Here's the bottom line: This face is why I do what I do. It's that moment of surprise, when a child forgets every other thing going on in their world, they're lifted out of their frail body, and for what I hope is a lifetime crammed in a short few minutes, they are floating on Cloud 9.
In Sara's case, her Cloud 9 was delivered in the form of a playground in her backyard, with all the specifics she could ever ask for (and did!)....down to a yellow slide, and a cargo net, and rock wall, and a lot more suprises!
Our Saturday started bright and early stopping by Jeff's office to pick up supplies we needed (to include cutting some rebar!). Not only has Jeff become a board member, but if his company isn't sponsoring events or wishes, he will....God love him. For Sara's, he shelled it out for all the PVC pipe and mulch--so thanks, Jeffrey, from me and MAW for helping make a wish come true!
We loaded up our truck and trailer, sent a big ol' Robinson dump truck full of the mulch ahead, and headed to Lanett, AL to sweet Sara's house, where her mom had already snuck her out for the day so we could work, work, work!
Terri, my "wish partner" beat me there with her husband, and some more manual labor for the day! Bill is an ever present part of all MAW events, and I suppose an "unofficial" board member and volunteer as well!
Another HUGE shout-out needs to go to Action Buildings from Columbus, GA who makes the most wonderful playsets. They discounted our playset big time, and sent two of their best installers to put ours up in record time. It was such a breeze to work with Action and to design exactly what we wanted in a custom playset. Thank you, Action!!
Our two Action guys making magic happen!
We had two other pretty amazing people come to volunteer to make this wish come true. They might have been the most special of all in my book. Anyone remember Jake? He's a wish kid. He wished to meet Spongebob on a Nick Cruise. Every since then, he's won my heart, and keeps popping up in my life. He gets his big ol' heart from his parents too. His mom and dad both stay super active in MAW. So his dad asked to come (with his big brother) and help out. With a lump in my throat, realizing he simply wants to give back what was given to him, I accept the offer. He is a humble man, who didn't even stay for the unveiling to Sara, but quietly ducked out without any thanks....people and their hearts. I am forever touched.
As the playset installers did their thing, the guys set the PVC pipe around the playground area (which apparently is the latest and greatest material to use on playgrounds...PVC that is...with its rounded edges and smooth surface, its a lot more child friendly than those old railroad ties). Next we all grabbed wheelbarrows and rakes and got to spreading the mulch. I'd be fine if I never saw mulch again. Or a wheelbarrow. Or a shovel. Just sayin.
Oh man, but when it was finished, what a feeling! (And I don't mean that..."let's all fight for a seat on the swing to rest for a minute!" feeling...) It was that feeling of realizing what we'd done, and just why we'd done it, you know. (Made Jeff stinking so bad on the way home a lot more bearable....hehehehe)
And just look! She got her yellow slide, her swings, her "shaky" bridge, her "fort," her rock wall, cargo net....there's even binoculars and a captain's wheel!
So when we gave mom the call to bring her home, and that surprised face walked out the back door....well, let's just say it was priceless! Her words were "It's my playground!!!"
So there's only one thing to do to make this playground Miss Sara's in our book: an official ribbon cutting ceremony of course!
And as soon as the ribbon hit the ground, her excitement could be contained no longer! She darted around the yard to her playset, and touched everything there was (at least twice!). And squealed the whole time!
Oh, how I loved every minute of this day Sara! Your sweet smile in the end made all the hard work so worth it! I hope you make many wonderful memories on your new playset, sweet girl! Best Wishes!! We Love You!!