A woman came across a mysterious note left in a garden — and it 'changed' her 'forever'

Justin Chan
·9-min read

A woman's encounter with a note left in a "fairy garden" about a young girl has gone viral on Twitter for its heartwarming outcome.

On Dec. 11, Kelly Victoria Kenney, a professional photographer for Pandora Music and Sirius XM, took to Twitter to share a moving experience she had back in April 2020 — around the beginning of the pandemic.

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Kenney wrote that she had been going though "some painful personal stuff" and would often take long walks at night in her neighborhood in Culver City, Calif.

One night, while walking down her street, Kenney came across a "fairy garden," where someone had placed several trinkets in a tree planter and a note about Eliana Pauls, a 4-year-old girl who had felt lonely during quarantine.

"Our 4 year old girl made this to brighten your day," the note read. "Please add to the magic, but don't take away. These days can be hard, but we're in this together. So enjoy our fairy garden and some nicer weather."

As a former nanny who is passionate about children's creativity, Kenney told In The Know that she felt compelled to respond to the message.

"I saw a part of myself in Eliana's note, and I knew if she was magical enough to want to make a fairy garden, she might find some magic in getting a note from a fairy," Kenney said in an email.

So, the photographer pretended to be a fairy named Sapphire who had come to live in Eliana's tree because — according to the letter Kenney left the girl — Eliana "had set it up so nicely."

Kenney also promised to leave Eliana "magical fairy" dice if the 4-year-old did four things: say five nice things to the people she loved, do three helpful things for someone in need, promise to always "be kind and brave" and daw a picture of her favorite animal so Kenney could it to the "other fairies."

Not expecting a reply from Eliana, Kenney told In The Know that she was "absolutely floored" when she walked by the garden the next day and found a note in response to her letter.

"[When] I finally read the whole letter I completely broke down into tears," Kenney recalled. " She didn't just lazily do some of the tasks I asked her to do, she did them so beautifully and did such sweet things. I knew I was dealing with some really special people here and had to immediately respond."

After receiving Eliana's letter and a drawing of a pig, Kenney kept her promise and dropped off the die, along with another note and a message to Eliana's parents with her name and phone number.

Not only did Kenney receive another letter from Eliana, she also got one from the child's parents, who thanked the photographer for getting involved.

For the next nine months, Kenney and Eliana wrote back and forth, she revealed on Twitter. During that time, the two's friendship grew.

"She asked me questions about what I looked like, what my skin felt like, if I was scared of tree explosions and who my best friend is," Kenney told In The Know. "I found myself wanting to create this little universe for her, my creativity was helping me get through a really rough patch. As soon as I heard from her mom too and we realized how many things we all had in common, I started feeling like I had a new little family right here when my own family was so far away."

Last month, however, Kenney learned that Eliana's family had closed on a new house and would have to leave the "fairy garden" with their neighbors. The young girl's parents reportedly told the photographer that their daughter was struggling with leaving the garden behind, so Kenney made sure "to include some support" in her letters and let Eliana that Sapphire would also "move."

On Dec. 11 (the family's moving day), Kenney wrote on Twitter that she finally got to meet Eliana and her family after the young girl caught her in the act of leaving one last note at the garden.

Kenney and Eliana eventually talked for about an hour and, as Kenney put it, the 4-year-old asked her "a million questions about what life is like as a fairy." The young girl also left Kenney a book the former had written based on Sapphire.

"I hope one day when she's older she can understand that I truly needed her as much as she needed me these past few months," Kenney, who was clearly touched, wrote of Eliana on Twitter.

The photographer, whose Twitter thread has been liked more than 400,000 times and retweeted nearly 147,000 times, added that she and Eliana plan on continuing their correspondence.

"I think what's most important to me is that everyone needs a little extra magic right now, everyone!" Kenney told In The Know, when asked what she'd like her audience to get out of her story. "We are all in this together and if everyone just reached out and did something special for one other person, things would feel a lot less heavy right now. Anyone can be a Sapphire and you never know what one little interaction can turn into."

If you liked this story, you might want to read about the McDonald's worker who paid for a mother's meal and got a surprise in return.

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