Wish of a Lifetime Canada: Gardening Reunion with Granddaughter

Martha Drexel of Chartwell Crescent Gardens in Surrey, B.C., and her granddaughter Kellie share a special bond. Spending time together brings them both great joy as they share a mutual love of gardening, helping others and enjoying Sunday lunches together. They developed a routine of seeing each other often and sharing their common interests well into Kellie’s young adult life.

Everything changed when Kellie, newly married, made the difficult decision to move five hours away to live in 100 Mile House, B.C. Martha felt a profound sense of loss and was heart-broken once again. At age 94, six months had passed since Martha had seen her beloved granddaughter. Her dearest wish was to visit Kellie’s new home and for them to garden together just like old times.

Upon hearing Martha’s wish, staff at Chartwell Crescent Gardens put the wheels in motion to turn Martha’s dream into reality. With the help of the residence’s Lifestyle Manager and Activities Aide, a nomination for Martha’s wish was submitted to Chartwell’s charitable partner, Wish of a Lifetime Canada, and soon after Martha’s wish was granted.

Accompanied by her son-in-law, Martha was flown from Vancouver to Williams Lake, B.C., where she and Kellie spent a memorable weekend planting flowers and making new memories together. A tree was planted to commemorate their reunion, made all the more special by Kellie’s announcement that she and her husband are expecting a baby. Following her visit, Martha was delighted that she can now visualize the home, garden and life of her dear granddaughter and her new family.

“At 94 years old, to make this trip and have the opportunity to visit my granddaughter, it was beyond special. We planted ‘our tree,’ and she will remember me every time she looks at it.”