Senior prom is one of the highlights of your senior year and the perfect way to celebrate high school almost being over. So much planning and preparation are put into making the night unforgettable for all that attend the big event.
For one high school senior, she just had the most unexpected prom that she and many others will never forget. Many people thought her date to the prom was her father but they were surprised at who was actually her date for the night.
One family in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania is suffering an unimaginable loss, not once, but twice now.
According to Public Opinion Online, Carter Brown was not all about going to a high school prom, but he was still excited to go because it would make his girlfriend, Kaylee Suders, happy.
That’s why Carter’s dad, Robert Brown, stepped in to take Suders to her senior prom after Carter died in a car crash a month before James Buchanan High School’s big dance. He knew his youngest son would still want Suders to go.
“I think that my husband is incredible. He is just a loving and giving human. He’s truly amazing, he is a gift,” said Kelly Brown, Carter’s mom, and Robert’s wife. “I know that Carter was in college, he wasn’t super excited about going to a high school prom, but he was excited about doing that for Kaylee…so Rob didn’t like the idea of Kaylee not getting that.”
Carter, 19 and a 2017 graduate of James Buchanan, was pronounced dead the morning of April 15 at the scene of a three-vehicle crash in Huntingdon. Driving a Honda Civic at about 7:35 a.m. on Pa. 22, he had crossed into the opposing lane of traffic and hit the rear driver’s side of one car before colliding head-on with another car, according to the Centre Daily Times.
After staying up much of the night before, Carter had been traveling from Indiana State University, where he was a freshman studying culinary arts, to surprise Suders, her mom, Christina Nicholas, said. As she was waiting for him to arrive, Suders grew concerned and said he should have been there already. When Nicholas proposed he got stuck in traffic or got pulled over, Suders insisted he still should have been there by then.
Soon after, Kelly Brown called to share she had received the call every parent hopes they never get.
That was a Sunday. By the end of the week, Robert Brown got to thinking that Suders deserved to experience her senior prom, that Carter would not want her to miss it, and that he would be the one to take her. By Monday, just over a week since Carter’s death, he called the school’s principal, Rod Benedick, to get his attendance at the prom approved.
“It meant a lot that he kind of stepped up and took the role because it was my senior prom and I didn’t want to go anymore,” Suders said.
Public Opinion Online continues:
James Buchanan High School hosted its prom at Green Grove Gardens. Suders, Robert Brown, and several members of their families gathered for photos before they departed together in Carter’s beloved sports car, an Audi TT. They even went out for dinner beforehand at T.G.I. Friday’s, where Suders and Carter went on their first date.
“Whenever we got (to the prom), everyone just thought it was amazing,” Suders said.
At the prom, Robert Brown tried his best to fit in with the teens. He wanted the night to be all about Kaylee.
“It takes a special kind of person to step up, especially when they’re hurting and going through stuff too. It’s nice he took the initiative to ask her and have a good time,” Nicholas said.
The Browns have endured more than just a tough month; their oldest son, Christopher Brown, died in September at age 23. It was emotional, but Robert Brown escorting Kaylee to prom gave them something to look forward to.
“We lost Chris in September. Seven months apart, it’s an awful lot,” Kelly Brown said. “This gave us something to be excited about. So that was also kinda a gift to have something fun to look forward to. It was big deal for all of us.”
Read more about this incredible story and this amazing father at Public Opinion Online.
At such a time of tragedy for this family, this father stepped up to the plate when he didn’t have to. He has every right to mourn the loss of his second son in less than 1 year. His simple action is one that Kaylee will never forget. During a time of immense struggle and unimaginable heartbreak, this man thought outside his own pain to do something incredibly special for this girl. They are a support system for each other and he’s an incredible example to others.
What an amazing father and selfless individual he is. He touched the lives of everyone there and everyone who reads this. I know it makes me want to be a better person all around.