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Sheryl Boldt has the opportunity to talk to many people in the Big Bend about their businesses and activities. Then she shares that information with us! Below you'll find both written and audio highlights...as Sheryl Shares!

Sheryl Shares Archives

Candace McKibben, Director of Faith Outreach for Big Bend Hospice, on the subject of National Healthcare Decisions Day, plus the advance directives Five Wishes

It Always Seems Too Early, Until It’s Too Late

“It became a quality of life issue. I wanted to spend whatever time I had left having fun – more fun than recovering from treatment. I want to die at home with my family around me. To me that’s going to be the most comforting, peaceful way to go” (Lee’s Story: Lifting the Burden, YouTube).


One of our most vulnerable seasons in life is when we’re facing our last months due to a terminal illness. Or even worse, without warning, we end up in a coma due to a car accident – or we’re left unable to speak because of a sudden stroke.

What decisions will someone else make regarding our medical care? How would our loved ones and medical professionals know our comfort preferences?

This year’s National Healthcare Decisions Day theme, “It Always Seems Too Early, Until It’s Too Late,” is a sober reminder for us to begin outlining our wishes for end-of-life care (advance directives) and having conversations with our loved ones and healthcare providers to make our advance healthcare planning wishes known.

Recently, I met again with Candace McKibben, Big Bend Hospice’s Director of Faith Outreach, to talk about National Healthcare Decisions Day.

It’s been a while since I’ve visited with Candace, so it was a real treat to meet with her again to record another Sheryl Shares program. (Click on the play button to hear the interview.)

Candace started by providing some of the history on how NHDD got started:

National Healthcare Decisions Day was founded by Nathan Kottkamp, April 16, 2008. When Mr. Kottkamp was only 20 years old, he had the wisdom to fill out his own advance directives. Later, as a young attorney, he became concerned when he saw his clients’ end-of-life needs were not being addressed with the same vigor as the law office addressed their property and other issues. Slowly, he organized a movement that is now observed in all 50 states which encourages advance healthcare decision-making.

Candace informed Wave 94 listeners that in honor of this year’s National Healthcare Decision Day, Big Bend Hospice will host:

Take Charge Florida! End-of-Life Decisions and You

Location: FSU College of Medicine

1115 West Call Street

Tallahassee, FL

Free parking available

Date: April 12, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.


The Resource fair will begin at 5:00 p.m.

While you are there, pick up valuable resources from the following vendors about health care decisions, care for elders, and hospice care:

Florida Hospice and Palliative Care Association

Aging with Dignity

Elder Care Services

Area Agency on Aging

The Alzheimer’s Project

Elder Affairs

Big Bend Hospice

Candace McKibben will also present the “One Slide Project Challenge” (five questions designed to encourage conversations with loved ones about your end-of-life preferences). Candace believes it’s important for all people to make their wishes known for their own peace of mind regarding the care they will receive, but also so that our loved ones will have comfort in knowing they honored our requests.

The program, featuring Professor Marshall Kapp will start at 6:00pm.

Professor Marshall Kapp is the Director of the Center for Innovative Collaboration in Medicine & Law at FSU, and a faculty member of the FSU College of Medicine and FSU College of Law. He has published and spoken extensively on topics in health law, and medical ethics, as well as law and aging. Professor Kapp also served as editor or on the editorial board of a number of prestigious journals.

Join Professor Kapp for a discussion on “Advance Medical Care Planning in Florida” and learn what POLST (Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment) is, and what it isn’t.

Attendees will also view “Lee’s Story: Lifting the Burden,” a short video on how completing a POLST form enabled a woman named Lee, a terminally ill cancer patient, to find comfort, knowing her family knew the treatment and care she desired.

After the presentation, Professor Kapp will answer questions.

Dr. Nancy Chorba, Big Bend Hospice Medical Director, will be available to respond to medical-related questions.

CEU, CLE and CME credits (1.5) are available

For more information, or to RSVP, contact Candace McKibben:  


Or call Candace at Big Bend Hospice (850) 878-5310

For more information about this, other BBH events or to find out about hospice care, visit Big Bend Hospice’s detailed website at www.bigbendhospice.org

Or call them with any questions you may have.

A Big Bend Hospice trained facilitator is also available to meet with you (or your small group, Bible Study, etc.) to answer any questions about advance directives and the “Five Wishes” document. They encourage you to do this now, even if you’re young and healthy. In fact, it is much easier to make these types of decisions when you are not in the midst of imminent death.

If you would like to request information about hospice care or have the Five Wishes document mailed to you, call 850.878.5310. The service is free.

Your family will thank you.

Contact info:

(850) 878-5310 (24 hours a day)

Website: www.BigBendHospice.org


My Favorite Sheryl Shares Interview – with My Husband!

Bert B. Boldt, II: Tallahassee Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Services , LLC

Eleven years ago, when I was a private caregiver, I took Bee—one of the ladies I cared for—to see Dr. William Morse. He suggested I take her to be fitted with medical support hosiery and recommended Bert Boldt at Tallahassee Physical Therapy.

“What a name,” I thought to myself: Bert Boldt. But being the ever-so caring caregiver that I was, I made the appointment for Bee to see Mr. Boldt.

A little over a year later, I became Mrs. Bert B. Boldt, II!

I was delighted to have my husband, Bert, as a guest on a recent Sheryl Shares program to tell us about Tallahassee Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Services, as well as JOBST medical hosiery. (Click on the play button to hear the interview.)

During the interview, we discussed what led up to Bert becoming a physical therapist and the history of his practice, which opened in Tallahassee in 1973.

