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Mother’s dying wish comes true as son has mock graduation in Oklahoma

"That day made me feel an emotion I’ve never felt before

By Kilee Thomas

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    BLANCHARD, Oklahoma (KOCO) — A mother’s dying wish comes true as her son has a mock graduation in Blanchard.

Seeing your child graduate high school is a major milestone in any parent’s life, but for one Blanchard senior, seeing his mom cheering from the stands wasn’t going to happen. With the help of Southwest Medical Center and his school, she still got to see her son accept his diploma.

In May, Blanchard seniors will walk across the field and accept their diplomas, but for one senior, he graduated this week at the foot of his mom’s hospital bed.

“That day made me feel an emotion I’ve never felt before,” said Caleb Woodrum, a Blanchard High School senior.

Woodrum was set to graduate this May from Blanchard High School, but time wasn’t on his mom’s side. Her 10-year battle with congestive heart disease was coming to an end.

“The nurse’s station called me on the morning of the 27th and said, ‘Hey, she really wants to see her son graduate, and we want to make this happen.’ But they said, ‘We need to do it tomorrow,’” said Cara Harris, Caleb’s sister-in-law.

Within 24 hours, the hospital and high school put together the intimate ceremony. In his cap and gown, Woodrum marked the last milestone he would have with his mother.

She died the very next day, on her 57th birthday.

“Getting to do that for her was probably one of the most spectacular memories I will ever have and keep in my heart forever,” Woodrum said.

Woodrum granted his mom her dying wish, marking the moment with a final gift.

“When I opened that bracelet to put on her wrist, and I saw the message that was on that box. It said, ‘I love you, Mom. Your graduate, Caleb.’ That, that set it in stone,” Woodrum said.

Woodrum said his mom will always be with him, including this May when he walks across the stage carrying the ashes.

“I plan on carrying her in my arms as I walk the stage,” Woodrum said.

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