Grandma gets ride to grad, thanks to staff at personal care home
Fanny Smith promised her grandson's mom she'd always be there for him
A senior in central Newfoundland nearly missed her grandson's high school graduation last weekend, but staff at the care home where she lives stepped in to make the special day happen.
Fanny Smith, 79, of Brown's Arm made a promise to her late daughter that she would always be there for her grandson Brandon Bourne.
"His mom is dead and his dad is dead and I wanted to go and see him get his graduation," Smith told CBC Radio's Central Morning Show.
"His mother was sick ever since he was about four years old. Then his father died with cancer and then his aunt ... and his uncle both got cancer."
Smith lives at White's Family Care Residence in Brown's Arm, about an hour drive from Gander where Brandon was set to go to the prom.
She was supposed to get a ride with relatives, but they had to cancel because of medical appointments.
I went to his pre-school graduation with him because his mom was sick ... Now I've got to his Grade 12.- Fanny Smith
Given her mobility issues — she needs a walker to get around — Smith figured that was it, she wouldn't be making it to Brandon's special day.
"I had no way and I just gave up on it because I wanted one of them [family] to be with me, if they could," Smith said. "If I could walk I would have, or got a bike or something. I would have got there somehow if I could."
Then a staff member at the care home asked Smith if she was excited to go to the graduation ceremony.
"I said 'Not going to get in there my darling, but that's it, that's what you've got to put up with,'" Smith said.
A short while later as she was just finishing her breakfast, staff gathered around, some with tears in their eyes.
A supervisor hugged Smith and told her a ride had been arranged so she could make it to see Brandon.
"She looked up and she said 'Fanny my dear, you're going to Gander, we've got somebody to drive you and everything,'" Smith said.
Tears, hugs and first dance with nan
Smith said it was a surprise for Brandon, who was disappointed when he heard she wouldn't be able to join his stepmother and stepsister at the grad
"I was crying and he hugged me and said 'Nan, you're going to have to have the first dance with me,'" Smith said.
"I can tell you it was a pretty exciting dance too. I can't remember I was all caught up with him, my eyes were on him and I just wanted to see him happy."
Back at the personal care home, Smith said it feels good to know the staff there have her back and that she was able to fulfil the promise made to her daughter all those years ago.
"I went to his pre-school graduation with him because his mom was sick, I went to his kindergarten because she was sick. Now I've got to his Grade 12, and that was my wish before I died," she said.
"They're good to us here. They're good people and they'll do anything to make you happy. We've got a good spot here."
With files from Martin Jones and the Central Morning Show