Tallahassee Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Services treats a wide range of diagnoses, including medical and surgical, orthopedic and neurological conditions, all referred by physicians. Their patients range from children to adults.

Tallahassee Physical Therapy patients who suffer with venous disease are fitted with JOBST medical hosiery products. The practice accepts almost every form of insurance and has strong referral relationships with area physicians.

Bert loves being a physical therapist. His entire staff works with the conviction that “it’s all about good patient care.”

Being married to a physical therapist has its advantages, too. After recently having surgery to fix two broken bones in my wrist, I didn’t have to go far for physical therapy. My wrist is already practically as good as new. Well, as good as new as a not-so-new-wrist can be, that is.

When I asked Bert, “What is one of your greatest highlights since becoming a physical therapist?” he immediately answered, “Meeting you!” (Wasn’t that the perfect answer?!)

For additional information about JOBST compression stockings, or to make an appointment with the best physical therapy practice (bias noted), call or visit their website:

Bert B. Boldt, II

Tallahassee Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Services, LLC

132 Salem Ct., Tallahassee, FL 32301

850-877-8177; 800-833-3367


Dr. Monica Williams Murphy, author of It's OK to Die - plus Gini West of Big Bend Hospice

When the Time Comes, It’s OK to Die

We aren’t supposed to live forever – at least not here on earth. It’s ok to die.

Dr. Monica Williams-Murphy, a board certified emergency medicine physician, wrote a book expressing that sentiment called It’s OK to Die. She was a recent guest on the Sheryl Shares program.

Early in the interview, Dr. Williams-Murphy shared a story that happened about five years ago. In the middle of the night, the paramedics called ahead to the ER to let her know they were bringing in a very sick elderly woman from a local nursing home. When the patient arrived, she was comatose and completely paralyzed, only weighing 70 pounds. She had a feeding tube, was covered in bedsores and had not spoken or moved for two years. However, her medical directives were “Full Code” (do everything possible to keep her alive), so she remained alive.

Suddenly, the patient’s heart stopped beating and Dr. Murphy felt several of the woman’s ribs break while performing CPR. She would have rather held the patient’s hand and offered comfort during those last moments of life. Experiences like this have led Dr. Murphy to conclude that “we’ve lost the human side of being doctors.”

That’s why she wrote It’s OK to Die, hoping to encourage people to decide what kind of (if any) medical treatment they would want during their last months. It is not a book about euthanasia or doctor-assisted suicide, but rather, it’s a book written to address the importance of advance directives. (You can click on the play button to hear the entire interview.)

It’s OK to Die is filled with real stories she has experienced in the emergency room—many of which prove most of us are unprepared for death. To obtain a copy of the book, go to www.oktodie.com or visit Big Bend Hospice, 1723 Mahan Center Blvd. Tallahassee, Florida.

Big Bend Hospice also wants to invite you to a Grief Awareness Event.

Location: Cascades Park, Downtown Tallahassee

When: November 19, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.


Join Big Bend Hospice in Cascades Park for Children’s Grief Awareness Day. We will have free, kid-friendly activities, resources and informational tables. A “Holding on to Hope” Walk will take place at 5:00 p.m. at the park. Kids can make a free lighted “Hope Jar” for the walk.

For more information, please contact Pam Mezzina at (850) 671-6078 or pam@bigbendhospice.org

If you would like a copy of The Five Wishes (an advance directive document), Big Bend Hospice will be glad to send you (free of charge) as many copies as you need for your church group, family or individual. Before a crisis hits your family, it is vital to have an open and honest conversation expressing your wishes about the type of care you want at the end of life. It is much easier to make these types of decisions when you are not in the midst of imminent death.

Big Bend Hospice has a detailed website with information about hospice care. Call them with any questions you may have or to set up a time to meet with them. The consultation is free.

Contact information

(850) 878-5310 (24 hours a day)

Website: www.Bigbendhospice.org

1723 Mahan Center Blvd. Tallahassee, FL 32308

Gini West of Big Bend Hospice - October 2015

Big Bend Hospice Hosts Medical Physician and Author for National Hospice Month

It’s OK to die.

How does that statement make you feel? It probably depends on which stage of life you are in, doesn’t it? Because I would only say such a thing if you were facing imminent death. But what if you were?

Would you be afraid if someone told you it is OK to die? Or would hearing it offer you some comfort – or maybe give you a sense of relief?

Let me make one point clear: I’m not talking about suicide or euthanasia in any form. I’m talking about experiencing a good death—one which allows you and your family peace and less anxiety as it nears. The objective is coming to the place in which you realize death is a natural part of the life cycle.

In preparation for National Hospice Month in November, Gini West, Big Bend Hospice Director of Business Development, sat down with me to discuss two special events coming up during the first week of November. (Click on the play button to hear interview.)

Both events will offer a chance for attendees to have an open dialogue with Dr. Monica Williams-Murphy, an emergency room physician and author of It’s OK to Die, as well as other local professional experts to discuss legal and spiritual aspects regarding advance directives and concerns about death and dying.

You are invited to both events to hear Dr. Williams-Murphy’s perspective on how to have “A Good Death.”

Event: Community Dialogue & Panel Discussion

Date and Time: Tuesday, November 3 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Location: Tallahassee Community College in the Ghazvini Center for Healthcare Education, 1528 Surgeons Drive, Tallahassee

And the very next day:

Event: Brown Bag Lunch & Learn

Date and Time: Wednesday, November 4 from 12 noon – 1:30 p.m.

Location: Elaine C. Bartelt Administration Center at Big Bend Hospice

1723 Mahan Center Blvd.,Tallahassee.

(beverages will be provided)

Both events qualify for CEUs for nurses and social workers!

