CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Family, friends, and other law enforcement officials gathered Thursday night to celebrate the graduation of the Del Mar College Regional Police Academy. 

For one woman, it was bittersweet graduation because someone was missing from the audience.

"He was a wonderful man, wonderful husband, wonderful father," Gloria Calderon said. 

As excited as cadet Cynthia Calderon and her family were, someone is missing -- her father, David. 

"These past couples of weeks have been really hard for me to go see him because I was studying," Cynthia said. 

David was an airforce veteran and South Texas native who had been fighting cancer for some time. David managed to cheer his daughter on as she worked to graduation. 

"He pushed me he was super proud of me for starting it and kept telling me not to stop regardless of what's going on to keep pushing," Cynthia said. 

Cynthia's studies ramped up, and David's health continued to decline. Six days before her graduation, David passed away. 

Although David is gone, his words still echo in Cynthia's mind. 

"You're only so far away you can do this you got this, and he told me no matter what happens you have to keep going you promise me you have to keep going," Cynthia said. 

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