"I had to talk to pastoral care, legal department, nursing staff," said Erdmann. "They thought they were getting married in Elvin's room, but we decided to have it in our courtyard. So our facilities folks got out leaf blowers.  We had people buying cakes, we had someone play the piano and sing. And so everyone kicked in. It wasn't the traditional medical care, but it's what needed to happen that day."

Strangers and staff joined in with their family to take in their special ceremony. "From the widows up on all four sides you could see people watching."

Dr. Conway says this is a day he and many of his co-workers will never forget. "His story, which is about the end of his life, for us gives us life at work. It is that deep of meaning for us. Thankfully I was the person that got asked to see Elvin. And that was one of the luckiest days of my career really."

"Elvin why is it so important to get married?" This is the moment he stopped talking to the reporter, and started talking directly to her. "I love Kathy and she wanted to be with me. She's just perfect. She takes care of me perfect. I couldn't asked for anything better."

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." At 37-years old, Elvin's moments are running out. And they are all trying to come to grips with that. "Love you Jamie. Love you guy."

I asked what the hardest part was for each of them. Kathy replied, "For me, knowing that one day he won't be here next to me. That's the toughest part for me. Right now it's a cake walk. Yeah he's going through all this terrible stuff but all I can do is be there for him and that's easy."

Choking back tears, Elvin adds, "knowing that I won't be here forever. Because I want to be here forever. But nobody gets that."

Yes, when you enter into marriage, you make certain promises. To love and honor, in sickness and in health. Promises Elvin and Kathy understand more than most.

"I am proud to introduce you to Mr. and Mrs. Smothers."


About two weeks after this "In Search Of" story aired, Elvin Smothers passed away.

His wife Kathy tells us he went very peacefully on Monday, November 25, surrounded by family and friends and, of course, with Kathy right by his side.