By Monty McDannald
Ray and wife, Shirley, are sitting in their kitchen having their morning coffee.
RAY: Boy, our IRA took a big hit yesterday!
SHIRLEY: I told you I don’t want to talk about that. It makes me very nervous.
RAY: What do you want to discuss?
SHIRLEY: I would say politics, but that makes me sick at my stomach.
I would have to take an anti-anxiety pill afterwards. Maybe my struggles with my family farm, but I know you’re tired of hearing about this obsessively.
RAY: You’re so right. How about we talk about the COVID19 virus situation? I read there have been a lot more cases in America. We need to plan for the worst.
SHIRLEY: I read that those over 60 years of age, like us, are more susceptible, especially those that have had pneumonia or a compromised immune system. I think the odds are that one of us won’t make it; I think that would probably be me.
RAY: That’s ridiculous. I’m ten years older than you and have had many more health issues.
SHIRLEY: But I have really dogged my body, and I worry a lot more than you do.
RAY: Honey, can we talk about something else?
SHIRLEY: I want you to promise if the worst happens you won’t give away my things to the first person that you take up with after my funeral. The idea that someone else might be wearing my dresses, shoes, purses, or jewelry makes me nauseous. I want my sisters, and a few select friends to get these items.
RAY: You know your sisters aren’t that close to you, and, anyway, they don’t wear your size. You won’t be here, so I’ll have to do whatever I think is best. Also, a man my age would have trouble meeting women and a few gifts might help in my search. Can we quit talking about this?
SHIRLEY: Sweetheart, you are still nice-looking and have plenty of money, so you’d have no trouble meeting women. They would be lined up outside your door with food and other enticements.
RAY: I sure hope this doesn’t happen. I’ve always felt I would die first. Our plan was for you to take care of me in my old age.
SHIRLEY: One more thing while we’re on this subject. After my cremation, I want my ashes sprinkled on a tree planted in my honor in a park in some low- income area where the residents can enjoy it.
RAY: That’s crazy! I agree about a tree and maybe even a nice park bench and plaque in your honor, but I want to have it near where I live. I hope to sit there reminiscing about our love and the great times we’ve had together without worrying about getting mugged. And, who will water the tree?
SHIRLEY: I guess you will have to install a sprinkler system. I like the idea of children running through the spray, frolicking like in a water park.
RAY: This has gotten too complicated. Why don’t I just put a plaque on the ground and throw your ashes on top.
SHIRLEY: Forget it! Bring me another cup of coffee and change the subject.