Saturday was graduation day for San Jose State University, but one young woman who worked hard to earn her degree was not there to receive her diploma--she died in a car crash two weeks ago.
Even if just for a brief moment, the university brought back her mother's smile.
On graduation day, there were tears of happiness at Spartan Stadium, but up in Suite 5, some tears of sorrow too, as the family of Rosita Aragon listened for her name.
Rosita Aragon was one class short of her Spanish degree from San Jose State when she died in her father's arms after a car crash the day before Mother's Day.
"I think today has been the most difficult day for me from all the other days because today, we were supposed to be here with her, sitting behind her," Aragon's sister Martha said.
Instead, San Jose State leaders presented Aragon's diploma to her parents, which brought a brief smile to her mother's face. Rosita was just 31 when she died, but her sister said she lived a full life--pushing toward graduation, working full time as a DJ at La Raza radio, and bringing joy to her family and friends.
Her sister said she hopes that as the graduates move on to the next stage of their lives, Rosita’s loving example can be a reminder of how quickly everything can change.
"Enjoy your family--every single day. Every single day, enjoy, because we don’t know. And that's so cliché, but we don’t know," she said.
After the graduation ceremony, the Aragon family was heading to the cemetery to spend some time with Rosita, and then, the barbecue she was so looking forward to.