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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Magic Eight Ball

I was talking to one of my friends today after a study bunch we attend on Wednesday's.  She knows all about mom--all of my close friends in there do--and she wanted to share a story with me about her mom, when she was dying.  I had no idea where this was going especially when she told me "Lots of people wouldn't understand this, but I know you will".  So, she sets the scene for the story, as we are standing outside the church where we meet, heading to our cars.  As her mom was in the process of dying, her mom went to live with my friend's brother and his wife, because he was a doctor, and they could accommodate her needs.  

She tells me how shortly before her mom died, after her mom had a horrendous day of torrential diarrhea and vomiting, the following day says, "I believe I'll have a ham sandwich".  My friend crawls off to the kitchen on her hands and knees, laughing so hard she can't walk, to make her a ham sandwich.  A ham sandwich after yesterday??  You gotta be kidding me.  But, her mother knew someone had brought over a honey baked ham, and she wanted a ham sandwich.  At this point, the absurdity of dying is unmistakeable.

Then she wraps it up with my favorite part:  somehow with her nieces and nephews in and out of their family's kitchen, and people coming and going, someone left a Magic Eight Ball on the counter top.  As her mom's condition worsened, the adults started asking the Magic Eight Ball questions about her mom, and she said the replies gassed them all.  After awhile, somebody finally asked the one they all wanted to ask but were reluctant to: Is mom going to die this morning/afternoon/tonite/today?  She said as awful as it sounds, it became the most favorite part of the day because gathered together, they would all laugh so hard at the responses: Ask again later.   Don't count on it.   Outlook not so good.   It is certain.   My reply is no.  Concentrate and ask again.  Better not tell you now. 

The moral of the story is, even a sad situation can be funny.  And now I really, really, really want a Magic Eight Ball.


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