As a child, Marina remembers looking up into the sky and seeing countless twinkling stars light up the night—even from her home in Toronto. Now 81 years old and living at Chartwell Pickering City Centre, she dreamt of seeing that beautiful, speckled sky once again. However, due to the light pollution emitted from the city, the stars no longer shone the same way as they did in the past.
Marina’s mother initially sparked her passion for star gazing as a child, as they used to identify stars and constellations together. This is a tradition Marina passed on when she became a mother herself. She would take her husband, Andy, and their two sons to the deck of a friend’s cabin and show them the wonders of the sky.
Thanks to Chartwell’s partnership with Wish of a Lifetime Canada, Marina was recently granted the opportunity to gaze up at the stars once again. She and her wish nominator, Lifestyle & Programs Manager Ashley Williams, were brought from Pickering to the E.C. Carr Astronomical Observatory in Blue Mountain, Ontario.
Upon arrival, Marina and Ashley were greeted by members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, who showed them what they could expect to see in the sky that night. Then came the moment Marina had been waiting for: she looked into the lens of a high-powered telescope and before her eyes were millions of stars and even a clear glimpse of Saturn’s rings. Marina described the event as “unbelievable” and “a night to remember for the rest of my life.”
“I just couldn’t get over the sensation of looking through the telescope,” Marina recalls. The experience brought back fond memories of her childhood, her mother and her family. It was also an event that would create new memories that will last a lifetime.