Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Keep Your Folk

Keep Your Fork

I received this from a special friend and instantly remembered all the potlucks over the years, escpecially at church during my moms YLI years. It was always a place where the ladies primped and prepared us for life and I felt safe. The recognized your abilities, appreciated you efforts and praised your talents. I will always remember to, Keep My Folk!

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.

Once everything was discussed and the pastor was preparing to leave, 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 encouragement. 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

good-bye. He knew this would likely 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 just 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. 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 very sweet responsibility.

And .. Please Keep Your Fork!


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