Deferred dreams provide a lesson in missed opportunities

Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them.

-William Arthur Ward Perhaps you saw in one of my previous articles about how Nurse Next Door’s Dream On Seniors Wish Foundation aims to make the dreams of elder seniors come true. We even had the opportunity to make one come true a few months back that was incredibly fulfilling.

This story was supposed to be about another recent dream come true. But it’s not. It’s a sad story from this past week that was crushing. Here’s why: We connected with several individual seniors and their spouses in the fall and were able to gather several dreams of elder seniors that live in a care home. They are simple dreams.

So simple in fact we were shocked. Going swimming again for the first time in a long time. Having scotch during happy hour with family while watching a hockey game at home. Going out for dinner with a spouse. Getting out of the nursing home for an outing with a spouse. These dreams are so simple to achieve that we wondered if anyone had ever thought of asking their loved ones this simple question before!

We were quite excited last week to follow up with these individuals to see who we could help next!

There were several dreamers we were really excited to help – these two as much as anybody: the lady who just wanted to enjoy happy hour with a scotch and watch hockey with her family; and another sweet lady who just wanted to go back to her previous retirement community and have lunch with some of her friends she hadn’t seen in a long time.

So when we went to speak with them about putting the plans together we were told that we couldn’t. Because they both recently died. Two simple dreams that would have made their year. Can’t do it now. They’re gone.

At once we felt empty. Sad. Guilty. Defeated. We stewed over it for days. Talked about it. Shared the story a few times with close friends.

So here’s what comes out of this; although we are crushed that we were just a little too late to help those two wonderful ladies, we have committed to moving forward with more urgency on the dreamers we have recently connected with.

We are putting plans together right now to help them achieve their dreams. We are also asking families to step up and learn about what their loved ones want to do that they only ever dreamed about doing up until now.

The lesson here for all of us? Stop putting off the important stuff that you know in your heart you want to move towards and do.

Write down the things that if you didn’t do before you died your life wouldn’t have been complete.

And think about the fulfillment that comes from making the lives of others better.

Don’t give regret any more space to grow. Start taking the first steps toward your important goals and dreams right now.

And who knows – maybe we’ll get to help you with another one of your dreams down the road.

Chris Wilkinson is the owner/GM for Nurse Next Door Home Care Services in Cowichan and central Vancouver Island. For questions or a free consultation call 250-748-4357, or email