Zhalia now has a garden.
Zhalia now has a garden.
Not just any yard but a beautiful space that has a tranquil water feature, a swing, and hundreds of saplings to bloom around the little 5 year old’s feet and soul. I wrote about Zhalia last week but to bring you up to date, the Mooloolah Valley girl has Acaidi syndrome.
It will rob her of her life in the next few years and she has damage to her brain that causes seizures around the clock. A cruel hand indeed for her and for her darling single mum, Sally. Sal simply wanted a safe haven for the two of them to be able to play together and enjoy being outside.
Their old back yard was dusty and rocky (Zhalia would eat the rocks not knowing any better) and had snakes! Well, thank you Sunshine Coast for rallying around Zhalia and granting this gift. Each flower and plant in this beautiful garden is a symbol of huge love. I was floored by the generosity of volunteers and business people who came together to create the dream and change for the better the precious time Zhalia and Sally have left together.
They now have the most lovely of backyards with a sensory play area; running water feature and plants everywhere. More than 70 people donated their time, money, skills and love to make this happen. Jason from iLandscapes was one of the super stars as the foreman of the project.
Rebecca was one of the local ladies who baked home made treats to keep the tradies going as they transformed the garden. Everyone has a story and that is why we should treat everyone with grace and kindness because we all suffer mental demons at some stage. Rebecca sent me an email offering to help that read: “I’m not an important peep, however I do love to bake and would like to supply a small selection of biscuits etc. to feed the troops.
You see, after 25 years married to the most wonderful man that walked this earth, he was diagnosed with cancer and in 10 weeks my life fell apart. That was 14 years ago. Unfortunately, some days it feels like yesterday. Our two beautiful children are grown and have their lives to live.
So, it’s just me and I get my solace when I’m in the kitchen baking.” Bec cooked enough food to feed an army. Bec and I looked at that garden when it was finished and stood arm in arm and had a silent tear together when it was first unveiled to Zhalia. Other locals have volunteered to mow Sally’s yard for one year. The Lion’s Cub cooked sausages like there was no tomorrow. Nick from the movies bought an esky full of choc tops. And threw them around with such merry laughter which seemed even sweeter given the sadness of the reality. Many others worked for a week on the garden mulching, plumbing, hammering, digging and building.
Some have dropped off vegetables from their gardens. While others gave money. Zhalia’s garden is filled with love and hope and is living proof of how generous this region is when it comes to helping. In a world of horrific news stories I was reminded humans are not a lost cause.
Make- A -Wish donated play ground equipment to Sal and Zhalia. Daniel Chambers said it was the most special experience to be part of bringing hope and sunshine to this family. “It was incredibly humbling to be even a small part of this effort.
We tend to live our relatively easy lives and don’t often give a great deal of thought to those in our community that are living with struggles we can’t even imagine,” added Daniel. Make- A- Wish are currently working on wishes for 16 children on the Sunshine Coast.
My wish is for some peace and laughter for Sally and Zhalia in that magical backyard.