21 Wishbones…a life lesson!


As Downsizing Divas, we learn lots of life lessons from our clients.

This is the story of the discovery of “21 Wishbones” and the important life lesson we learned.

We were helping a client in her 90’s sort through items in the home she had lived in for over 40 years. Our task was complicated by the fact that this lady was a collector, an artist, an avid photographer and…she did not want to let go of anything!

As Mary was sorting boxes of slides, I was in the basement finding years of accumulated treasures. I reached towards the back of one shelf and discovered a scrunched-up paper bag.

I looked in the bag and discovered a bunch of turkey wishbones…with bits of turkey still on them.! YUCK! And, these wishbones had not even been wished on!

I wanted to share this treasure with Mary because I was intrigued with the wishbones and needed to find out why she had kept them for so many years. As I opened the bag, I said to Mary, “You’ll never guess what I found in the  basement!” and held a wishbone with my baby finger and asked Mary if she wanted to make a wish?.

She looked at me and sighed… “It’s too late to make a wish”, she said, sadly.

“Of course, it’s not too late to make wish,” I told her, “It’s never too late to make a wish”

Her answer stopped me cold! “Well,”, she said with a huge sigh, “it is for me.”

WOW! Her answer really hit me hard. Why hadn’t she wished on these wishbones years ago? Was she saving her wishes? What for? Why doesn’t she want to wish on them now?

I think of a turkey wishbone as the ultimate 50’s “lottery ticket”! When I was a kid, we had a couple of chances a year to “wish” – on Birthday candles and turkey wishbones – if it was our turn. And, with three brothers, my turn didn’t come along all that often.

Finding 21 un-wished-on wishbones and hearing Mary’s answer… “It’s too late for me” made me realize how important it is to make a wish and dream a dream – any chance you get!

This was a great life lesson for me and, now my question to you is…

What are your wishes and dreams?


  1. For me, one of the best lines of this story is when you said to Mary that it is never too late to make wishes.

    Mary’s expression with conviction that it is too late for her sounded grief laden….like what opportunity did she lose out on, what was she possibly regretting not doing when she had the chance? It appears that there are some unresolved things in her life that she has not made peace with…..just speculating.

    Yes, I think we can learn a lot as you did from Mary….
    Seize the day! Make peace with the past! And there are wishes that can be made even in your 90s.