Opinion: Bucket lists tell volumes
Haze, Praise and Field Days With all the divisiveness, conflict, hatred and confusion in our world today, it was refreshing to spend some time at Addison County Field Days. This event is vibrant, poignant, aromatic and enlightening. It might not be your cup of tea, but it is a slice of Vermont (served with a maple creemee) that gives us an opportunity to feel the heart and soul of this community. Whether you go for the tractor pulls, the animals, the food, the rides or just to people watch, you are bound to come away with a lesson, a love or a laugh.
It is ironic that five organizations that face death and dying in Addison County come together in a booth at Field Days each year to talk about living. For several years, Addison County Home Health and Hospice (ACHHH), Addison Respite Care Home (ARCH), Hospice Volunteer Services (HVS), Helen Porter Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center (HPHRC) and Porter Hospital (PH) have cosponsored a space in the Paquette Building. This year we had a large blackboard on which we asked folks to share something from their “Bucket List.” Many might ask “how is what is important to us to do before we die, connected to the services at these five entities?” Why do the dreams of “traveling to London,” “being a wildlife biologist,” “climbing Killington” or “owning a black stallion” matter to these organizations? Because these five organizations, while independent in their operations, work together to care for our friends and neighbors at the end of their lives.
We all want to know what is meaningful and significant to those people who are in our care. If someone wants to “bike for 50 miles,” “have more sex” or “visit the Great Wall or Fuji,” they need to tell this to the ones they love first. Then they need to tell those who have the privilege to care for them before they die. Then we all become witnesses to those dreams. No matter how young or old, sick or healthy, we need to be intentional about our wishes. If you have the courage to dream, we have the power to hope. As we ask for someone’s “Bucket List” we meet them, right where they are — with respect, honesty and compassion. This is how we take care of one another, as a community. My favorite entry on the board was “save a life.” It was written by a teen on her way to new adventures. So thank you Field Days, for reminding me of how we are living, dreaming and dying here in Addison County.
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