A Montana man’s dying wish — to see his son graduate from high school — has come true in what he said was the best day of his life.
John Raines, 49, was told a year and a half ago by doctors that he only had a year left to live because of his terminal brain cancer, CBS News reports.
John knows that his time left is limited, but is hoping to survive so that he can see his son Blake graduate from Billings West High School.
“So I can see my kid graduate,” John told CBS News. “What parent doesn’t want to see it.”
John added that Blake has always been “special” to him because he “was five months premature when he was born. They didn’t know if he was going to even breathe. He’s been special his whole life.”
John’s ex-wife Pam Rudolph told the outlet that she knew John might not live until May, so she arranged a special surprise with her son’s school — an early graduation ceremony just for Blake and John, complete with the school band, balloons and the requisite cap and gown.
“He didn’t have any idea the band would be playing and this was really happening just for him and for Blake,” Pam told CBS News.
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Blake said the hug he got from his dad after he received his diploma was “probably the best hug” he’s ever gotten from his dad, and plans to spend as much time with John as possible.
“I started thinking about everything. How much time I had. What I could do. I’m just going to spend as much time with him as I can,” the high school senior said. “When I got my diploma, and I went down and hugged him, just felt so good. It’s probably the best hug he’s ever given me.”
“The best day of my life,” John said of the emotional ceremony. “People will make you happy. Real happy.”