is what we make it. Some of us are unbelievably cheerful in the midst
of difficulty or obstacles; others complain about the slightest inconvenience.
Those who look for the upside of any trouble are the ones who come out
ahead in quality of life. And the radiance of their positive attitude
sends forth and sheds some light on the paths of others as demonstrated by
the person who was about to die, in the following narrative.
|Optimism is a cheerful frame of mind
that enables a tea kettle to sing though it's in hot water up to its
As the story goes, there was a young woman who had been diagnosed
with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was
getting her things "in order," she contacted her pastor and had him come to her
house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs
she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what
outfit she wanted to be buried in.
Everything was in order and the pastor was
preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very
important to her. "There's one more thing," she said excitedly.
"What's that?" came the pastor's reply.
"This is very important," the young woman
continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."
The pastor stood looking at the young woman, not
knowing quite what to say. "That surprises you, doesn't it?" the young woman
asked. "Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request" said the pastor.
The young woman explained. "My grandmother once
told me this story, and from there on out, I have always tried to pass along its
message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement.
'In all my years of attending socials and
potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were
being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.' It
was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming .......
like velvety chocolate cake, deep-dish apple pie or ice cream. Something wonderful, and
with substance!' So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a
fork in my hand and I want them to wonder "What's with the fork?".
one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so
regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open
for us.-Alexander Graham Bell
Then I want you to tell them: "Keep your fork
... the best is yet to come."
The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as
he hugged the young woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times
he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the young woman had a
better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would
be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and
knowledge. She knew that something better was coming.
At the funeral, people were walking by the young
woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing and the fork placed
in her right hand.
Over and over, the pastor heard the question,
"What's with the fork?" And over and over he smiled.
During his message, the pastor told the people
of the conversation he had with the young woman shortly before she died. He also
told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her.
The pastor told the people how he could not stop
thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to
stop thinking about it either.
was right. So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you ever
so gently, that the best is yet to come.