Teen With Down Syndrome Visits Mother’s Grave To Tell Her That He Graduated

Graduating from anything is a major milestone in life and one that is often celebrated with those closest to us, especially family. For most, it marks the time where we transition from childhood to early adulthood, take on new responsibilities, and generally celebrate the fact that we're ready to take on life.

But for one special needs teen from Lousiana named Paul Marshall Jr., he wasn't able to share his high school graduation with his mother, LaTanya Delphine Wilson Marshall, since she had passed away in 2010. Because of this, she was sadly not there to see him graduate in 2020. However, that didn't stop him from including her at the moment anyway, as he went to her grave on the day of his graduation and told her all about his achievement.

Whether it's graduating from high school or university, or any other institution in which one has worked hard to learn and achieve something, when the big day where you can say your hard work paid off and your work has been acknowledged arrives, it's a momentous occasion. That's why graduation ceremonies mean so much to people, both those who are receiving honors and those who are supporting them.

This is why it's difficult when the people you love and who've supported you are unable to come to your graduation ceremony. Sometimes there are big reasons why the people we love can't make it, and other times it's because they are sadly not with us anymore. No matter what the reason is, these people are always dearly missed, and their absence can weigh heavily on the mind of the ones who are graduating.

Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video.

That's what happened to one teen with special needs named Paul Jr., whose mother passed away in 2010, as you'll see in this touching video and as KSLA reports. His mother had always been there for the young man until cancer sadly took her away. Paul Jr. had already had a hard life before her far too young death: born with only one functioning kidney and a defective heart, Paul Jr. had several touch-and-go moments in his young life. He was also diagnosed with Down Syndrome on top of this. However, KSLA quotes his father as stating that despite all of this, Paul Jr. never lost his optimism:

"If you're having a bad day, or going through something, Paul Jr. is the person you want to be around and talking to that day."

Paul Sr. also revealed that his son's wish to include his late mother on his graduation day had a good reason that was as heartbreaking as it was heartwarming: "She always wanted the best for Paul Jr. Her last dying words were, 'I just want to see Paul Jr. graduate.'"

This is a completely understandable wish that likely any good mother can relate to.

So when the time of his graduation came, Paul Jr. was determined that her no longer being alive wouldn't stop him from letting her know of his achievement and including her in his celebration. Captured in a video, the moment has since been shared on the internet, allowing us all to participate and honor the young man in his wonderful achievement.

The teen is seen looking dressed up and dapper in the video posted to YouTube as he wears a button-up shirt, tie and pants on his big day. In the video, he walks up through the cemetery to her grave while holding a bouquet. Once he arrives at her grave, he speaks to his mother, telling her the big news. He says:

"Mommy, I have something to say, that I did it. I did it. I graduated today. And I know you're so proud of me and happy. I love you so much."

Paul Jr. then places the flowers on his mother's grave before kissing his fingers and then touching her tombstone. The moment is so precious because it's clear how deserving and proud the boy is to have graduated, and his mother would surely be so proud to see the young man he's grown into. The video clearly shows that his father is overwhelmed with emotion at this tender moment.

Speaking to KSLA, Paul Jr. admitted that he would miss his days at school: "I'll miss high school and I'm very sad about it." He also mentioned that he was planning to attend Bossier Parish Community College. No further update is available to us, but we are Paul Jr. will go on to reach his life goals. And that his mother will surely be proud of him for anything he achieves.

Congratulations to the young man for graduating high school — he should be very proud of himself, both for his hard work and also for the beautiful way he included his mother in his celebration.

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