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Posts Tagged ‘death’

Surprise Endings

As we draw near to the end of this school year, we hope any surprise endings will be pleasant ones, academically speaking.

With that in mind, I'm posting three jokes with rather surprising endings. WARNING: You may want to be sure you are somewhere where you are free to laugh out loud, particularly when reading the third joke. You have been warned.... 🙂

OK, here goes....

My neighbor was startled by a car that came crashing through his hedge and ended up in his front lawn. He rushed to help an elderly lady driver out of the car and sat her down on a lawn chair. He said with excitement, "You appear quite elderly to be driving."

"Well, yes, I am," she replied proudly. "I'll be 97 next month, and I am old enough that I don't need a driver's license anymore."

"You don't need a driver's license anymore?!"

"That's right! The last time I went to my doctor, he examined me and asked if I had a driver's license. I told him 'yes' and handed it to him. He took scissors out of the drawer, cut the license into pieces, and threw them in the waste basket, saying, 'You won't need this anymore.' So I thanked him and left!"
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Animal Diaries

Monday of this week was a sad day at our house — we had to have our cat of 17½ years put to sleep. Without going into detail I will tell you that she was growing increasingly miserable and thin from several different conditions, and the vet recommended that we euthanize her. Today's post is in memory of Adelaide.

We got Adelaide in the spring of 1995 as an 8-week-old kitten from the Humane Society. She was an absolutely adorable kitten, a feisty young cat, and a playful yet affectionate older cat who didn't lose her playfulness until the final year of her life. Not only was she a formidable huntress of creatures smaller than she, she was also able to put much larger animals in their place. In my mind's eye I can still see her as a young cat riding the neighbors' yelping chow out of our yard. How dare that nasty dog invade her territory?!

Having a cat with so much personality, we've had several nicknames for her through the years, depending on her role at the time. When she would curl up and purr next to a family member who was sick, we would call her Florence Nightingale. Long after she was a kitten, she still played like one. That perpetual youthfulness would prompt us to call her Doris Day.

In recent years it was her great delight to be on the desk whenever Becka and I were working on the laptop. Since she acted as if she were our secretary, we called her a name that possibly no one but us remembers. When Becka and I lived in Detroit, we were very amused at a recurring TV commercial in which a family was gathered for the reading of the will of a dearly-departed wealthy relative. The line we loved from that ad was something like "...and the bulk of my estate I leave to my faithful secretary Wanda Simone." That is our name for Adelaide that surfaced often in recent months. Here's a picture of our faithful secretary Wanda Simone this past Saturday evening.

Adelaide became more and more fixated on the laptop in her last couple of weeks, to the point of walking on it and even lying on it in our absence. When she walked on it, she had a special gift for opening programs and changing settings. In the picture below, you can see her walking away from a romp on the laptop. In the picture above, it is she who opened the search box on the computer with her footfalls!

You can also see in those two pictures, the second one especially, how emaciated she had become. As she walked around on the laptop, she did some "typing" in the search box she had opened. Below is a screen capture of the results of that prancing. She was able to capitalize some letters and then return to lower case! And in the middle of the string is "bju"!

I wonder if Adelaide would have come up with something like the following, if given sufficient time.
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Famous Last Words

We have no idea when we will die and what the last words from our mouths will be. That's one reason that I often tell the people that I love, "I love you." That may be the last thing they will ever hear me say. That's one way in which I would like to be remembered.

My dad died at the young age of 42. Shortly before my last visit to my parents' home before Dad's death, I had broken up with a young lady named Becka. The last thing I remember my dad saying during that weekend visit was, "You know I have never commented on any of the girls you have dated, but I think breaking up with Becka was a mistake." How right he was! I wish he knew how precious his last words have been to me through the years. Becka and I eventually got back together after my father had passed away. I know he would have blessed our marriage if he had lived to see it.

I recently received a list of funny famous last words that someone has probably uttered ... or could have uttered, depending on the circumstances. With that list in mind, I did some searching to find the last words of some well-known people. Some of their last words were prophetic and some were ironic and humorous. After these real last words, I'll share the list of funny ones you could almost hear someone saying.

"A dying man can do nothing easy." — Benjamin Franklin, statesman, April 17, 1790

"It is well, I die hard, but I am not afraid to go." — George Washington, first US President, December 14, 1799

"Is it the Fourth?" — Thomas Jefferson, US President, July 4, 1826

"Thomas Jefferson ... still survives...." — John Adams, US President, July 4, 1826 (Actually, Mr. Adams didn't know Jeffereson had died earlier that same day.)

