Making Wishes Come True – Part 2

It was early Tuesday morning and I didn’t want to get out of bed.  Truthfully, it wasn’t even that early.  I had already gotten up and tag teamed with Aaron to get the girls out the door and off to school and then I had returned to bed and had no desire to get out.  See, I have meetings on Tuesdays and though I have been tempted to show up in my pajamas before, I never have actually done it.  No, I usually give in and shower, get dressed, pull my hair back in a ponytail and show up 10 minutes late with an honest excuse like, “Sorry I’m late!  I couldn’t get out of bed.”  Who would say that?  No, I usually call it “getting stuck in traffic” or “running into unexpected construction” and here’s a tip, no one can argue with, “The bus was late.  Very late.”   

On this particular Tuesday, I pulled my laptop out from underneath my bed and “took on the day.”  That means I hit “Send/Receive” – my inbox began filling up.  It fills UP, because I sort my email with the newest ones at the top.  I try to deal with each email systematically and then on completion, I file it away to keep my inbox clean, which I don’t and it isn’t.

Amidst the meeting reminders and Baby Signing Time post-production epistles marked “Urgent!!!!” one email subject caught my eye, it read, “Subject: Rhett’s Wish & Star Party.”  I only know of one Rhett, and he is an almost 2 year-old boy here in Utah who has Down syndrome.  I had been peeking in on Rhett’s blog for over a year.  I started checking in on him, when I had heard about this little boy who had a near fatal, accidental, painkiller overdose in the hospital.  I opened this email to see what it held.  It had a message from someone who expressed a wish to remain anonymous.  So, the edited version is this:

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Hi,

Just incase you don’t already know, i wanted to let you know about Rhett’s wish.  I heard Rhett wished for a big screen TV and Signing Time DVD’s to watch on the big screen.  Anyway, his wish was granted, and now it is time for Rhett to hang his star with all of the others.  He will be having his star party on this Tuesday at 7 PM at Make-A-Wish.  Rhett’s blog is: www.rhettsjourney.blogspot.com

Rhett is a really fun little boy to talk to, if you haven’t met him yet, I am sure you will love him at first site.  Rhett will be back in the hospital later this week, unless it was postponed.

Thanks, for all you do, our family has benefited from Signing Time as so many others have also. 

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I jumped out of bed.  If there was going to be a Signing Time related wish today in Salt Lake City, I was going to be there.  I showered, and put on my “Rachel” make-up and did my “Rachel” hair, checked my closet for a set of Signing Time “Rachel” clothes.  Then, I checked Leah’s closet.  I had my ST! outfit, Leah did not.  I was pretty sure Alex didn’t have one at home.  I called Marcus, “Hey I don’t know what you are doing today, but I need a set of purple for Leah and a set of orange for Alex before 5PM tonight.”

I then scoured Rhett’s Blog and found plenty of details about making the wish and having the wish granted, but no mention of what the wish was or if it included Signing Time. I called the Utah Make A Wish Foundation and wondered if they would even tell me anything or would some sort of confidentiality law like HIPA apply?

When I called, I told them that I had heard there was a Signing Time related wish planned that evening and I said, “I am Rachel Coleman from Signing Time, and I would be happy to support you in any way possible.”  Eventually we had a plan…

And with that, I will let Rhett’s incredible parents share the rest of the story.

The day after Rhett’s wish is granted, Rhett’s mom shares OH.MY.GOSH

Rhett’s dad shares the following day on the post STILL GLOWING

Rhett’s mom put together the following video slide show, Rhett’s Wish.  (Grab a tissue!)

And then mommy comes back a week later with this post, simply entitled, “WOW!”

After meeting Rhett and signing with him, I was very impressed with his signing vocabulary.  I let his family know that their little boy is “on my list!”  He is a great signer and he signed everything that I asked him, on cue!  We enjoyed spending time with this remarkable family and it was a thrill for all of us to be a part of such a special celebration!

Making Wishes Come True – Part 1

Last month I performed at a fundraiser for The Dream Catchers in Virginia Beach and I spoke the following day at The Pathways to Possibilities Conference.  A few weeks before the trip The Make A Wish Foundation contacted us and said there was a 4 year-old little boy named Collin, in Virginia Beach who had made a wish… his wish was to meet me.  I don’t know if I have the words to explain what an honor it was to hear that.  He wished for me?  Really?  Me?  

We set up a private meet and greet prior to my sound check the night of the fundraiser.  I walked in the room and met his whole family.  Collin was in his wheelchair, I came close to him so he could see me.  After a few tries, Collin pushed a large yellow button on the tray of his wheelchair that voiced, “Hi Rachel, I’m Collin.  I love you!”  (Whew, I just tried to hold back the tears!)  I asked which songs are his favorite, his mom said, “Caterpillar Dreams.”  When I started singing, Collin lit up, he sat up in his chair and started laughing, he knew that voice.  There was no question, he knew it was me.

I invited them in for my sound check.  At the start of each song (and throughout) Collin would let out a happy holler.  Even during the show, I could not help but smile each time I heard Collin sound off from the back of the hall where he was near an electrical outlet for his suctioning.  Before my last song, I shared how humbled and honored I felt to be a wish.  Collin’s mom joined me on stage, I thanked her.  We hugged.  We cried.  I presented them with the full Signing Time library.  

The final song I sang was “Shine.”  Before singing Shine, I talked about how Lucy inspired the song.  We say, “Lucy you are shining!!!” when we witness her miraculous milestones.  In the bridge I sang, “…and Sammy will do what Sammy will do, when Sammy is ready to do it!  And Collin will do what Collin will do when Collin is ready to do it!  And Lucy will do what Lucy will do when Lucy is ready to do it!  And they’ll do it, in their own time. They’ll shine, shine, shine, shine, Shine!”

It was an incredible night.

 

You can listen to the song Shine on the Signing Time Music Player