Lizzie’s Wish Days 5-7
I got behind in blogging, so this post will serve as Days 5-7. Tuesday morning we woke up and went to Universal Studios, it was Luke’s 11th birthday and we let him choose the day’s itinerary. Florida is a strange place where one second it’s hotter than blue blazes then pouring down rain the next. We got drenched but had a blast anyway. The staff at Universal were amazing and treated us like royalty. Lizzie got to meet the Minions, and she was thrilled. After we headed to the T-Rex Cafe for a birthday dinner and were able to meet up with old friends. It was a good day.
Wednesday we visited the Animal Kingdom then strolled through Epcot. Lizzie was able to meet Snow White in Germany, which completely made her day. While in France the sweetest Disney cast member working in the gift shop said she wanted to give Lizzie a Belle throw pillow after learning of her story. Such a touching gift. I hoped to take Lizzie back to the Magic Kingdom one last time but we thought it best not to stretch the day too thin. Instead we went back to the Give Kids The World Village and let her swim and enjoy the amenities there. That night we overheard her babbling and laughing in her sleep. A dream is a wish your heart makes… It thrills my soul to know she was having such sweet dreams.
Thursday morning the boys got up early and enjoyed manly time at Universal. Us girls stayed behind at the villa and packed up. We rode the carousel and met with Belle again, this time in her blue dress. Lizzie was bashful but babbled the whole time. I wonder what she was saying? She was truly happy to be there. After riding the helicopter and train with Grandma, Lizzie came back to the villa and fell asleep. She napped for a couple hours and didn’t want to wake up when it was time to check out. We got her up and went to lunch before we headed for the airport. She couldn’t keep her head up or eyes open. We were starting to worry and then she started vomiting. True to Lizzie’s style, she was a trooper until the she just couldn’t go any longer. We prayed and pondered the best course of action. We got her in the car and she fell asleep for a while longer. And then, just like that, she woke up and all seemed right again. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how fragile she still is. At this point I think it was a combination of exhaustion and heat (she’s been fine since). We have a cardiology appointment Tuesday morning, for which I am thankful.
In spite of the last moments of our trip, we have nothing but beautiful memories of our week. Everyday brought deeper joy and a bigger smile to Lizzie, a child who once didn’t even know how to play. I found myself wishing everyone could experience Give Kids The World, but then stopped. It’s staggering to consider the number of children who have faced/are facing life threatening illnesses. To be a part of Make-A-Wish is something our family will always be thankful for. Every detail was taken care of. Having medical equipment and formula waiting for us there without any effort on my part. Flying with oxygen and a feeding pump requires letters from doctors and coordination with the airline, this too was all taken care of without me lifting a finger. Transportation to and from the airport, donations from countless corporations, volunteers happily serving to ensure wish families have an experience they will treasure for a lifetime. It’s so overwhelming. And beautiful.
Lizzie’s wish trip restored us. Of course she was made to feel special, but the boys were too. They were recognized and treated as the amazing big brothers they are. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day in and day out of caring for a special needs child, as parents we often forget to acknowledge the sacrifices other kids make. I believe we all appreciate each other, and life, all the more. I will forever cherish the memories of this magical week. Thank you to all who played a part in it!
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