Ms. West said free copies of Five Wishes (a living will document) will be available, plus, Dr. Williams-Murphy’s book It’s OK to Die, will be available for $4.50 at both events.

For more information about either event, call Vicki Warren at Big Bend Hospice at (850) 878-5310 or go to www.bigbendhospice.org.

While you are on the Big Bend Hospice website, click on the Events tab to see several events scheduled for those who are grieving, including the Veterans Day Remembrance Service at the Big Bend Hospice McCully House, 1723 Mahan Center Blvd., Tallahassee, FL 32308, will be held on Tuesday, November 10 at 10am.

Before ending our program, Gini again reminded us about the importance of advance directives. She mentioned that Big Bend Hospice is available to meet with anyone who would like to discuss end of life issues, including how to fill out Five Wishes. You can ask Big Bend to send you a free copy of the Five Wishes document by calling them, or you can request one by visiting their website.

For information regarding any Big Bend Hospice events, the Community Dialogue & Panel Discussion, the Lunch & Learn, or if you have questions about hospice care or advance directives, please call or go to their website:

Big Bend Hospice

(850) 878-5310 (24 hours a day)


Sheryl Interviews Stephanie Barfield (coordinator for Care Ministry at Good Samaritan United Methodist Church) and Candace McKibben (Big Bend Hospice Director of Faith Outreach)

What Is a Clergy and Congregational Leaders Retreat?

If you’d like to learn more about how you can serve your congregation and community through your local church, don’t miss this free half-day event:

Clergy and Congregational Leaders Retreat

Tuesday, October 13

8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Saint Paul’s Methodist Church, 1700 North Meridian Road.

A free (light) breakfast and a lunch will be served.

Candace McKibben (Big Bend Hospice Director of Faith Outreach) and Stephanie Barfield (coordinator for Care Ministry at Good Samaritan United Methodist Church) were my guests on a recent Sheryl Shares to discuss the upcoming retreat. (Click on the play button above to hear the program.)

Candace recounted how the Clergy Retreat, which evolved into the Clergy and Congregational Leaders Retreat, began. She also gave us more information about next month’s event:

On October 13, Dr. Steve Mills, Associate Director of the FSU Center for Leadership and Social Change, will offer ideas on how clergy and congregational leaders can better meet the needs of those inside and outside the church. During the retreat, participants will break into small groups to brainstorm how best to meet the specific needs and mission of their congregations by better understanding how to motivate and equip groups within the congregations. Whatever your particular mission and vision for your congregation and the community, it requires groups of people to get it done. Effective groups make all the difference!

Also during Sheryl Shares, Stephanie told how attending last April’s retreat led to her new position at her church. As a care ministry coordinator, one of Stephanie’s goals is to connect with the Good Samaritan community. She then identifies needs that are not already being met and brainstorms ways her church can meet them.

Stephanie said had it not been for what she learned at last April’s retreat, her church might not have added the new outreach.

Big Bend Hospice and The Alzheimer’s Project, Inc. are partnering to offer this free event. Participants will receive materials about each organization, the services they render, as well as free copies of Five Wishes.

To find out more about the Clergy and Congregational Leaders Retreat, call:

(850) 878-5310 (24 hours a day)

Website: www.bigbendhospice.org

If you’d like to schedule a one-on-one meeting with a trained facilitator or have a PEACE (Planning Early About Care at the End) representative come and speak with your church or organization about your personal end of life decisions, call 850.878.5310. The service is free.

Pam Mezzina of Big Bend Hospice - August 2015

Pam Mezzina of Big Bend Hospice on Grief, Children and Back-to-School

What If I Cry?

What if I cry at school and all the kids make fun of me? This is a fear some children face when they return to school soon after losing someone very close to them.

Beginning a new school year presents a certain amount of challenges for all kids, but children and teens who are dealing with the loss of a family member face a much more difficult time.

Author and grief counselor, Alan Wolfelt said, "Any child old enough to love is old enough to grieve."

On a recent Sheryl Shares interview, Pam Mezzina (Big Bend Hospice’s bereavement services manager) and I had a meaningful conversation on how to help children get through this sad and stressful time. You can listen to our conversation by clicking on the “play” button above.

Go to their website (www.bigbendhospice.org) and click on the “Grief Support” tab for more details about BBH Caring Tree services, including: monthly Children and Teen nights and two annual bereavement one-day camps, Camp Woe-Be-Gone and Teen Woe-Be-Gone.

Information on adult bereavement services can also be found under the Grief Support tab. The next Leon County six-week adult grief support group will begin September 10 at the Jean McCully Family House, 1723 Mahan Center Blvd., in Tallahassee. For the six-week period, the group will begin at 4:30 and will end at 6:00 p.m. Call Pam Mezzina to register at 671-6078.

Another event worth attending is Big Bend Hospice’s Living, Loving, Leaving this Life: Thought-provoking conversations about the end-of-life on Thursday, August 27, 6pm at Big Bend Hospice - 1723 Mahan Center Blvd., Tallahassee, FL. Join Big Bend Hospice for a community discussion around the recent national debate on death with dignity.

Big Bend Hospice offers all of their supportive care services (including advance directive counseling) without charge to the public, which is why they rely so much on fundraisers. Their next fundraiser is fast approaching:

Monday, September 14 Capital City Bank is sponsoring the Big Bend Hospice 15th Annual Dr. Glenn Bass Golf Tournament. The tournament begins at 8:00 a.m. at the Golden Eagle Country Club. Call Connie Palmer for more information: 850-878-5310.

