Home News ‘His eyes simply lit up’: Virginia man will get to see grandson graduate in particular mock ceremony
News - June 13, 2021

‘His eyes simply lit up’: Virginia man will get to see grandson graduate in particular mock ceremony

BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) — Most 2021 commencement ceremonies have already handed, however another particular than most was hosted Friday at Viviant Healthcare of Bristol in Bristol, Virginia.

The household of highschool pupil Chandler Kreeger knew they have been operating out of time to make a want come true for Charles Burnett, 91.

“He at all times informed me and my dad and mom he needed to carry on till my commencement,” mentioned Burnett’s grandson Chandler Kreeger.

Kreeger loves his grandfather dearly and has at all times seemed as much as him as a job mannequin. He’s a rising senior at Virginia Excessive Faculty and won’t truly graduate till 2022, however he donned a cap and robe Friday for a particular ceremony.

Charles Burnett has dementia and is on hospice care, with declining well being. For him, this early commencement is correct on time.

“We don’t assume he’ll make it subsequent 12 months. We needed to verify that is the final huge reminiscence he’ll have the ability to have and Chandler will at all times keep in mind,” mentioned Sinda Canter, admissions director for VHB.

Charles’ spouse Bonnie says he has been dreaming of this second since Chandler was just a little boy.

“From the time he began college he mentioned, ‘I simply pray I can stay to see you graduate from highschool,’” mentioned Bonnie Burnett.

Canter labored with Kreeger and his members of the family to placed on a commencement ceremony that will put all others to disgrace.

Kreeger bought to stroll in a procession to pomp and circumstance, hear a commencement speech, and obtain his “diploma.”

Different members of Viviant Healthcare walked with Kreeger to make the ceremony really feel extra official.

“To see him right here and to carry the commencement to him, it’s one thing that made all people cry, it made me cry and I’m not ashamed to say that,” mentioned Kreeger.

Bonnie Burnett says although her husband has dementia, he knew precisely what was taking place earlier than him.

“He was alert sufficient, you would inform when he noticed Chandler, his eyes simply lit up,” she mentioned.

Kreeger will enter his senior 12 months this fall understanding it doesn’t matter what occurs, he won’t ever be robbed of this particular second.

“I do know it’s not actual and every thing like that. However it nonetheless feels actual. All of the emotion with my grandfather and everybody else in right here, it makes you are feeling just a little bit higher,” mentioned Kreeger.

This younger man is aware of loss too effectively. Chandler Kreeger misplaced his mom final 12 months to most cancers. He and his household perceive the significance of these closing days, as they soak them in with Charles.

“He wanted this. He wanted this reminiscence of Grandad,” mentioned Bonnie Burnett.

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