Mother's Day will be difficult for an eastern Missouri high school senior who lost his mother to cancer last month, but he is thankful for the school officials who granted her dying wish — seeing him get his diploma.
Tammy Rogers of Warrenton was diagnosed with colon cancer two years ago, and she took a turn for the worse in April. The Warren County Record reported that her family feared she wouldn't live long enough to see the youngest of her two children, Chris Rogers, receive his diploma.
"It was very important for my wife to see our son graduate before she passed away," her husband, Danny Rogers, said.
On April 16, Warrenton High School counselor Tonya McDaniel heard about Tammy Rogers' plight. McDaniel approached principal Jeremy Way about holding an impromptu graduation ceremony at the Rogers' home.
School officials scrambled to make it happen. Later that same day, five people from the school district joined about 30 relatives and friends for a ceremony at Tammy Rogers' bedside.
Teachers clad in traditional black gowns talked about Chris' accomplishments. Assistant principal Sharyl Kelsch presented Chris with his diploma. "Pomp and Circumstance" was played, and Chris received an award as the most outstanding vocal music student.
"It was one of the coolest things I've ever been a part of," Chris said. "It made my mom feel like her work was complete. She told me she was proud of me."
Tammy Rogers died a week later.
Chris Rogers will also participate in commencement exercises with his classmates on May 18.