BENTON CITY, Wash. - A Benton City mother's dying wish to see her daughter graduate, came true Monday night.
Kara Jordon watched her daughter, Rylee Smith, accept her diploma, from Kiona-Benton High School, two years ahead of her official graduation.
"[It was] heartbreaking...absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking," said Jordon.
"I'm so glad we could have this because I know my mom won't be here much longer," said Smith, fighting back tears.
Kara has been battling cancer for the past four years. Doctors recently gave her six months to live, and her one wish was to see her daughter graduate.
"She had an idea something was going on, but she didn't know how big...I don't think any of us knew," said Smith.
The ceremony was like any other graduation. There was a processional, emotional speeches, a tribute video...even a presentation of diplomas. It was a true ceremonious occasion played out in front of a packed audience.
"Looking up in the stands and seeing how many people were here was just phenomenal. I can't imagine a better smaller town," said Smith.
It was a sight that also warmed her mother's heart, assuring Kara that, even though she doesn't have much time left, her daughter will always have her family, friends and community to lean on.
"It kind of makes me feel like even when I am gone, she will still have a lot of love and support...it really makes you treasure your friends and family," said Jordon.
Rylee chose nine of her closest friends to join her in the graduation ceremony. Members of the Kiona-Benton School Board also attended the ceremony.