"Lord help my poor soul." — Edgar Allan Poe, writer, October 7, 1849

"They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." — General John Sedgwick, Union Commander, uttered right before he was shot, May 9, 1864
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picture of will

What have you inherited? Inheritance is far more than what can be listed in a "last will and testament." Some of what makes up our "inheritance" becomes crystal clear when we, as parents, look at our children and see ourselves, our parents, and/or our grandparents in our children's appearance, mannerisms, interests, and personalities. For instance, I've inherited my dad's bizarre sense of humor and have passed it on to my own children. I have also inherited from both of my parents a body with the annoying ability to extract every calorie and every fat gram from every ounce of food that passes through my lips! Some of what we pass on to our children is not fully realized until our children are well into adulthood. Read on....

This past week I was strongly reminded of several other physical traits that get passed on from generation to generation in our family. Our son Mark has given blood frequently over the past ten years. His blood is highly sought after by the blood-letters since he is a universal donor, O-negative. He is fortunate not to have inherited my tendency to vasovagal episodes when giving blood, unlike our daughter Nora who shares the same issues that dear old dad grapples with. However, this past Monday, for the first time, Mark had a reaction to the chlorhexidine gluconate that is now being used to clean the arm before the needle is inserted. His was the same reaction I described in my post medical faux pas, and his arm looks every bit as bad as mine did. The doctor put him on Prednisone for a week to try to throw off the ill effects of the reaction. Poor guy!

For most of my life I have known that type 2 diabetes does not run in my family – it gallops! My great-grandmother had diabetes, as did my grandfather and his nine siblings, as does my mother whose younger sister is officially prediabetic. My extended family is far-flung and has not kept in close contact, and therefore I do not know what is happening in many of their lives. However, last week I heard about the first person I know of in my generation of my great-grandma's family who has now been diagnosed with diabetes. I figure that it's just a matter of time until I become diabetic, but I've been doing everything I can to delay the onset for as long as possible.

These two bits of news got me to thinking about what we inherit. The following jokes poke fun at different aspects of inheritances and heritage.

Inheritance jokes...

A little boy came home from school one day and handed his father his grade card, with nothing but D's and F's on it. Before the father had time to react, the boy asked him, "So tell me, Dad, is it heredity or environment?"


A man died with $30,000 to his name. He wanted to be remembered after he was gone, and his last request was that his wife be sure to buy a nice memorial stone. After everything was done at the funeral home and cemetery, she told her closest friend that there was none of the $30,000 left.

The friend exclaimed, "How can that be?!"

The widow said, "Well, the funeral cost me $6,500. And of course I made a donation to the church. That was $500 in my husband's honor, and I spent another $500, you know, for the wake, the food, etc. The rest went for the memorial stone he insisted on."

The friend asked, "$22,500 for the memorial stone? My word, how big is it?!"

The widow replied, "Three carats."


A math teacher posed this problem, "A wealthy man dies and leaves ten million dollars. One fifth is to go to his wife, one fifth is to go to his son, one sixth to his butler, and the rest to charity. Now, what does each one get?"

The savvy student answered, "A lawyer!"


A woman asks her husband, "Do you love me only because my father died and left me a fortune?"

"Of course not," he says. "I'd love you no matter who left you the money."


Two friends meet in the street. One looked forlorn and almost on the verge of tears. The other man said, "Hey, how come you look like your whole world caved in?"

The sad fellow said, "Well, let me tell you. Three weeks ago, an uncle died and left me forty thousand dollars."

"Well, that's sad about your uncle, but all that money is not bad either."

"Hold on, I'm just getting started. Two weeks ago, a cousin I never knew died and left me eighty-five thousand, free and clear."

"Wow, I'd like that!"

"Last week my grandfather passed away. I inherited almost a quarter of a million from him."

"Then, how come you look so glum?!"

"This week ... nothing yet!"


A highly successful business man wrote in his last will and testament: To my high school teacher, who always told me I'd never amount to anything and whom I promised to mention in my will, "Hi, Mrs. Matthews!"


Besides various physical conditions and the "stuff" found in our last will and testament, there are other important bits of heritage we pass on to our children. What are you seeking to pass on to your children that cannot be quantified in a will? Some people concentrate more on inherited conditions over which they don't have control or on a large inheritance which we've seen lately can take wings and fly away. What values and ideals are you seeking to pass on to your children? It is undeniable that more is caught than is taught.


