Some years ago, an incident in a diner where a group of seniors were counting their change to pay for their meal led Cass Forkin to found an organization that is determined to make America a great place to age -- one dream at a time.
While you are reading this, a shiny 18-wheeler is being driven by country singer Annabella Wood -- of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania -- with Margarete Kirsch as a passenger, in order to grant Margarete's wish of taking a cross-country trip in such a vehicle. Margarete is 82-going-on-23, and is probably the most youthful and dynamic octogenarian you could ever hope to meet. The pair left Dublin Star Diner in Bucks County, Pennsylvania after a hearty breakfast, a rendition of Annabella's theme song, "Truck Drivin' Mama" and thunderous applause from the sponsors of the trip -- corporate and faith-driven alike -- along with a police escort to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and a cornucopia of love.
Annabella herself is not only a career cross-country truck driver, but also an ordained minister, a powerful country singer-songwritwer and storyteller who (In her spare time) has a handy-woman business. She is no stranger to worthy charitable causes.
This particular wish took four-and-a-half years to materialize but those who believe in "God's own good time" had their faith buttressed when the sparkling vehicle took off on its 15-day journey across America, with stops at nursing homes and other Twilight Wish chapters to make more hopes come true and celebrate the art of youthful aging. They will head to California and then down to Magrarete's home in Merrit Island, Florida.
The wish has been in Margarete's heart for most of her life. She is used to mopeds, motorcycles and a host of other adventures and does the same things she did when she was in her early 20s. Meeting her is magic and yesterday's gathering produced radiance that could be felt for miles.
Twilight Wish is used to making seniors' dreams come true -- It could be a stair chair for someone disabled, a nostalgic trinket that might have been lost and recovered, health care direction and guidance, reuniting with lost loved ones, a quilt replacing one lost in a fire, hearing aids.. the list goes on.
Margarete's odyssey is probably the most extensive (and expensive) wish ever granted, but it symbolizes what America's unlimited heartstrings can and are willing to achieve. In an economy begging for mercy, it is more a prerequisite than ever before that the private sector become proactive and that more and more folks know about Twilight Wish and get involved. The dividends are joy and satisfaction which can't be measured by monetary units.
So many of our seniors feel totally forgotten and abandoned. There are some folks in Doylestown, Pennsylvania who beg to differ with any degree of acceptability of these conditions.