"Come in, Come in," I heard a voice call out in answer to my knock, so I opened the door to "212" and walked in with a smile on my face and a hot covered dish in my hand while I sing-songed my usual greetings; "Meals on Wheels at your service, Maam."
The Lady of the House was sitting in a wheelchair by the window, but immediately rolled over to where I stood, and after taking a nice long sniff of the dish, sighed contentedly..."Hmmm, that smells good, and what is the surprise entree today, my dear?"
Miss Jenny was the newest customer on my route due to a recently broken ankle; and was using 'Meals On Wheels' until she could once again shop, cook and fend for herself. As a summer "volunteer" it was my duty to deliver the hot meals to the shut-ins and the elderly...and in return I gained more wisdom and knowledge from these senior citizens than I had in all my years of schooling.
Take Miss Jenny for instance, she taught me the philosophy of life. Things I had never thought of before and things I shall never forget. She was either a real sweetheart of a "kook," or a priceless gem with a slight flaw...go figure.
On her wall hung a black and white Poster of Marilyn Monroe. It was larger than life and dominated the whole room. Marilyn was the first thing you saw when you walked in, and the last thing you saw when you left.
You can imagine my first reaction. Is this lady for real? Is she nuts? Eccentric? In need of a Shrink? Or perhaps she just has some Idiosyncrasies that can reasonably be explained away?
Due to Miss Jenny's age and gender, I couldn't figure out the great attachment she had for the late femme fatale that graced her wall...so one day as I was leaving I gazed at the Poster and asked...
"Miss Jenny, did you choose your own decor?"
"Why, yes," she smiled with a twinkle in her eye, "I tried to get the Louvre Museum in Paris to let me have Leonardo da Vinci's 'Mona Lisa' - but when they said 'No', I went out and purchased Miss Monroe at a garage sale for a dollar ninety eight! Not bad, eh?
"Besides, my dear, Marilyn had much more going for her than just a mysterious smile. Of course you're too young to remember Miss Monroe, but in her heyday she had the world on a platter and millions of fans at her feet! She dazzled! She sparkled! She sizzled!...with sensual, sultry and voluptuous attributes that Picasso, van Gogh and even da Vinci could not begin to put on canvas.
"Come to think of it, she makes Mona Lisa look like a dumpy old housewife, with her beautiful blond hair, rosy red lips and well, you can see for yourself in the Poster her magical beauty.
"And believe it or not, all these years she's been hanging on my wall she's kept the 'gloomies' at bay and the blues on the run. Where else can you get an exterminator at that price, my friend?
"Marilyn Monroe reminds me daily of what fame and fortune Cannot buy, so with that in mind, she automatically chases the blues away; and she reminds me every day how worthless beauty is when the glitter fades, the sparkle dims, and the luster dies down as the light goes out...for on the night that she died, Marilyn Monroe died all alone with Nobody and Nothing but a telephone on her bed.
"It's sad to think that perhaps nobody in her whole life ever took the time to tell her about the open telephone line to heaven...which could have given her some comfort as she slipped into eternity."
Now I knew the story behind the poster...and Jenny's philosophy of life.
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