her family and Spillane were able to coordinate the photo shoot that she’d longed for.

A few weeks ago, Nora slipped into her mother’s white dress — with a few alterations, of course. She paid a visit to her mom’s stylist, who was able to recreate the hairstyle Davis wore when she married Nora’s dad nearly six years ago, ABC reports.

Spillane met Nora and her family at the very place where the Davises said “I do” and took a series of simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming photos featuring Nora in the dress.

“She looked so innocent and wise at the same time,” Nora’s father, Derek Davis, told Today. “Nora has had to endure many things someone her age should not have to. Through it all, she has shown her mother’s warrior spirit.”

Nora was able to recreate several poses from her parents’ wedding album with her father.

“I thought it was going to be emotional, but it was just a happy time,” Blackwelder told ABC. “We talked about Amber… the day of their wedding. That mother-daughter bond, there is nothing else like it. I think Amber wanted something special for her. Nora enjoyed her day of being a little princess.”

Jessica Ivins is a content manager for and contributor to the Motherhood Matters section.


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