"I will always be grateful for his sacrifice to put his life at risk many times just to see me again," said Sarai Ruiz thanking her father.
Last week, a student of Hector Garcia Early College High School received her diploma during a graduation ceremony in Texas. Despite this achievement, the Laredo High Schooler, Sarai Ruiz failed to enjoy the celebration because someone very important to her was missing. Her father, Esteban, was unable to attend this event as he couldn't cross the US border reports CNN En Español. Ruiz recalled how her dad was deported back to Mexico when she was just four-years-old according to reports.
"He was deported from the US when I was about four," recollects Ruiz adding further that her mother decided to move to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where her family now resides. However, she gets to attend school in Texas and has to cross the border every day to get to Hector J. Garcia Early College High School. "It's hard to wake up early, like at five a.m. just so you can cross and go to school, and then cross back in the afternoon," she told CNN affiliate KGNS.
The degree she received was the result of her hard work and determination. She hoped her family could be present while receiving the certificate, but her dad was missing. "My whole life, I had always thought that my whole family was going to be there. Unfortunately, my dad couldn't be there because he can't cross (the border)," she said. Despite the setback, she resolved to share this special moment with her dad right then. After the graduation ceremony ended, the 18-year-old student walked up Puente de Las Americas (the Gateway to the American Bridge) with her graduation cap and gown still on.
Congratulations to LISD’s Youth of the Month Award recipients for September. They are Mayka Coutino-Ramirez of Martin High School; Diana Lesley Santos of Cigarroa High School; Sheyla Rodman of Nixon High School; and Sarai Ruiz of the Garcia Early College High School. pic.twitter.com/rcOnjOdueo— Laredo ISD (@LaredoISD) September 19, 2018
There, on the border of US and Mexico, she decided to meet her dad and celebrate her big day with Esteban. She had her cousin film the whole thing as she rushed towards her dad with tears of joy. She uploaded this video along with a caption that read: I graduated today..I tried so hard not to cry when we saluted our parents knowing that only my mom was there..I knew my father would never see me walk to get my diploma but today I’d thought I’d surprise him by crossing the bridge so he could see me with my cap and gown.
It continued: I have to say that all my life I wondered if my dad would ever see me graduate..it started as not seeing him on Father’s Day then it continued to be a spiral of downhill emotions where I would only see him once a year.. and then things changed I moved to Laredo..and I got to see him every weekend..we bought a house and now I’d see him everyday..today I can say that although we may have lost father and daughter time..I will always be grateful for his sacrifice to put his life at risk many times just to see me again.. gracias por todo papá.
The heartwarming video went viral instantly with over 87,000 views. People just could not get enough of this beautiful relationship between a father and his daughter. After an emotional hug, her father said, "Nobody could ever separate us, only God." Ruiz plans on continuing her studies and will be attending the University of Texas at Austin to study psychology and government. Netizens took to social media to comment on this beautiful video. Dra Marcela De La Garza Ruíz wrote: Damn borders!!!!!! God bless all your family, beautiful!!! Another user Igdalina Hernandez gave her blessings, stating: Many blessings Sarai keep going always may God continue to bless you.
Eva Ordonez seemed to understand the struggle Ruiz had to go through as she wrote: It's struggling to start from the bottom and get to the top. Parents always give the greatest advice and by looking at you and your father's bond it seems he raised a great daughter. Keep it to a 100 and I know you will make him very happy. Don't give up and if you seem to fail to tell yourself...SI SE PUEDE! Candy Solis wrote: There I had to see the precise moment where she was going and hug her daddy I was going after her and the dlr if they made me cry God bless you and make you want.