Wish of A Lifetime
Imagine how much more beautiful the world could be if we could all be granted a lifelong wish. Imagine being reunited with a loved one, revisiting your hometown, or hurtling towards earth at 195km/h freefalling from a plane! Now, imagine life was passing you by and the thought of that wish becomes just another distant dream. This is where Wish of A Lifetime makes a difference. An organization that creates unique experiences by granting these wishes for our beloved seniors. I was invited to document a wish being granted at the Vancouver Aquarium to capture some heart warming images from the special event.
Double Down for Ann!
This day was super special as Ann was having her wish granted on her birthday! The choice of venue had a lot to do with Ann’s wish as she’s been an avid animal lover all of her life. She also used to dedicate many hours as a volunteer at the Vancouver Aquarium. The last time Ann was at the aquarium was back in 1991 and her wish was to see the animals that once made up a big part of her life.
Some furry Family members
It’s not only Ann that has the animal affection gene! It turns out that in the mid 80’s, her Son also volunteered at the Aquarium too! With such a long-standing history of being with animals, I don’t think her wish day could have gotten much more special! The Aquarium has evolved so much over the years and she was absolutely amazed at what the facility does today.
Ann’s son also told me stories of how they used to have a pet Otter named Max who considered himself part of the family. He would join them on camping trips and even had his own doggy door at the family cabin to come and go for swims as he pleased.
From what I saw that day, the Aquarium was as every bit a piece of her life as her family and the four legged members that have been alongside.
Ann has always had a special relationship with lots of different animals in her time at the aquarium. Much like everyone else that visits this incredible place, a piece of her heart was stolen by the Beluga whales. Part of her wish was to see one of these beautiful creatures up close. Despite her initial concerns, she was able to muster her way down to the edge of the enclosure where she was able to reach out and touch one of the gentle giants. It was beautiful to see her face light up and see that moment, that thing that’s been lingering in her mind for some twenty-five years.
It was such a reminiscent feeling of being a kid and having your face squished up against the glass in total awe, mixed with a feeling of joyous nostalgia. That moment will stay with me for a long time as it’s not every day you see a wish come true and I’m so fortunate to have been a part of it.
Ann was extremely fortunate to have her wish come true that day. It was a poignant reminder that we should not wait to achieve what we want in life, to visit an important person or make amends with yourself or others. Whatever it is, you shouldn’t hesitate.
I was a bit reluctant to post this at first, as I didn’t want to overshadow what was such an incredible experience with any hint of sadness. This does serve however, as a reminder of why we need to focus on these important aspects of life.
Since capturing this exceptional day, we sadly discovered that the Vancouver Aquarium lost both of its beloved Beluga Whales to a mysterious illness. The Beluga’s have always been a big part of the family at the Aquarium and the staff have always been at the forefront of studying these fantastic creatures up close.
I’ve gotten to know just a few of the staff, as they make regular appearances at YVR for their Take Off Friday’s event throughout the Summer. Again at these appearances, the staff are always aiming to educate our city on the importance of our vibrant Oceans and the importance they play in the ecosystem. Our thoughts are with these lovely people as I’m sure this must be such a huge loss for them. On the positive side, I know that they’ll keep up their hard work and continue to study these animals so that they can be around to fulfill the wishes of the next generations.
Life is beautiful, but it’s also fragile. I’d love to hear what your wishes are in life.