"Do you ever daydream about what God could do with your life? ... We need Christian dreamers." - Rob Campbell

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"Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt." - Herbert Hoover

Apparently the national debt has been around for quite a while if Hoover was talking about it. He would probably be shocked to know what it has become and to what dizzying heights (or depths) our current leaders are trying to send it!

picture of national debt cartoon

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So Teach Us to Number Our Days…

Earlier this week I posted the obituary of my former German professor, colleague and friend, Edith Long. Today I am shocked to have to tell you about the death of her son Paul on the way home from his mom's funeral. I am saddened beyond words.

With all the news coverage of Hurricane Ike yesterday and today, what would have been a huge news story - the horrible train crash in the Los Angeles area - has been pushed to the background. Paul, Karen, and Devin Long flew back home yesterday (Friday) after several days with Paul's family here in Greenville. Paul told me after the graveside service that he was dreading having to connect through Dallas with all the news about the storm expected to go through there. As far as I know, they got through Dallas fine. However, our Lord had it in His plan that they would be aboard the Metrolink commuter train involved in yesterday's collision. Karen and Devin each suffered minor injuries, but Paul suffered severe head trauma that resulted in his death this afternoon. Paul's sister Gail sent me a link this afternoon to an article in the NY Times about the crash. Paul's son Devin was interviewed shortly after the accident yesterday and quoted in the article. I put the link further down in this blog post, but the article has changed in the last hour, maybe with the news of Paul's death. Here's what was in the original article:

"Witnesses described a scene of instant terror. Devin Long, 16, was sitting in the middle car with his parents when the trains collided. "There was a great big jerk," he said. "I heard what sounded like a bunch of cars colliding, like a multicar crash. Both my parents went flying. Next thing I knew, I was on the floor between the exit doors." Mr. Long was thrown from his seat, but remained conscious.

His father, Paul Long, 56, lay unconscious but breathing by the stairwell to the second level of the double-decker car. His mother, Karen Long, 55, was injured but alert, he said. “When I saw the condition Dad was in, I sort of freaked out,” he said. “Mom was trying to communicate with Dad. I turned around and saw all the seat cushions tossed about the car. There was blood everywhere. People had cuts on their heads and faces, legs; they had many injuries.”

You may read whatever form the article now has by clicking here.

Paul was three years behind me in college, but through his mom, he and I got to know each other while I was in college and he was still in high school. We shared a very similar sense of humor. Paul was a long-time reader of my e-mails and my blog, and he sent me quite a bit of humor and even some more reflective types of things. Whenever he and his family came to Greenville to visit, we would have lunch together.

Please pray for his wife Karen and son Devin, as well as Paul's three siblings and their families. They have not even had time to begin to process Edith's homegoing and are in total shock about Paul's sudden departure for heaven. We're all reeling from the shocking suddenness of this all, but we're comforted by the knowledge that our Lord has not lost control - this was all in His loving plan for us all.

Today, I'm going to post the last thing my friend Paul sent to me. At the beginning of his e-mail he said, "Unfortunately, I remember most of these!"

Things you don't hear anymore...

Be sure to refill the ice trays - we're going to have company after while.

Watch for the postman - I want to get this letter to Aunt Mary in the mail today.

Quit slamming the screen door when you are on your way out!

Put a dish towel over the cake so the flies won't get on it.

You boys stay close by - the car may not start and I will need you to help push it off.

There's a dollar in my purse. Get 5 gallons of gas when you go to town.

It's getting hot. Open the back door and see if we can get a breeze through here.

Don't forget to wind the clock before you go to bed.

Why can't you remember to roll up your pant legs? Getting them caught in the bicycle chain so many times is tearing them up.

You have torn the knees out of that pair of pants so many times there is nothing left to put a patch on.

Don't you go outside with your good school clothes on!

Be sure and pour the cream off the top of the milk when you open the new bottle.

If you pull that stunt again, I'm going to wear you out!

Get out from under the sewing machine; bumping it messes up the thread!

That dog is NOT coming in this house! I don't care how cold it is out there, dogs just don't come in the house.

Wash your feet before you go to bed. They are nasty from playing outside all day barefooted.

Take that empty bottle to the store with you so you won't have to pay a deposit on another one.

Quit jumping on the floor! I have a cake in the oven and you are going to make it fall if you don't quit!

Let me know when the Fuller Brush man comes by - I need to get a few things from him.

You can walk to the store; it won't hurt you to get some exercise.

Don't sit too close to the TV. It's hard on your eyes.

Go out to the well and draw a bucket of water so I can wash dishes.

It is time for your system to get cleaned out. I am going to give you a dose of castor oil tonight.

If you get a spanking in school and I find out about it, you'll get another one when you get home.

Quit crossing your eyes! They will get stuck that way!


"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot

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"So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12

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