Dear Kids Wish Network,
I was once a young girl with big dreams. And as you grow your dreams evolve and grow with you. I became a Wife and a Mother, my greatest dream and greatest blessing. One fateful Sunday, my 2 year old baby girl got really sick. It changed all our lives. My oldest son was 5 years old at the time and had to grow up so much in that year. I was 30 weeks pregnant with our baby boy. Days were hard, nights seemed impossible. We had just moved to a new state when my baby girl got so sick. We knew no one and did not have family in the state. It seemed that our world had stopped when everyone else was still moving. I wish I could have given myself a gift at that time. I wish I could have seen what our lives would have looked like this past weekend as you granted a Wish for my baby girl.
We pulled up to the Four Seasons in our weathered very loved minivan like a carriage arriving to a castle. A dozen or so employees stood on either side of the rug waiting for none other than my girl. They greeted her with great big loving smiles and a few dozen pink and purple balloons fit for the princess that she is. She tried to hide her smile but couldn’t. All eyes on her and her brothers proudly by her side. From that very moment on my husband and my eyes were filled with tears. I cannot talk or reflect on this moment without welling with tears. It is as if we crossed the gates of heaven with smiles waiting and sweet balloons. We were escorted by Hannah to our suite. It was unreal. Hazel opened the door and then all the sudden she and her balloons quickly disappeared to another room. Banners, tinsel hanging, confetti and a unicorn pinata were waiting for her arrival. Her bed had a banner hanging across it with the softest personalized robe for her with her initials. On the robe was soft cozy slippers and the sweetest plush unicorn. There was another plush unicorn and softest blanket for her. On the table in her room were unicorn cupcakes especially made for her and her food allergies. They were absolutely darling adorned with a gold horns. Bags of gold chocolate coins with each of our children’s name on them were waiting to be torn into and consumed by giggling babes. Next to the cupcakes was an incredible one of a kind handmade unicorn card that had been made by an employee. White felt, googly eyes, sweetest pink soft hair, and inscribed with dozens of personalized messages inside written from employees of Four Seasons. On the boys bed waited robes and the most deliciously soft teddy bears I have ever felt. They immediately snuggled them. To see my sons thought of in all of this made the tears I was trying to keep in my eyes brim over and down my cheeks.
In the other room a gift bag waited for Hazel. Inside were the two sweetest unicorn books, Uni the Unicorn and Uni the Unicorn and the Dream Come True. On our nightstand a printed framed photo of our family. Every detail was stunning. When Hannah left our room the children put on their swimming suits as fast as they possibly could and wrapped up in their new robes. While they were changing, I found myself sitting in the family room on a gorgeous chair weeping and whisper a prayer of humble gratitude while my little ones giggles filled the rooms.
My little three started acting out plays with the unicorns, teddy bears, and unicorn pinata. Their smiles so big. I breathed trying to bring it all in and hold on to every smell and detail. Every moment. Wishing it would never end. We swam and they laughed. We ate a beautiful dinner at BJs. We tucked the littles in bed and read the two new books Hazel had been given.
And if that were not enough Sunday came. Remember how Hazel got really sick and it changed all our lives on a Sunday? Well this Sunday, this Sunday was just as equally memorable, but oh so happy.
We were so sad to leave that heavenly room. The deep bathtubs with televisions in the bathroom changed my babies lives! I type this remembering the sweet smell of that marble bathroom and the decadent softest bed and pillows!! With tears in my eyes I shut the door to the room after we, as a family, gathered in prayer of gratitude hoping to remember every detail. I see those smiling faces waiting for my girl and family at the entrance again with tears in my eyes. Hannah had lunches packed for my little ones and gave us biggest hugs. She was remarkable. An angel. Every detail. It was unreal, but here is the thing, it was real. It did happen. And what we experienced next seems equally unreal.