And to find out about the other BBH services, or to request a free Five Wishes Advance Directives booklet, please contact Big Bend Hospice:

(850) 878-5310 (available 24 hours a day with bereavement services available during regular business hours) www.bigbendhospice.org 1723 Mahan Center Boulevard, Tallahassee, FL 32308


Candace McKibben of Big Bend Hospice - May 2015

Candace McKibben of Big Bend Hospice Talks about the Last Three of the Five Wishes

What Do You Want Your Family to Know in Your Last Days?

When my own father was dying very recently, we were gathered as a family at his bedside – he was no longer speaking – but we knew he liked to have his feet rubbed. We knew he liked to have his hand held and wanted his family to be around him. We knew because he had told us so in his Five Wishes. And it made all the difference in the world to us.

For instance, though he was having some secretions that made his respirations sound uncomfortable to us – we were assured that he was not suffering, so we did not put him through suctioning, but rather treated the symptom with medicine from hospice.

Five Wishes has been called “The advance directive with a soul.” It is a personalized, less clinical approach to making important decisions about your care if you are unable to voice your own wishes because of accident, serious illness or dementia. However, as important as an advance directive is, only about 30% of adults in the United States have completed a living will.

Yet, it is critical to make your wishes known – not only for personal reasons, but also for the sake of those who are trying to navigate the medical maze for you.

This applies also to younger adults. The number one cause of death in younger adults is accidents. They often end up on life support before their passing. As horrible as this tragic event is – what a gift it would be if parents or young spouses would know what their loved ones would want if faced with this already difficult situation. “The Five Wishes” workbook (free to the public from Big Bend Hospice) helps to make your wishes known.

Wishes three, four and five move beyond medical and legal matters to address what makes you comfortable, how you want to be treated and what you want your loved ones to know.

Because the medical and legal decisions regarding the five wishes can be complex and at times difficult – I always recommend starting with wish number three. It is less threatening and can be such an important guide for your family.

Wish three is about your comfort level. When I think of the families I have served at Big Bend Hospice, I have seen how important it is for families to do something – anything – to make the life of the one they love more comfortable. This wish allows you to give detailed instruction about what makes you comfortable: from what you would want in terms of pain medication and symptom-management medication.

You can let someone know how you feel about getting your hair washed regularly or whether you want your makeup applied. You can choose the music that would comfort you. And you can designate which books you would like someone to read to you.   

You can edit the bullet points listed in the workbook, or you can add your own instructions under a new bullet. Maybe you want the windows open so you can hear the birds. What is it that makes you feel relaxed and comfortable?

Handholding and family gathering gets into wish number four which is about how you want people to treat you. Maybe you wish to have people gathered around you in prayer. Maybe you want to be surrounded by pictures of people who matter to you. Maybe you want to have your pet on the bed with you. Maybe it matters to you where you die, or that you not die alone. All of these important matters can be communicated as you complete wish number four.

The fifth wish is about what you would like your loved ones to know. An ethical will is a document that allows you to pass on values, life lessons, hopes and dreams to the next generation and wish five gives you just that opportunity. You can let those who matter most to you know how you feel about them, how you hope that they will be at peace with each other after your death, how you forgive them and hope that they forgive you. You can express what you would like to include at your memorial service and whether you would like to be buried or cremated. You can even talk about donating your body, or a part of your body.

The beauty of Five Wishes – beyond its very comprehensive look at the medical and legal issues, as well as the spiritual and emotional concerns – is the way it engages a family in important conversation. Because as important as completing this document or one like it is – it is even more important for families to talk about these critical matters. And sitting down with your family with the document as a guide allows you to share your feelings and decisions in a way they can understand.

I know these conversations are not easy. However, they may be more difficult in our minds than they actually are in reality. We do not like to talk about these matters, but the ramifications of not talking about them are far worse.     

Big Bend Hospice will gladly meet with anyone, individually or in small groups, to discuss “The Five Wishes,” free of charge. Contact them to obtain a Five Wishes document, if you would like their help with your advance directive, or if you are in need of their end of life care.

Big Bend Hospice contact info:

(850) 878-5310 (24 hours a day)

Website: www.BigBendHospice.org

This Sheryl Shares article was written mostly by Candace McKibben of Big Bend Hospice with just a little contribution from Sheryl H. Boldt.

Pam Mezzina of Big Bend Hospice - May 2015

Help for You as You Grieve for Mom or Dad

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can be difficult for people who are grieving the loss of a parent. If you could use some wisdom and compassion, Big Bend Hospice is trained and ready to help you through this difficult time.

Whether your loved one has died recently or many years ago, Big Bend Hospice has several grief support groups, events and programs. I will list the Day of Remembrance Services for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, but be sure to go to their website (www.BigBendHospice.org) for information about other events Big Bend Hospice offers. Even if you are not a Big Bend Hospice client, you are more than welcome to attend.

Big Bend Hospice cordially invites the community to attend their upcoming Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Services of Remembrance. If you are grieving the loss of a mother or father (or mother or father figure), join Big Bend Hospice for music, reflection and remembrance. You can also bring a photo of your loved one, if you’d like to display it during the service. The event will be held at the Big Bend Hospice Elaine C. Bartlet Hospice Center at 1723 Mahan Center Blvd., Tallahassee, FL. Youth are welcomed to attend,and special children’s activities will be provided by the Caring Tree – Big Bend Hospice’s grief program for youth. There is no charge for these events.

May 7, 2015 - Mother's Day Service of Remembrance * 6:00 p.m.

June 18, 2015 - Father’s Day Service of Remembrance * 6:00 p.m.

