An Ontario senior has had her dream of returning to the province of her birth to see her last living relative come true, thanks to a charity that grants wishes for seniors.
Eleanor Pullman, 90, made the 26-hour train trip from London, Ont. to Halifax, arriving Thursday night.
On Friday, she and her caregiver made the four-hour drive from Halifax to rural Larry’s River, N.S., to visit her brother, Raymond Rudolph, 83.
Pullman said it was a long trip, but one she doesn’t mind making.
"Bubbly. Yeah, quite happy about it all. And we met some nice people in the travel," she said.
"I wanted to come back home. I had eight brothers and sisters and there's two of us left. And I did want to see my brother once more."
Her brother said no one knows when their number is going to be called.
"It's very important because her health wasn't so good ... Once you get over the 80 [years old] line, the days are getting scarcer," he said.
Rudolph said he was surprised to hear that his sister’s wish was granted.
"Well, it took around 80 years for someone in the family to be lucky. Of course it was Eleanor, right. Cause she always had the most to say," he said.
Pullman said she wouldn't have been able to make the trip without help.
The Dream On Seniors Wish Foundation paid for Pullman’s trip to Nova Scotia. It’s similar to the more widely known Children’s Wish Foundation, except that it caters to people over the age of 65.
Illness is not a prerequisite to qualify for the program. Applicants need only to be over the age of 65, be in need of financial, personal or emotional help to reach their dream, and be able to tell their story.
The dreams are then evaluated by a selection committee. Pullman’s was the first dream granted by the foundation, which paid for the trip for both Pullman and her caregiver, with Via Rail donating the train tickets.
The family reunion is expected to be a low-key event. They plan to sit around, catch up and play a few games of cribbage.
Pullman’s only request is that she’s near the ocean and has a chance to fill up on lobster before heading back home.
"The ocean. Mind you, I can't swim. But I do like the ocean. I love the smell of it," she said.