For Mikayla Bankes, Tuesday’s band practice was supposed to be like any other dress rehearsal. “I thought maybe we were just going to put uniforms on just to practice with uniforms on,” she said.
But it turned out to be so much more. Mikayla’s dad is very ill having spent the past two months in the hospital. Just this week, he was put in hospice.
“Mikayla had a wish to have her father see her perform that was also a wish for her father to see her perform,” Band Director Jeff Neavor said.
“He never got to see any of my performances at all,” Mikayla added.
Well, until Tuesday. “I was talking with someone and people just started hugging me and then I realized that my dad was there in the stands.”
“They used an ambulance to get him here, and there were EMTs from Morton who were on hand to get him in the stadium,” Neavor said.
And with medical staff & his wife surrounding him, he got to watch his daughter.
Going through his mind: “He really liked it he said. He really liked it,” Mikayla said.
Going through her mind: “To do as best I could so he knows that I really like it. That I can be really good at it,” she added.
After the performance, Mikayla went up to her dad crying as he revealed what he was wearing under the harness. “He was wearing my Morton Band shirt. My mom was like, ‘Let’s just put him in her band shirt on.'”
Mikayla said she wore the same shirt the next day with the memories of the night before still fresh in her and her band mates’ minds.
“We’re there for each other as a family, so when a family member needs something, absolutely we’re going to spring into action,” Neavor said.