Big Bend Hospice proudly promotes advance care planning through its PEACE (Planning Early About Care at the End) program, and through the Aging with Dignity FIVE WISHES document. They are willing to meet with you to explain how advance care planning plays into a healthier process of coping with loss. Many people find that when their loved one has made their final decisions known before dying, caregivers and family members cope a bit better, knowing that their loved one died on their own terms.

For more information about the Big Bend Hospice PEACE Program and the free Five Wishes workbook, contact Candace McKibben or Gini West of Big Bend Hospice at 850-878-5310. You can schedule a one-on-one meeting with a trained facilitator or have a PEACE representative come and speak with your church or organization. Again, the service is free.

For more information about Big Bend Hospice Bereavement Services visit www.BigBendHospice.org, or contact Pam Mezzina (Bereavement Services Manager) at (850) 878-5310 or pam@bigbendhospice.org.

Gini West of Big Bend Hospice - The First Two of the Five Wishes - April 2015

Do You Know Your Spouse’s Desires for End of Life Care?

Since meeting some of the dedicated staff at Big Bend Hospice, they encouraged me to fill out the Five Wishes workbook. (Five Wishes is a living will that Big Bend Hospice promotes as part of their advance directives PEACE Program: Planning Early About Care at the End). Therefore, after my first Sheryl Shares interview with Big Bend Hospice, I gladly brought the workbook home intending to begin filling it out with my husband, Bert, that evening.

However, the workbook remained on our coffee table for months, untouched.

After confessing to Gini and Candace (at the next interview) that Bert and I still had not filled out our Five Wishes, there is no way I was going to let that happen again. Therefore, I was compelled to have it done before the next time we met!

Finally, I seized the perfect time. While Bert drove during one of our car trips, I read each item listed in the eleven-page booklet.

First, we had to decide whom we each wanted to make health care decisions for us when we were no longer able to make them for ourselves. I was honored that Bert picked me to be his “person,” and he was equally pleased to be mine.

As I continued to read out loud, we discussed whether or not (and in what circumstances) we would want life support, feeding tubes, and when/if we would want a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order issued. Obviously, we spent quite some time on these issues. The Five Wishes workbook was a tremendous help because it provided different scenarios to consider, such as: what to do if we were in a coma or had severe brain damage, without the expectation of waking up or recovering.

Thankfully, our personal, spiritual and emotional wishes were much easier to discuss. We love our house on the beach. So, Bert requested that when he can no longer sit in his chair to look out onto the water, he wanted his hospital bed to be placed in the den facing the sliding glass doors so he can still enjoy seeing and hearing the sounds of the beach. (Me too!)

We also both decided that we want to die at home with hospice services. If that becomes impossible due to our physical symptoms, then we have written in our workbooks that we would like to be moved to Big Bend Hospice House.

Some of the specific requests we noted in our workbooks regarding our comfort, were: Bert wants to have his neck and shoulders massaged, and he likes to have his sheets tucked in at the foot of the bed. I made sure to write in my Five Wishes workbook that I want to be turned often because I have a low pain tolerance, especially when I lay on my left side. I also need extra neck support, and absolutely must have the end of my sheets NOT tucked in, but loose around my feet.

We also discussed the songs we wanted played at our funeral, the Bible passages we wanted read, etc.

While this was a very sobering conversation, it was gave us a tremendous sense of peace. Neither of us will have to wonder what the other would have wanted.

On a sweet note: a few minutes after we completed our workbooks, Bert reached over and took my hand and said, “Sheryl, after talking about these end-of-life issues with you, I feel more bonded with you than ever.” I loved that!

For more information about Big Bend’s PEACE Program and the free Five Wishes workbook, scroll down to previous articles and interviews, or contact Big Bend Hospice. You can also schedule a one-on-one meeting with a trained facilitator or have a PEACE representative come and speak with your church or organization. The service is free.

Contact info:

(850) 878-5310 (24 hours a day)

Website: www.BigBendHospice.org

Gini West of Big Bend Hospice - April 2015

In celebration of April’s National Healthcare Decisions Day, Big Bend Hospice will host two important events on, Tuesday, April 14. Both events are free.

First event:

The Clergy Retreat: Please RSVP

A light breakfast and a working lunch will be provided.

Reverend James L. Brooks, author of The Unbroken Circle: a Toolkit for Congregations Around Illnesses, End of Life and Grief, will be the guest speaker. Reverend Brooks will use his book to lead a discussion on specific ways churches and congregations can help those in their churches deal with serious illness.

Copies of The Unbroken Circle will be available.

Who is invited:

Clergy and Congregational Leaders who have (or want to have) a ministry for those facing serious illness and end of life issues.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015


8:30 a.m. Light Breakfast and Registration

9:00 a.m. – Noon The Unbroken Circle

Our Shared Ministry


Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church

1700 North Meridian Road

Tallahassee, FL

(850) 385-5146

For more information or to RSVP, please contact:

Big Bend Hospice office: (850) 878-5310

Rev. Candace McKibben (850) 671-6029 or (850) 363-2689

Or email: Candace@bigbendhospice.org

Second event:

Being Mortal, a Discussion about Medicine and What Matters in the End (RSVP not required)

The Being Mortal event is opened to the community. If you have an interest about dealing with serious illness and how to work with your medical community when facing end of life issues, this educational event is for you.

Rev. James L. Brooks will also facilitate the Being Mortal event by featuring a Frontline film which looks at New York writer and Boston surgeon Atul Gawande’s groundbreaking book, Being Mortal. Come to learn how to work with the medical community (and changes that need to be made) when facing serious illnesses.

Who is invited:

Opened to the public


Tuesday, April 14, 7:00 p.m.


