Norina and Ray Navarro on their wedding day.
Norina and Ray Navarro on their wedding day.Courtesy of Memorial Hermann
  • Norina and Ray have been together for a long time.

  • The plans to marry were delayed because of Norina's illness.

  • Ray organized a wedding after doctors said there was not much time left.

We're going to get married today, that's what Ray Navarro said when he woke up. He walked over to his partner of five years, Norina, who was lying in her hospital bed, gave her a kiss and told her he was getting married. He went out the door.

I asked what. Is this the right time? Norina said that. He said he would return.

Norina was wheeled into the hospital chapel twelve hours later. She wore a sparkling white dress and an updo.

Ray made a promise to her that their love is forever.

They were told they'd better marry quickly

They had a meeting with Norina's team the previous day. It was not good. Norina wanted to keep giving cancer a hell of a fight. If she wanted to get married, she needed to do it quickly.

The couple had everything they needed for their wedding, including a marriage certificate. Norina and Ray wanted to marry in a church. He admitted that it was a bit of denial.

Ray knew he had to act after he met the oncologist. He slept in Norina's hospital bed as nurses poked and prodded her.

He said he needed more than just being her partner.

Everyone pitched in to make the day happy

Ray made calls after he left the hospital. He called family from all over the state and they began driving to Houston to see Norina.

Norina's hospital room was being decorated by the team from the intensive care unit. The staff searched high and low for a hospital bed that would fit through the doors after a nurse asked if she'd prefer to get married in the chapel. Norina told her doctors that she was thrilled when they checked in with her to make sure she could agree to the wedding.

Norina was assisted into her dress by nurses. The post office worked with Ray's brother to make sure he took the day off at the last minute. Norina insisted on having her hair and makeup done by her friend.

Norina said it was amazing. It was a happy day because of the love with which everyone did it.

Until we are parted by death

They got married in the hospital chapel at 6:30 p.m., 12 hours after Ray told Norina they were getting married. Norina's voice broke when she promised to love and cherish Ray "until we are parted by death."

Norina said their vows were so meaningful. The most significant highlight of the day was when I told him how much he meant to me. It was important to me that the commitment was solemn.

She said that it was as close to a reception as possible.

Hubby and wifey

Norina was transferred to Hospice care shortly after the wedding. Each day, she said it was a miracle. Ray and Norina have a lot of comfort in their marriage.

Ray is happy to be married to her. We hold each other's hands. Both of us are called 'Hubby' and 'Wifey.' It was a long time coming.

The wedding was uplifting, according to Norina.

She said that for something as precious as this to happen is really important.

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