Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: RELAX (06/08/17)
By Phillip Cimei
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Blanch scanned the tearless crowd. Those only present to see if the eulogy would be as praiseworthy as those five dozen roses garnishing the casket. Out of the corner of her mouth, she sarcastically whispered, “Bob can’t smell those roses.”
Gladys straightened the hair pick in her silver streaked bun and huffed out a, “Humph”—validating what both were thinking. She hunched her shoulders forward, waved a pooh-pooh to the flowers, and said, “You know what Mamma always said.”
She was referring to the statement their mother made at every funeral that displayed scores of flowers, I’d rather take the time to smell the roses while I’m alive because ya sure can’t smell’m when your dead. That brought a glare from Bertha.
Straining her neck from the pew in front of them, Bertha puckered her lips. Toothless, her chin almost touched her nose. Her unsightly frown perturbed Gladys.
Gladys made a quick circle motion with her hand, “Oh, turn around Bertha.” Gladys pointed her finger at her, “Don’t give me that look. You know Bob wouldn’t have taken the time to smell those roses when he was alive.”
Bertha huffed out a, “Grumph,” while she begrudgingly nodded her head up and down. She had to affirm what everyone knew.
Blanch also reacted with a head wag. However, Blanch’s head was wagging left then right. Not disagreeing with Gladys, just lamenting a preventable doomed life, “Poor fellow, that’s what killed him. He didn’t take the time to enjoy life, relax a little, and smell the roses. Surely, it brought on that massive heart attack.”
Bob worked night and day. No time for the kids, wife, or even God. And no time to relax. He did great at work and made a lot of money for the company and himself. They were the ones sending all those beautiful flowers. They even appreciated him working while his family was praying for his soul at church service.
That bronze coffin, flanked by dozens of gorgeous fragrant wreaths, embraced Bob like a mother would a hyperactive child. It was the only thing that would be able to subdue him. The aromatic fragrances of the roses were unavailing to him. And their beauty…well…too late for Bob to appreciate.
Gladys let out a muffled, “Hah,” followed by her prognostication, “I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes.” It didn’t go unnoticed.
Three turned heads preempted index fingers signaling Hush, two furrowed brows questioned the audacity, and one, “I never! “ from sister Baker, which turned the heat up on Gladys’ pew eulogy.
Steam rose, or was it righteous indignation, from Gladys’ head. She knew this was not the place to make a scene, but…well…that was Gladys. “Why, sister Baker, wasn’t it you who told Bob, in public, in front of his friends, workers, and family he was going straight to hell if he didn’t take time out for the Lord?”
Sister Baker puffed up her chest and let out a pompous, “Well, aren’t you the Miss goodie two-shoes?” She scrunched down in the pew, but still held her head high. It was a good thing the preacher got up and started the services. Gladys was just getting cranked up.
The hired preacher adjusted the vest on his, out of place, Armani suit. He didn’t know Bob was the only rich man in the services—Bob’s fellow workers couldn’t take the day off, go figure—they thought all those flowers excused their absence. After deifying Bob through prayer, he said, “We are here today to celebrate the successful life of our brother, Bob Martin.” The accolades flowed. By the end of the eulogy, Bob was relaxing at the right hand of God.
Blanch sighed, “He forgot the part about Bob tearing down his barn and building bigger.” Luke 12:16 KJV
“Yep.” life’s a vapor. Here today and you might not see tomorrow. Should’ve stopped to smell the roses.”
“Yeah, the Rose of Sharon. Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 KJV
Just then a heavenly floral aroma caught their attention. The roses’ fragrance pleaded, Today. Bob’s epitaph memorialized, Tomorrow.
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