11-year-old Brandon Bakke spent his entire summer mowing lawns, but he wasn’t saving to buy himself something special. Instead of playing video games, attending summer camps or riding his bike through the neighborhood with friends, Bakke worked diligently to save funds to purchase a headstone for his biological father.
Like many adopted children, Bakke reached out to his parents with questions about his biological family. He wanted to know who his birth parents were and where they lived. When he learned that his father, Terrence, had died recently and was buried in an unmarked grave in Chicago, Bakke was determined to buy his father a headstone, even though he had never met the man.
He posted flyers in his neighborhood that detailed what he was trying to accomplish and offered landscaping services in exchange for a nominal fee. Bakke even sold lemonade to help raise the funds he would need by the end of the summer to purchase the headstone.
He worked closely with designers at Dakota Monument to create the perfect memorabilia to honor Terrence. Everyone was moved by Bakke’s compassion and selflessness, especially his mother. Even at a young age, Bakke couldn’t bear the idea of someone being forgotten after they’ve passed away. He didn’t care about any mistakes that his father may have made in the past. He simply wanted the man to be remembered.
When Bakke and his mother saw the headstone, they were both brought to tears. It was a chance for the young boy to see his hard work come to life as well as give his biological father a parting gift. Without having met his father, Bakke is convinced Terrence would be proud of him. We couldn’t agree more. He is truly a remarkable young man who should be applauded for his incredibly generous and moving gift.