No matter what happens, you will never ever forget your graduation day. Just like your wedding day, or the birth of your first child, it’s a moment that will be permanently etched into your mind.
It’s a day of pure celebration; where you can be unapologetically selfish, vain and spoilt. After all, you’ve earned it. But whilst it may be an excuse to bask in your own glory without judgment, graduation is also a truly humbling time.
There are few events that can truly unite people, but graduation is one. Across the world families, some with extremely fractious relationships, will come together and forget their differences in order to support their graduating relative. Be it divorced parents joining forces to cheer on their child, or quarreling siblings calling a truce in order to applaud one another as they collect their diplomas. Graduation is a truly magical time.
To highlight just how incredibly momentous graduation can be for a separated family, let me introduce the heartwarming story of Jasmine Barroga from Houston, Texas.
Jasmine was graduating from Northside High School on June 2, and whilst her family were all gathered to support her, there was one person missing.
Jasmine’s brother, DJ, hadn’t seen his family in two years after joining the army and moving to Hawaii whilst on duty. But whilst JD is extremely committed to serving his country, he knew he couldn’t let his sister down and not attend her graduation.
Watch the moment he returned to support, and surprise, his little sister…
Boarding a plane in Hawaii, DJ took the 10-hour flight to Houston to surprise his little sister – who remained completely oblivious to the arrangements.
Clearly well-trained at being undercover, DJ positioned himself directly in front of Jasmine on stage, concealing himself in a cap and gown to blend in with the other students.
It wasn’t until Jasmine stood at the side of the stage and heard her name be called that she recognized her brother, who by now had removed the gown to reveal his army uniform.
Overwhelmed, she begins to cry and she walks shakily up to the stage to join DJ, who is stood stoically still despite the deafening cheers from the audience.
However, DJ’s elaborate plan didn’t end there, because he had a few words to say to his sister and her fellow classmates. “Congratulations to the class of 2018, you guys will do great things, and just keep it going,” he says, a little nervously as Jasmine sobs by his side.
It’s an emotional moment that will certainly raise a lump in the throat for even the most cold-hearted of people – no doubt DJ even struggled to keep himself from shedding a few tears!
For Jasmine, having her brother return to her after two years apart was the best graduation gift that she could have ever received – no future present will ever be able to compete!
It just goes to show how somebody’s presence is the best present a person can give, or receive. Whilst expensive jewelry and gadgets may be appreciated and treasured, there is nothing like a long embrace with a loved one – especially when it comes as a surprise on one of the greatest days of your life.