For most high school aged students, prom is such a promising event that it comes and goes in the blink of an eye. For Mary Lapkowicz and Ben Moser, prom was an event years in the making. The two had known each other since fourth grade. Mary, who was born with Down syndrome, was often shy during school time. She was never bullied but never really came out of her shell. Ben wouldn’t let her stay there for too long. The children’s fourth grade teacher remembers how often Ben would look after Mary. If there were activities that the other students were doing that Mary would shy away from, Ben would bring her in and make her feel welcomed. Ben spent his fourth through sixth grade years making sure that Mary never felt alone. Unfortunately, after their sixth grade year together, Mary moved away to Central Dauphin school district. Her father got a job at a rival school district and Ben and Mary parted ways. Before she left, Ben made a vow to take Mary to prom when the time came. After the years passed, Ben stood firm on that promise. A few weeks ago, Ben gathered a few balloons and wrote “Prom?” on them. Mary couldn’t believe that Ben kept good on his promise. Overcome with joy, she agreed to go to prom with Ben. When their parents asked how Ben felt taking a girl from a rival school to prom, he wasn’t worried. He was used to taking care of Mary years ago, he didn’t mind taking on that role again.
Thanks to Ivan Ong for showing me this beautiful story!