“It’s a bitter but sweet thing, I hate that he’s not able to be here,” the father said
Friends and family are gathering around the country to celebrate their loved one's achievements but for some families, it is a bittersweet experience. Donald Perry Sr. accepted his late son’s diploma during what would have been Donald Perry Jr.’s graduation from Saginaw High School in Saginaw, Michigan, reported Newsner.
“It’s a bitter but sweet thing, I hate that he’s not able to be here,” the father said. 17-year-old Perry Jr. was killed in a car accident in November 2020. He and three friends were ejected out of a 2020 Dodge Charger when they were driving in Buena Vista Township. His parents recollected his big plans to attend college where intended to study electrical engineering and real estate. Despite Perry Jr.’s dreams coming to a tragic end, his family, classmates and faculty wanted to remember him as the “Mr. Perfect" he was known to be. "They called him Mr. Perfect because a lot of them really admired him because he was a humble person really and he had a great smile on his face all the time," explained LaTosha Perry, Perry Jr.'s mother, according to WNEM.
During the school’s graduation ceremony, Perry Sr. accepted his son’s diploma and said, “I thank Saginaw High School for allowing me to do that it’s a privilege and an honor and I really appreciate it," reported Newsner. While other families ended the day with parties and dinners, the Perry family made their way over to Forest Lawn Cemetery where Perry Jr. is buried.
The story went viral online and many users offered their condolences to the family. "Losing a child of yours is very hard. I'm glad the school let the father accept it in his honor. My condolences to his family. This young man could have been so many things. Im sorry he didn't get a chance to show the world what he could do," one wrote, while another said, "That's a beautiful contribution for his son I'm sure he's looking down and is proud as he can be of his dad."