When someone you love has a terminal illness, all the memories you have with that person start to surface as does what the future may look like. For many families, they think about the special moments and milestones that will be missed.

But some plan ahead. The idea that one won’t be there physically has not stopped some people from leaving a few surprises behind for their friends and family. A bride in the U.K. was on the receiving end of one such surprise.

According to the BBC, Emma’s mother was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in 2016, a month after she got engaged to her fiancé, Richard. Emma began planning some parts of her wedding, and one of the small details she took care of was ordering a pair of custom shoes.

Her mom’s death in 2017 has been tough on her, and she wished for her presence during this exciting time. Emma told BBC, “It’s been so hard planning a wedding without having her with me, and I have had lots of tears.” More tears have been flowing recently.

Why? Emma didn’t know that her mom not only paid for her shoes, but also had a special message written on their soles. When she received them in the mail this week, she saw these words in gold:

“Wanted you to have a gift from me on your wedding day. Your wedding shoes are my gift to you. Hope you have a magical day. Lots and lots of love and big hugs, MUM xxxx”

Emma ordered the shoes from Lace and Love, a business that customizes shoes for any occasion. Owner Amanda Weise said that Emma’s mother contacted her by email and shared what was going on with her health and what she wanted to do for her daughter.

“It was her mum who told me she had cancer and wouldn’t be there for Emma’s wedding day. She told me on the first message she sent me. Her mum actually emailed me and said she wanted to pay for the shoes. I said, ‘well she’s already paid half’. She said, ‘can I pay for it all and then you refund her the money when she gets the shoes?’”

Weise also called the project “the most emotional pair of shoes” she’d ever make, but she was delighted to play a role in the gift. She added that it will almost be like Emma’s mom will be walking down the aisle with her. Emma’s fiancé knew about the shoes, but he’d kept it a secret the entire time. The couple is due to get hitched this August.

Since sharing her sweet story on Facebook, Emma’s received kind words of support from others who have gone through a similar experience as well as people sending their well wishes. The shoes will definitely be the ultimate keepsake from her wedding day.

Were you moved to tears by this story? Are you someone who missed having a loved one present for a major moment in your life? Would you have done something like Emma’s mom if you were in her shoes?