Saturday, June 2, 2012

Keep Your Fork

During my recovery time from my knee surgery one of my true blue friends observed that we were down quite a few forks.  
As she questioned me about our lack of forks I explained that like our socks they were magically disappearing through the night and I had been searching for silverware sets but just never had one "jump" out at me.

With a big grin on her face she told me that she had the perfect way of taking care of my lack of forks problem.  

Two or three days later she reappeared with several forks.  Many different shapes and styles. 

You know what I love those forks.  
Each time we pull one out of the drawer to eat with 
I can see my friends smiling face as she brought us those prized forks.

Somewhere in my mashed potato brain I remembered reading a story about the fork.  
Tonight I actually took the time to goggle it and it popped right up.  
I hope you enjoy it as much as I have:

Keep your fork!

There was a 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. The woman also requested to be buried with her favorite Bible. Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the 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 woman continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."
The pastor stood looking at the woman, not knowing quite what to say. "That surprises you, doesn't it?" the woman asked. "Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the pastor. 
The woman explained. "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 parts because I knew that something better was 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 woman goodbye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She KNEW that something better was coming.
At the funeral people were walking by the woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing and her favorite Bible 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 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 oh so gently, that the best is yet to come…

Because our forks were a gift from a loyal and trusted friend they are even more special.  
As I read this story I found myself wondering how many pot luck dinners our forks had attended and how much joy they brought to their holder.
What a beautiful way to remember, "The Best is Yet to Come...."

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