Many high school students look forward to attending prom—a night where they can dress up and dance the night away with a romantic partner or friend. But for a Watford City High School senior named Dakota Wollan, going to prom was the last thing on his mind. Although there were girls in his class that he could ask, there was no one he really wanted to, so he planned to skip it.
Dakota told his dad, and he suggested an idea—what if he invited his 92-year-old great-grandmother instead? Madeline Miller never got to attend prom when she was in high school. She actually dropped out after a year-and-a-half to help her family when her dad got sick. The grandma said she doesn’t remember if the school even held proms during her time!
Madeline was the second-oldest of 14 brothers and sisters, and she was far too preoccupied with keeping her home in order to attend prom, even if one existed.
Dakota embraced his father’s advice and ran with it, rapidly devising a strategy for his “proposal.” “I have this old truck she gave me; it’s a 1985 Ford that she passed down to me, and I fixed it up.” “So I got in my truck and made a sign,” he explained.
“Can I transport you to prom with this ancient truck?” read the sign. When Dakota requested his great-grandmother, he was “very apprehensive,” and Madeline was perplexed when he walked up with the sign. Nonetheless, she gladly agreed. “I’d never gone to a prom before,” she explained. “I was just wondering why he would choose a 92-year-old to accompany him to prom when the school had so many young girls.”
It’s a good thing Madeline agreed because Dakota would have sat out the whole affair if she hadn’t. Grandma hadn’t danced in 40 years, and this was her opportunity to do it once more. “As a result of her, I was able to create a memory for both my last prom and her first prom,” the teen explained. Throughout the night, the couple was the center of attention. Dakota recalled that when they stepped in, “everyone immediately went crazy.”
The sight of them dancing “brought tears to many people’s eyes.” The pair danced the first dance together, then Dakota brought his great-grandmother home. “Walking beside my great-grandson, listening to this music as we walked and people clapping and hollering,” Madeline said of her favorite parts of the night. The entire experience had been surreal for Madeline, who said she felt like the “belle of the ball.”
After all, who would have thought that she’d be able to experience her first prom at her age, and with her great-grandson to boot? “I couldn’t believe I was out there,” she said. Dancing together during a once-in-a-lifetime event is a sweet memory that this grandson and great-grandmother will cherish forever. Although it was an unconventional pairing, the duo surely had a great time!
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