By Jim Towey
All of us at Aging with Dignity hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration this year! Mary and I look forward to a crowded table (three of our five children will be around it, plus a nephew, a family friend, and who knows whether we’ll have some last-minute add-ons joining us!) and some lively discussions.
When I launched Five Wishes 25 years ago, I chose the kick-off event to take place just before Thanksgiving. Governor Lawton and Rhea Chiles, and then Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Major Harding and his wife, Jane, gathered to encourage families in Florida to fill out a Five Wishes and discuss it with the family members around the table or in the living room. On that day in November 1997, the four signed their Five Wishes.
It has been Aging with Dignity’s experience that even though a discussion about emergency and end-of-life care might seem out of sync with the upbeat conversations typical of the holiday, a failure to have such a “meeting of the minds” before a crisis strikes can cast a dark shadow for Thanksgivings-to-come.
So enjoy the turkey and stuffing, watch a little football, and talk about your Five Wishes! There may be no better time to communicate how you want to be treated in times of serious illness than when the family is all together around the fire!
And there may be no better time for me to thank all of you for being part of the Aging with Dignity family. We have been richly blessed by our donors and their generosity, and by our Five Wishes customers – both individuals and organizations. May God bless you all this Thanksgiving!