Florida State University College of Medicine Auditorium

1115 West Call Street

Tallahassee, FL

Free copies of Five Wishes will be available to all in attendance.

For information of either event, please contact:

Big Bend Hospice

(850) 878-5310


On a personal note: Wave 94 would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to one of our favorite guests on Sheryl Shares. Candace McKibben of Big Bend Hospice, recently lost her father, only days after being admitted into Big Bend Hospice. Our prayers and thoughts are with Candace and her family.

Gini West and Candace McKibben of Big Bend Hospice - February 2015

Give Your Family PEACE in Your Last Days

Your phone rings.

Your brother is calling to inform you that your dad is on the way to the emergency room. You race to the hospital and learn that your dad had a stroke. When you’re finally able to see him, it quickly becomes evident that his condition is serious. Your family now has a lot of decisions to make about his care, but sadly, the stroke has taken away Dad’s ability to speak.

Question: Would you know what medical decisions your dad would want you to make on his behalf?

Second question: If you were the patient, does your family know what medical treatment you would want – and not want?

During my second interview with Big Bend Hospice, Gini West (Director of Business Development) and Candice McKibben (Director of Faith Outreach) talked with me about their PEACE Program: Planning Early About Care at the End. (If you missed my first interview with Big Bend Hospice about what hospice care is and who it benefits, scroll down to last month’s interview.)

Big Bend Hospice is passionate about helping you begin to think about (and put in writing) how you want to be treated when you are facing the last months of your life. They use a helpful tool called the “Five Wishes” booklet to do this.

“Five Wishes” is a workbook that gives specific guidelines and suggestions so your family and doctor will know your desires. The five wishes include:

1.   Who will make your health care decisions for you when you can no longer make them.”

Provides an area to write down the person you choose to carry out your health care decisions.

2.   The kind of medical treatment you want or don't want.

Covers various topics, including pain management, or whether or not you want life-support if you are close to death, in a coma, or brain damaged, etc.

 3. How comfortable you want to be.

Offers several scenarios you can choose from relating to comfort care: lips and mouth kept moist, personal care like shaving, teeth and hair brushing, and having a specific type of music playing, etc.

4.    How you want people to treat you.

Provides a list of possible requests you may have during your last months, weeks or days, such as: having someone with you when it seems that death may come at any time, having pictures of loved ones near your bed, to die in your home, if possible, etc.

5.   What you want your loved ones to know.

Several topics are listed that you may want to consider sharing with those you love regarding your relationships. For instance, you may wish your family and friends to know that you love them and/or forgive them, or that you want to spend your remaining days as meaningfully (and productively) as possible, and even your funeral/memorial services details.

Big Bend Hospice has a detailed website with information about hospice care. Call them with any questions you may have or to set up a time to meet with them. They encourage you to do this now, whether you’re facing a terminal diagnosis or even if you’re young and healthy. In fact, it is much easier to make this type of decisions when you are not in the midst of imminent death.

If you would like to request information about the Big Bend Hospice PEACE program, schedule a one-on-one meeting with a trained facilitator or have a PEACE representative come and speak with your church or organization, call 850.878.5310. The service is free.

Your family will thank you.

Contact info:

(850) 878-5310 (24 hours a day)

Website: www.BigBendHospice.org

Candace McKibben of Big Bend Hospice - January 2015

Big Bend Hospice: A True Ministry

By the time my mother was diagnosed, her cancer had metastasized (spread) so extensively that she was given only a few months to live. However, she died just ten days later.

It was almost twenty years ago, but I can easily recall the pain I felt when I received the call about Mom’s prognosis. My siblings and I shared an intense desire to be there for Mom and Dad in Ormond Beach, Florida. Yet, none of us knew how to care for all of her needs – or how to help Dad get through this painful time.

Thankfully, by the time all of us arrived at our parents’ home, our dad had been in touch with hospice. We welcomed their confidence, experience and compassion.

Hospice coordinated my mother’s transfer from the hospital to home, and ordered (and had delivered) all of the medical supplies and equipment she needed, including a hospital bed. The skilled staff (nurses, social workers, hospice aides) and the trained volunteers stepped in and provided all the medical and emotional support we needed. It allowed my family to spend quality time with Mom, and with each other, rather than worrying about all of the details of her care. Because of hospice care, Mom was able to die peacefully and comfortably at home.

We so appreciated hospice!

Years later, my husband’s mom needed hospice care. In her mid-90s, Helen’s health was in constant decline. We sought Big Bend Hospice in Tallahassee to help us ensure that the time she had remaining would be as comfortable as possible.

Big Bend Hospice has an advanced directives program called PEACE, Planning Early About Care at the End. As a part of that program, Helen filled out her Five Wishes, documenting her wishes about her medical, spiritual and emotional care at the end of life. That information provided Bert (my husband) and I the guidance we needed to carry out her decisions, including the kind of medical treatment she wanted, and did not want.

Big Bend Hospice worked hard to customize its plan of care to meet Helen’s specific needs and preferences. The admitting nurse (besides completing all the paperwork required) wanted to know about Helen, the person, and the little extra things they could do to help her have the most meaningful end of life experience as possible. Each of the team members assigned to Helen made a visit to learn about her needs and desired plan of care including the team nurse, social worker, chaplain, music therapist, hospice aide and volunteer. And administrators ordered a hospital bed and wheel chair for Helen, as well as all of the other related medical supplies she needed.

We never had to wonder about her status because they provided us with regular updates.

Bert and I lived in a different county, so we decided to have Helen moved to another memory care facility closer to us. Big Bend Hospice handled all of the necessary calls to make the transition easy and uneventful, including ensuring their services would also continue uninterrupted. (Big Bend Hospice covers eight counties in the Big Bend region: Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor and Wakulla).

