For as long as she can remember, Lexi Verge looked forward to the day when she’d shop for a wedding dress with her mother, Wendy.
“As a kid, I myself always imagined that when the time came for me to find a wedding dress, my mom would be there with me,” Verge, 20, tells PEOPLE. “I know that wedding dress shopping might not be as special to some people, but for my mom and I it was.”
But the mother-daughter plans were cut short when Wendy, 58, was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in August 2016.
“I hoped that it was a mistake and she was misdiagnosed,” Verge says of her mom’s gutting health news. “We woke up that morning and life was normal, and then in an instant our whole world literally turned upside down. But, at the same time, I felt confident that my mom could beat it.”
Months later, in May 2016, Verge says Wendy had “one of her sickest nights” at their Saskatchewan, Canada, home. So, they decided to move up their shopping plans.
“I was 19 and had no plans of marriage anytime soon, but I wanted to share that experience with her before she got too sick,” Verge tells PEOPLE. “We talked about going to a couple of local bridal shops to look at dresses in the upcoming weeks, but then my mom ended up back in the hospital. It was very emotional for both my mom and I, making those plans.”
Wendy was admitted to the hospital on June 13 that year, and would spend the final two months of her life in her hospital bed. With that, Wendy and Verge worked to determine how they could realize their dream. So, Verge turned to Devotion Bridal Lounge, a dress shop on Prince Albert, where the owner, Tammy, agreed to allow Verge and Wendy to shop together at the store in a private appointment.
“The night before we were suppose to take my mom to Devotion Bridal, she got a lot sicker and weaker. As much as she wanted to go, there was no way her body was going to allow her,” Verge says. So, Tammy offered to bring a few dresses to Wendy’s hospital room.
The next day, Verge was able to try on a handful of dresses at her mother’s side in the hospital. Mason, of Mason Neufeld Photography, captured the sweet moments in a series of photos.
“It was emotional,” the doting daughter tells PEOPLE. “There were definitely a lot of tears. I’ll never forget the look on my mom’s face. The first dress my mom saw me in was the one I ended up choosing.”
Verge and Wendy decided on a white, strapless, floor-length gown with intricate detail at the torso. Verge says that although it was devastating to say goodbye to her mother just two months later, she’ll always cherish photos of that day — and the dress they picked.
“That dress is very special to me because my mom and I chose it together,” she says. “That will be the dress I wear on my actual wedding day someday so it’s special that my mom got to see me in the dress before she passed away.”