Rain had left California a shocking brilliant shades of green that rarely adorns the hillside. We left the Hotel and headed to a park we had been given an address to. We weaved through the neighborhoods of Simi Valley and arrived park awaiting the most unreal thing you could imagine. There we met Jennifer Carrillo of Bella Rosa Photography. She was so so sweet and caring. She was thoughtful of my little ones and Hazels needs. We anxiously waited… and there it was. A unicorn totting towards us with golden hooves and a golden horn. It was white and draped in the most gorgeous flowers. We stood there beaming in disbelief. As Hazel had been telling the kids at school, “I am going to meet a real-life unicorn!! I knew they were real. I knew it!!” Sheroes Unicorn was absolutely breathtaking. They provide such a beautiful experience. Time stood still, if just for a moment, as she and my sons fed the unicorn carrots, took turns gently riding the unicorn and petting the unicorn. Bella Rosa Photography worked around us never making us feel uncomfortable or a need to pose. And her pictures. Oh her photography is art. It is absolutely stunning. As we have started receiving her photos I have cried!! They are a treasure and a gift that capture this unbelievable experience. She so gracefully captured just how magical it was. Hazel was very stoic as she tried to take it all in. Her dream coming true. A moment she never thought would happen, she was with a unicorn. As I looked at her, I recalled being a little blonde girl like her with big hopes and dreams, and this was a dream I could have never conjured up for my future. I was there, with my family, the people I love with my whole heart, watching the wonder in their eyes and dreams coming true.
When it was time to say goodbye to our unicorn, we sat on the grass attending so some of Hazel’s medical needs. Her cheeks were pink as her wondering eyes looked oh so pensive. When she spoke it was with a soft tone, “This is the best day of my life”.
Next we drove down to the Sheraton, when we walked into our room balloons adorned the bed and floor with fabulous diva sunglasses, a dish with sand and shells, a picture of Ariel, a little unicorn bag with a change bag, and darling little unicorn earrings and necklace were waiting for her. She let out the biggest squeal! She ran to her treasures and giggled and she touched each of them. She was just reeling from all the joy she had been surrounded by.
Monday morning, we got to Guest Services at Disneyland and checked in. Three cast members came from the side door and brought out a big Genie envelope. It had information, a signed picture with Hazels name on it and stickers!! Tears poured down my cheeks as they explained what a Genie Wish entailed.
You see I was 7 years old when Aladdin came out. It captivated my heart and imagination. I went to Disneyland as a young girl and then got married. Then I became a Mom and my baby girl got really sick. I wish I had Genies lamp to wish it away. Things got really hard when she was diagnosed, and then that same fall Disney released Aladdin from the vault! My children fell in love with it. In fact, that Christmas, Hazel’s first Christmas after diagnosis, she only wanted Aladdin themed gifts. She got the doll set, Jasmine costume, and a Genie lamp. 😊 Genie taught us that all we needed was already inside of us. And that is a big message during a hard time. Then in this moment, I witnessed Genie, in collaboration with Disneyland, grant Hazel her wish of meeting Ariel. Not only Ariel, but Cinderella, Snow White, Mickey, Minnie, Flynn Rider, and Tinkerbell. We rode countless rides as she giggled! She fearlessly rode the big rides per her request. Disney was so accommodating and really made her feel like a princess. It was a dream. They made dreams come true. The sounds, the smells, the characters, and rides, it was a day so filled with joy!! It reminded us that together we have it all! It was a treasure. We ate a lovely dinner at Tortilla Jos at Downtown Disney that night. The following day we spent taking in as much of Disneyland and California Adventure as we could before we drove home.
That first night in Four Season, I tucked my littles into a cloud-like white soft bed and read to them the beautiful picture books they gave her. I tried to hold back sobs. Uni is a unicorn that believes. She had the power to heal and mend. And she could make wishes come true. Uni believed so strongly that little girls were real. “Uni knew that somewhere far away (but not that far away), there was a little girl waiting… a strong smart wonderful magical little girl.” The book later reads, “What Uni did not yet know, but would discover soon enough, was that somewhere far away (but not that far away)… there was indeed a real little girl”. This experience is like Uni, it healed and mended hearts. It brought us endless joy. I can hardly see the screen as I type this. In those dark days, I hoped beyond hope for sunlight to shine on us. Hazel hoped beyond hope to meet a real life unicorn and to meet Arial. Our dreams came true. Her proud adoring brothers beaming next to her while her Daddy and I stood back with tears of gratitude. Thank you Kids Wish Network. May your great work continue to bless and change lives. We will never ever be able to thank you properly with words, but rather with the tenderness of our hearts. We are forever grateful. God bless you richly as you have blessed us.
All our love,
The Wilbur Family