Living with a terminal illness can lead to a short and painful existence, but our loved ones around us work tirelessly to ensure that our final moments are as memorable as possible.
The Make A Wish Foundation gives children the opportunity to live out their wildest dreams before they're tragically taken too soon, and although some of the wishes involve getting to meet movie stars or throwing the first pitch at Fenway Park, some wishes are decidedly less complicated.
Out in Arlington, Virginia, 50-year-old Emily Pomeranz was counting down the days until the end of her life. She had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, her third such cancer in her life, and on this occasion there was no chance of survival. Before she took her final breath, Emily had but one request: to taste a mocha milkshake from her favorite restaurant one last time.
The only problem? That restaurant was Tommy's, and it was located in Cleveland Heights in Ohio, 375 miles away. At that stage of her illness, Emily was unable to travel, but longtime friend Sam Klein decided to help Emily out, sending a message to Tommy Fello, owner of Tommy's restaurant.
In a Facebook post, Sam Klein told us how he contacted Tommy's in order to find out more about a special delivery across the country for his dear friend. "Yes. We will figure out a way to do this," said Tommy Fello, and he set about getting the milkshake over to Virginia.
The milkshake arrived on a morning in June, and Emily knew right away that Sam was involved. As soon as she got the mocha milkshake, Klein said that Emily "called and said, ‘You were behind this, weren’t you?" Sam Klein took a picture of Emily enjoying her final shake, and in the Facebook post, he said his terminally ill friend was thrilled.
"Sure enough, after a little research on shipping and two trips to the UPS office, he shipped a carefully packed Tommy’s mocha shake to Emily. This was a huge surprise. She was thrilled. She shared it with her family. She talked about it for days and days. She shared the story with her friends back in Cleveland and here in the D.C. area. It was something that made everyone smile. A woman’s request for one last milkshake from her favorite restaurant. Wish granted!"
Once her final request had been granted, Emily was able to stay another month in the land of the living, but in late July, she finally admitted defeat in her fight against cancer.
On June 28, Emily died, and her obituary said that the 50-year-old would be remembered for her "laugh, her sense of wonderment, her persistence in the face of adversity, and her ability to connect with everyone around her".
Human beings come in different sizes, shapes and personalities, but one thing that binds us together is the fact that we all die one day. We can't always know or be prepared for the day we go, but I hope than when I die, I get to enjoy my favorite food or drink one last time.