When the menus were presented, my friends and I ordered salads, sandwiches, and soups, except for Jim who said, “A large piece of home-made apple pie, heated please.”
I wasn’t sure my ears heard him right, and the others were aghast, when Jim continued, completely unabashed…”along with two large scoops of vanilla ice cream.”
We tried to act quite nonchalant, as if people did this all the time, but when our orders were brought out, I didn’t enjoy eating mine.
I couldn’t take my eyes off of Jim as I watched him savoring each bite of his pie a-la-mode. The other guys just grinned in disbelief as they silently ate their lunches.
The next time I went out to eat, I called Jim and invited him to join me. I lunched on a white meat tuna sandwich, while he ordered a chocolate parfait. Since I was chuckling, he wanted to know if he amused me.
I answered, “Yes, you certainly do, but you also confuse me. How come you always order such rich desserts, while I feel like I must be sensible in my food choices?”
He laughed and said “I’m tasting all that is possible for me to taste. I try to eat the food I need and do the things I should in order to stay healthy, but life’s too short, my friend. I hate missing out on something good. This year I realized how old I was. (He grinned) I’ve never been this old before, so, while I’m still here, I’ve decided it’s time to try all those things that, for years, I’ve been ignoring.”
He continued, “I haven’t smelled all the flowers yet. There are too many trout streams I haven’t fished. There’s more fudge sundaes to wolf down and kites to be flown overhead.
“There are too many golf courses I haven’t played. I’ve not laughed at all the jokes. I’ve missed a lot of sporting events and potato chips and cokes.
“I want to wade again in water and feel ocean spray on my face. I want to sit in a country church once more and thank God for His grace.
“I want peanut butter every day spread on my morning toast. I want un-timed long distance calls to the one I love the most.
“I haven’t cried at all the movies yet, or walked in the morning rain. I need to feel wind on my face. I want to be in love again.
“So, if I choose to have dessert, instead of having dinner, then should I die before nightfall, I’d say I died a winner, because I missed out on nothing. I filled my heart’s desire. I had that final piece of pie before my life expired.”
With that, I called the waitress over.. “I’ve changed my mind, ” I said. “I want what he’s having, only add some more whipped cream!”
Hat tip: Weezie
Image Credit: Ashley Thomas