Forest Ranger’s Dying Wish granted by Local Firefighters

If you were to die soon, what will be your last wish? Though there is a possibility that you will only know your last wish when you are on your deathbed, for most people, it will definitely involve their family. Maybe the simple things like seeing your kids for the last time, or your parents, or grandkids. But for this 62-year-old forest ranger, the last wish was unanticipated and extremely hard to get.

Being a forest ranger for most of his life, Edward Reis had multiple sclerosis in the latter years of his life and lived in a hospice. Since he didn’t have anyone else, the nurses and those who cared for him eventually became his family. And even though they made his life happy, there was one thing that he dearly missed. Just a few weeks before his death, Curt Huber, the chaplain asked Edward if there were any final wishes that he had, and there was only one thing on his mind.

His only wish was to go back to the forest, in which he had worked his entire life. Even though he loved the forest, and as a bedridden man, visiting the forest one last time was becoming a difficult task. Since he wasn’t able to walk, nor sit in a wheelchair, the good people in the hospice got in touch with the local fire department, and they were happy enough to offer their services. They took Edward, bed and all, often stopping to listen to the streams and to smell the bark.

Leigh Gardner, a nurse from the hospice says that “The wheels of a gurney are like a shopping cart, so very small wheels on a trail — and it wasn’t like one of those little running trails at all, it was like a hiking trail … and we would stop every so often and he would just sit and listen. And you know I went over to him and I said, ‘Are you happy?’ He’s like, ‘I’m so happy.’” This act of kindness offered by the good people at the hospice and the local fire department, helped Edward get his dying wish, and pass on a happy man.

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