In close communication with the doctor, they were able to quickly respond to Helen with each change in her condition. Toward the end, Helen could barely communicate; however, Big Bend Hospice staff was trained to recognize when she was in pain; therefore, they adjusted her medications as needed. And after the nurse and hospice aides noticed pressure sores beginning to develop, they immediately obtained a special air mattress (with a pump).

As Helen continued to hang on, it was difficult to see her wasting away, but Big Bend Hospice used a personal touch that made a huge difference. One day while we were visiting with Helen, the music therapist stopped by for one of her visits with her acoustic guitar and beautiful voice. By the time she left, the entire mood in the room was brighter!

The chaplain phoned us each time he visited and prayed with Helen and that meant so much to us.

Helen passed away November 5, 2014. We received comfort at the Service of Remembrance (for all those who have experienced a loss) hosted by Big Bend Hospice. And we cherish the commemorative ornament we received at the December service.

Recently, I was able to meet with Rev. McKibben, Director of Faith Outreach to discuss many aspects regarding hospice care. She went into some detail about common misconceptions surrounding hospice care, more about the PEACE (advance directives) program, how you can sign up for their services, how it’s paid for and the difference that hospice care can make for the patient and the family members. (Click on the play link to listen.)

If you have questions about hospice care, their advance directives PEACE Program, the bereavement services they offer, or anything else, please visit their website or call them, anytime day or night.

Be assured that Big Bend Hospice is ready to serve you wherever you live, even if it’s in your car or in a homeless shelter. And if you’re not able to pay, Big Bend Hospice, with all of their services, is available to you as well!

Contact Information:
Phone: (850) 878-5310 (24 hours a day)
Website: www.BigBendHospice.org

In closing, Bert and I want to thank each person we met and worked with from Big Bend Hospice during Helen’s final year. May God bless you as you continue to serve the community in His Name.


Dr. Arie Sailor and Rev. Al Williams of One Church One Child of Florida - December 2014

Hello. Thank you, again, for stopping by the Sheryl Shares blog. Today, I bring you a very important topic. One very dear to my heart!

Did you know that at least 15,000 children are in the foster care system in Florida this very moment?

That’s why the work and mission of One Church One Child of Florida (OCOC) is so important. Its goal is for every child in the foster care system “to have a forever, permanent home and family.”

“On any given day, over 750 children are available with no family identified to adopt them,” said Dr. Arie Sailor, executive director, OCOC of Florida. “The need is great! We are looking for those who are willing to expand their hearts, their homes and their families!”

One Church One Child is a statewide, faith based, nonprofit organization that focuses on permanent placements for children in the foster care system. OCOC will support interested families and officially refer them to the appropriate community based care agency for the state’s required training and approval process for adoptive parents, or licensing process for those interested in becoming foster parents.

Rev. Al Williams, deputy director, is very excited about the opportunity to introduce OCOC’s Church Watch Care Ministry (CWCM) to partner churches. He says families who adopt or choose to foster children – and the children themselves – can receive extra support and encouragement from local churches through CWCM. These churches pray for the families and children, and can become involved with special events (such as birthdays, and Christmas).

Reverend Williams, who says it’s uplifting to see these children being plugged into area youth ministries, describes getting involved as a “win-win relationship” for the churches, the community and especially the children!

In addition to connecting churches with children who are in adoptive care, CWCM offers mentoring and other services to the nearly one-hundred children who are ageing out of the foster care system each month.

“When youth age out foster care, between 18 and 21 years of age, many of them are not ready to be out on their own; they need someone to remain connected to, and Church Watch Care Ministries provide the opportunity to be that link or support which can last a life-time,” Dr. Sailor said.

If you’d like to read about any of the children who are waiting and need to be adopted, call OCOC and request a flyer. It will contain pictures and a little information about the children. Warning: Get ready for your heart to melt as you read about their personalities, likes and dislikes and some of their goals and dreams.

If you are wondering if you would qualify to adopt a child, OCOC explains that the state’s basic criteria is simple, through there may be small variations depending on the county in which you live.

“Anyone who has a heart for children and who can provide a safe environment for them [can adopt]. Married couples and singles can adopt. Even grandparents can adopt! In fact, the adoption proves to be mutually beneficial, for the adoptive parent(s) and child(ren), in building or expanding a family. A person does not have to be rich; they just have to be able to manage on their income.” Dr. Sailor explained.

During one of my visits to One Church One Child, I was able to meet Francis McMillon who adopted three children. You will love hearing her story! (Click on the OCOC interview link above to hear Ms. McMillon’s story.)

Call or visit OCOC’s website (see below) for information on:

  • How to become an adoptive parent or to be licensed as foster parents
  • Financial assistance (including college tuition for adopted children!)
  • More about the Church Watch Care program (and how your church can become involved)
  • One Church One Child volunteer program
  • And more

“All of the children who find themselves placed in the foster care system have been impacted by being removed from their families,” Dr. Sailor said. “Therefore, they are all considered ‘special needs children.’ … Including teenage boys and girls who want to be part of a family as they experience the different stages they go through: birthdays, special events, holidays, graduations, even weddings….”

Need I say more?

One Church One Child of Florida contact information:
Phone: 1-888-283-0886 or 850-414-5620
Website: www.ococfl.org
Location: 3051 Highland Oaks Terrace, Suite 1, Tallahassee, FL 3230


Dr. Arie Sailor and Rev. Al Williams of One Church One Child of Florida - October 2014




Joe Pogo of Joe Pogo's Window Cleaning and Pressure Washing

Hello! Welcome to another Sheryl Shares article.

