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
"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
would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in. Everything
in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman
remembered something very important to her. "There's one more thing,"
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
my right hand."
The pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to
"That surprises you, doesn't it?" the young woman asked. "Well to be
I am puzzled by the request," said the pastor.
The young woman explained. "My grandmother once told me this story, and
there on out, I have always done so. I have also, always tried to pass
its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement.
all of my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I
remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared,
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
want you to tell then: "Keep your fork ... the best is yet to come."
The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young
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
of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be
than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and
She KNEW that something better was coming.
At the funeral people were walking by the young woman's casket and
saw the pretty dress she was wearing and the fork placed in her right
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
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
to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they
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
never know when it may be their time to "Keep your fork."
Cherish the time you have, and the memories you share ... being friends
someone is not an opportunity but a sweet responsibility.