An open letter to Make-A-Wish Oregon from wish child Charlotte’s mom, Margaret:
From the Jones family, with grateful hearts, we thank you.
I am trying to consider all of the people and organizations that made our trip and others like it possible - it is staggering.
You cannot dream up the resort that your team chose for Charlotte!! Never in our lifetime would we have stayed in such a lovely hotel. But more than that, I am touched by the loving care that people all along the line poured out to Charlotte - and to all of us.
Alaska Airlines has to be the most impressive, caring, loving group of people as a whole. It's as if each person knew Charlotte, and welcomed her as if she were the most important person on the plane - really loving, extra special treatment.
My eyes are stinging as I try to write this. As a mother I am humbled, as a member of this race, I am moved to do more, and to be kinder to everyone.
I have to say that my most favorite moments were snorkeling with Charlotte - it felt like a world apart from any other. As the saline waters buoyed our bodies, gently rocking us with the tide, time was lost; it brought to me a new relationship with the ocean, as a source of energy, and renewal.
Nothing in my time on the planet had prepared me for the emotions I felt witnessing Charlotte's dolphin encounter.
It isn't for me to say how Charlotte felt during this experience. But somewhere in time, as she walks back through this period, she will be enlightened; understanding that her life has been made extraordinary by an illness, by her strength in handling it, by the people, the love and prayers that were sent on her behalf, and by an extraordinary encounter with giant creatures from the sea - and she will see God, and know that she was never alone, and never will be.
Each of us had their own experience and we all felt what we felt. I know Alex and I are changed for the better.
For myself, fear hasn't vanished but I understand a strength in myself that was never accessed. I know that I have a heart, and the strength to help other families who face the illness of a child.
Having this time away did allow me time to reflect on the past year, and clearly mark the beginning of a new day - this day, the day we are standing in. It's the only one we are promised, the only one we should focus on.
Thank you and all of the people that make wishes come true.
Peace, healing, aloha -
Margaret Jones and Family