In my first article, I told you that Bert and I recently bought a beautiful new home. We have since finished most of the unpacking and love living in Alligator Point. However, before we were able to move in, we had to have some work done on the house.

Since the house stood empty for quite a while, the house was in desperate need of being pressure washed. And don’t even ask me about the windows! The obvious green streaks of pollen on the exterior of the house, plus the layers and layers of dried dust on the windows, sorely detracted from the house’s beauty.

However, you should see our home today!

Joe Pogo's Window Cleaning and Pressure Washing Service did such a fabulous job that my daughter, Wendy, thought we had the house painted! Even the screen on our porch and the wood on our deck looked new. Bert made me laugh when he said, “He did such a great job that I almost drove past our house!”

In addition, Joe cleaned our windows, inside and out, and did a beautifully perfect job, prompting another humorous response from Bert, “It’s easier to count the pelicans from our kitchen table!”

I found out about Joe Pogo’s Window Cleaning and Pressure Washing Service when Peter Wood (from Peter Wood Flooring) recommended Joe as a possible Wave 94 advertiser. Joe Pogo soon became one of my clients. Yay! And due to that great advertising, Bert and I decided to hire Joe. And we are so glad we did. He and his assistant took their time to clean every inch. Bert and I both appreciate the extra attention he gave to the details.

In fact, Joe Pogo does such a good job with his window cleaning and pressure washing service that realtors have told him he “is a big part in helping them sell houses.” (We have no trouble believing that.) Bert even made sure our house was put on Joe’s regular maintenance schedule.

Joe Pogo works according to his mission statement: “Treat my customers like I would want service people to treat my mother: good service at a fair price.”

While doing a Wave 94 Sheryl Shares radio interview with Joe, he mentioned that most of his customers become friends. He stops by some of their homes and has coffee. “They love the company.”

Recently Joe expanded his business to include handyman services. “Most customers are in their golden years and cannot do things they used to do,” he said. “So my handyman services are very important to them. I tell them if they put together a honey-do list, I can take care of whatever they need.”

I asked Joe why Wave 94 listeners should choose Joe Pogo's Window Cleaning and Pressure Washing Service and He answered, “I’m trustworthy and honest to a fault. I take pride in having a good work ethic, which is sorely lacking nowadays. I believe pleasing people pleases the Lord and if I do good work at a fair price I will accumulate long lasting relationships with my customers.”

Wow! Good job, Joe! Keep up the good work.

If you need pressure washing, window washing or handyman services, you can find

Joe Pogo’s Window Cleaning and Pressure Washing Service:

In the yellow pages under: Pressure Washing, Window Cleaning, and Handyman Services
At his website: joepogo.com
Or by calling: 850-570-4776.


Marsha Tucker at Ochlockonee Bay Realty

Hello, Wave 94 listeners!

Welcome to the brand new Sheryl Shares blog. This is where I will share the wonderful things I learn about or experience with Wave 94 businesses and ministries.

I would like to introduce to you my very first Sheryl Shares’ client: Marsha Tucker, real estate broker and co-owner (with Tim Jordan) of Ochlockonee Bay Realty.

My husband Bert and I met Marsha unexpectedly a few months ago. While checking on a piece of property we’ve been planning to build on at Alligator Point, Bert and I took a little walk on that same street. Just for fun, we decided to peek in the windows of a house that had a new “for sale” sign posted.

“Who knows, Bert, maybe God has a house that’s already been built for us,” I said. Then right on cue, Marsha Tucker, the realtor, pulls up the driveway. Honest!! Talk about being in the right place at the right time! It felt more like a scene from Touch by an Angel. I almost expected Tess and Monica to get out of the car!

We didn’t end up buying that particular house, but she showed us another one shortly thereafter which we loved!

But the possibility of owning that house seemed more like a dream than a potential reality. It was so perfect—far prettier than any house I thought I would ever own. So, as a way to allow myself to let go of the house (or, hoping for a sign that this house could be ours one day!), I said out loud to everyone, “I’m going to the mailbox. If our name is inside, then I’ll know this is our house!” Chuckling, I pulled down the door of the mailbox and practically screamed in delight. I jumped up and down as I pulled out the local phonebook! Indeed, our name was in the mailbox!

However, it wasn’t a totally easy process The house was a foreclosure, so the paperwork was especially messy, but Marsha’s knowledge and skill helped us through the frustrations. My confidence in her ability to see us through was reinforced each time we spoke with her.

Bert appreciated the wise advice she gave us about the real estate market, her efficiency in handling the legal paperwork, and the vendor and agency contact information she provided to make the transition into our new home smoother.

The thing I liked most about Marsha was her friendly nature. She never made me feel like I was taking too much of her time when I called, texted or emailed, And believe me, I did all three.

Ochlockonee Bay Realty is a full-service company. They handle residential, coastal, acreage and commercial properties. (In fact, they are the ones who listed and sold the property to Zaxby’s.) So if you’re looking to buy or sale residential or commercial property, or maybe want to check out some beach rentals at Alligator Point, I encourage you to get in touch with them:

Website: www.obrealty.com.

You can reach Marsha Tucker or Tim Jordan at either location:
Crawfordville: (850) 926-9260
Panacea: (850) 984-0001.
Or contact Marsha directly at: mt@obrealty.com or (850) 570-9214.

In closing, I want to thank Marsha again for showing up at the right time and for remaining present throughout the process. And for being my very first Sheryl Shares’ client!

And thank you, Wave 94 listeners—and now visitors—for stopping by. I pray God’s blessings on each of you.

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