When you think of your journey through motherhood, what milestones do you look forward to the most? There’s the first step your baby takes, that first day of kindergarten, high school and college graduations, and dancing with your kids at their weddings …
We start to picture all these future events from practically the moment we first hold our children in our arms, and we cannot imagine the possibility of not being there. But tragically, some parents won’t actually get to see these special moments play out, because they’ll be taken from the world far too soon.
Stephanie Northcott was one such mom. Northcott almost missed her son Dalton’s high school graduation due to her terminal illness, but with the help of her son’s school staff members, as well as close family and friends, the proud mom was able to see her son earn his diploma before her suffering finally ended.
In a series of gut-wrenching, yet beautiful videos shared by close family friend Julie Northcott, Stephanie — who suffered from the rare syndrome of Lynch Disease — was wheeled down from her hospital room last week and into the chapel of Baptist Memorial Hospital East in Memphis, Tennessee. The occasion? She was about to receive her dying wish: to see her son graduate from high school.
Not only was her son Dalton there, fully dressed for the occasion in his matching cap and gown, but the room also filled with fellow classmates who showed up to participate in the memorable event, too. Family and friends looked on as Stephanie first watched Dalton graduate and then danced with him and her granddaughter Maddyson. (Sadly, Maddyson’s mom Amber, Stephanie’s other child, also passed away from the rare disease in 2012.)
The three danced to the song “I Won’t Let Go” by Rascall Flatts, and the emotional moment turned out to be one of their final memories together, as Stephanie sadly died a week later.
Julie Northcott, who is married to Stephanie’s ex-husband and was stepmother to Amber before she passed away, helped organize the event, knowing just how important it was for Stephanie.
“She talked to me about his graduation and all she wanted was to see her baby boy graduate for 2 years,” Julie shares with Babble. “When I realized she wasn’t going to make it, I knew we needed to do it quickly. I worked with another high school senior who is a really good friend of Dalton’s and she was my go-between for the school. She talked to her principal and got her to call me and she got the kids together to come to the graduation.”
Being able to do this for Stephanie “was a blessing,” Julie adds, saying that Stephanie realized what was happening, she began crying, saying, “‘My baby’s graduating.’”
Another Facebook video also shows Stephanie sharing a few motherly words of wisdom to her son, knowing he was going to live the rest of his life without her.
“Follow your heart,” Stephanie told him. “Don’t follow other people. You can do anything you put your mind to. You can change the world.”