I just thought this was sweet!
Keep Your Fork
>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 done so. I have also, always tried to pass
>along its message to those I love and those who are in need of
>'In all my years of attending church 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 or deep-dish apple pie. 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?". 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
>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
>He 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.
>Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage
>you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they
>always want to open their hearts to us.
>Show your friends how much you care. Remember to always be there for them,
>even when you need them more. For you never know when it may be their time
>to "Keep your fork."
>Cherish the time you have, and the memories you share ... being friends
>with someone is not an opportunity but a sweet responsibility.