All was quiet. The lights were low in the chapel. A man with a white flower on his jacket stood next to the open coffin.
Friends were filing in slowly taking their seats.
In the front row, sat Mrs. Riley, dressed in black with a veil over her face.
The 6 little Riley boys looked like steps of a ladder in their new ill-fitting white shirts, and clip on ties.
The lights became a little brighter; the man with the white flower cleared his throat.
“This was a good man, every body in town loved him. He drank a little, but never got dunk. He always bought home his paycheck.
Mrs. Riley bent down and said to her oldest son. “Pat go up there, and make sure that’s your father in that box.”
This is a funny story, but it’s no laughing matter if the only good things said about you are over your dead body.
You could even engrave the list on a wooden placard to hang on the wall. Maybe we could give these out as a birthday gift every few years.
People could hang them on their wall, or on their desks.
Then over your life you could review them, and not have to wait until your dead (which would be too late).
Just think of the great side effects.
A good reason to have a party for a friend’s accomplishment.
You might even be on your best behavior, most of the time.
Then when that man with the white flower talks about a person, he could read from those wooden placards, and you would have heard it all.