Seeing their children growing and becoming successful people is the best thing parents can experience during their lifetime. Watching them finish high-school or graduate means the world to so many moms and dads out there. For one father named Terry Borowski who was terminally ill, the wish of seeing his son walking across the stage and getting his diploma seemed like a distant and unreachable dream. For his son Darien, who is a student at the Oak Harbor High School, having his father near him on his special day was of great importance, too. But both the father and the son were aware it could never happen.
Terry was spending his last days at Stein Hospice in Sandusky, Ohio. During his stay there, he told the medical staff how he was afraid he would miss his son’s graduation, and it was obvious it made him extremely unhappy.
“That was the first thing that he said when he started getting a little weaker, ‘I don’t think I’m going to make it for graduation,’” recalled Terry’s wife, Michelle, to Port Clinton News Herald.
Jennifer DeWitt who is a social worker learned of Terry’s wish and she was determined to make it happen, no matter what it took. She reached Darien’s school, told them how things were, and asked them to do a “mock” graduation for the student and his family. The school knew doing so would mean the world to the Borowskis and they were more than happy to step in.
Principal Cheryl Schell, school board president Jeff Dornbusch and district superintendent Guy Parmigian prepared an early commencement for Darien. School’s staff and students took part in it and made it look as authentic as possible. Honestly, they nailed it.
“We’ll do anything for our kids and their families,” Schell stated. “This was a no-brainer. I couldn’t think of anything more important than to be here today.”
It wasn’t the first time for the hospice center to host such an important ceremony, as the school would never turn down such request as making a terminally ill parent happy seeing their child graduate.
“They would absolutely drop everything for something this important,” Dornbusch said of colleagues Schell and Parmigian. “This is just important as the May graduation date.”
What the hospice center and the school did was really awesome. Terry’s heart was filled with joy seeing Darien wearing the green hat. Both institutions were praised for their selfless effort of granting a dying man’s his final wish.
“I’m so proud of you,”
Terry told his son as he asked him to throw the hat in the air.
“Just seeing his father’s face — it made us very happy we’re here today,” Schell added. “As parents, we just want to know our kids are going to be OK. That they have a future and can take care of themselves. We have no doubt about that with Darien.”