Schmaltz.

This is a communication from a friend, a hard boiled banker / successful entrepreneur who recently lost his pet dog, unexpectedly and suddenly.

“Is it true that pets can take on their caretakers illnesses and sacrifice their lives in order to save their caretakers? Three months ago, when I was declared diabetes free after a struggle of 15 years, I was ecstatic. Little did I know that XXXXX was the price I would have to pay for this freedom. She passed away because of Diabetes.”

schmaltz
ʃmɔːlts,ʃmalts
noun informal
excessive sentimentality, especially in music or films.
“at the end of the film the audience are drowned in a sea of schmaltz”

Earlier this week, many stories were published all over the world about families reuniting after decades. And, while I was looking for material for this post, I came across another story. I leave it to my readers to decide whether it is a true one or created out of some fertile imagination.


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 things 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 she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.

Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

“There’s one more thing,” she said excitedly.

“What’s that?” came the pastor’s reply.

“I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand,” she told him.

The pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say.

“That surprises you, doesn’t it?” the young woman asked.

“Well, to be honest, I’m puzzled by the request,” said the pastor.

The young woman explained. “My grandmother once told me a story that I never forgot and I have tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement. Here’s her story:

“In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, ‘Keep your fork.’ It was my favourite part because I knew 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 I want you to tell them, “Keep your fork . . . the best is yet to come.”

The pastor’s eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman 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 grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge. She KNEW that something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the young woman’s casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand. 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 of the conversation he had with the young woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolised 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.

This topic is my idea for this week’s Friday 2 on 1 blog posts. I suspect that the other blogger is likely to come up with a totally different idea. Please do go over to see what Shackman has to say at his blog.

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20 Responses to Schmaltz.

  1. kylie says:

    I might steal this story for my seniors group! It’s a good one.

  2. shackman says:

    I remember the keep your fork but never got excited about what was yet to come. It is a cute story though.

  3. tammy j says:

    I love that story. 🙂

  4. Anita says:

    I kind of liked your shmaltzy story…I might share it, if that’s okay? I doubt its true – probably one of those ‘chicken soup for the soul’ tales. But it gets its point across well enough 🙂

  5. It’s true, people do say that! The story is funny as well as sentimental—a great example of shmaltz! I love starting my day with one of your stories, Ramana!

  6. Hmmm… I’ve never had anyone tell me to keep my fork but I’ve always kept it just in case… It’s a pretty good story, and I can see myself using it, although without the religious bent (which means I’ll have to improvise it a little bit; who would know?).

  7. Joared says:

    Like your stories wherever their origin. Can appreciate readers different reactions depending on ones view at end of earth life.

  8. LooneyB says:

    I felt quite despondent today and read this post. I found it very uplifting and not only did it make me smile but it made me grateful. thank you for posting

  9. Anshuman says:

    Lovely… now i am going to think of this story whenever i pickup a fork..

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