Maya and her mother, Holly, were two of the first guests to visit Zachariah’s Acres. They had been regular visitors since the first event in 2015, and they were there when the chickens were added as a part of the facilities. When the birds were added, Maya was immediately in love with them. Holly, on the other hand, was a little less enthusiastic.
“I was hesitant. But seeing her—I would do anything for Maya—seeing her love and passion for these birds, you have to get over your own fear.”
Maya was all she had. So it’s only natural that Holly was a little protective of her, and chickens usually aren’t great to have around someone who has IV lines in. But as the two came out more and more, Holly saw how much her daughter loved being with the birds. She got more comfortable being around them, and with Maya being around them without her direct supervision.
“We have pictures of her in her wheelchair holding this huge chicken that took up her whole lap, and she’d show her doctor. And I’d cringe, because they’re not big fans of chickens with someone who has IV lines in. But it didn’t matter, and her doctors knew that.”
When Maya was at Zachariah’s Acres, and at the coops, she was able to experience a little bit of independence. She was able to go directly up to nesting boxes in her wheelchair and gather eggs herself. It gave her a sense of accomplishment and independence that she didn’t have in other spaces.
“She had to try to get it all in in three hours, because she had to try it all. It was a place where she wasn’t sick. She was just Maya. That’s all she wanted.”
Maya passed in the fall of 2017, and Holly has been dealing with that. She still goes to the places she went with Maya. She still goes to Zachariah’s Acres. She still visits the chicken coops. She still shares that with her daughter.
“It’s been really great for grieving to be able to come out here. Now I honestly will sit at the picnic tables because I love to listen to the chickens talk. Sometimes I record them so I can go home and listen to them. There’s something in hearing them.”
Maya had many different medical problems throughout her life, and she was confined to a wheelchair for most of that life. But despite those difficulties, she still made it a life worth living. And even though she had to leave Holly early, Maya still taught her mom so much. We’re proud to have helped Zachariah’s Acres give them the chickens to share with each other.