Try not to tear up over this super inspirational story. Just try.
A 97-year-old Grand Rapids, Michigan woman recently celebrated an important right of passage: receiving her high school diploma. Yes.
Margaret Bekema waited 79 long years for the big moment – having dropped out of high school in her junior year to be a nurse for her mother, who was suffering from cancer at the time. She subsequently spent her teens caring for her younger siblings after their mother unfortunately passed away. Clearly the organized, nurturing type, Margaret went on to do clerical work for the armed forces, then became a preschool teacher.
What a gal. And after a lifetime spent giving, her family decided to return the favor.
This summer, relatives contacted Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School – where Margaret was once a student – and administrators jumped at the chance to honor the would-be class of 1936 graduate.
Check out the video below, where sweet Margaret is awarded her diploma by high school Principal Greg Deja and can't quite hold herself together, saying, "I don't know how to express my thanks," through tears. So much awwwww.
Our teenage chores seem pretty pithy in comparison – and while sometimes we might look at the homework and test-filled quest to graduate as a groan-worthy endeavor, Margaret is a wonderful reminder that education is a gift.
Con-grad-ulations, Margaret Bekema, Class of 2015. You're an inspiration!