An elderly Scotsman lay dying in his bed.
While suffering the agonies of impending death,
he suddenly smelled the
aroma of his favorite cookies wafting up the
stairs. He gathered his
remaining strength, and lifted himself from the
Leaning on the wall, he slowly made his way out
of the bedroom, and with
even greater effort, gripping the railing with
both hands, he crawled
downstairs. With labored breath, he leaned
against the door-frame,
gazing into the kitchen.
Were it not for death's agony, he would have
thought himself already in
heaven, for there, spread out upon waxed paper on
the kitchen table were
literally hundreds of his favorite cookies,
Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of love
from his devoted Scottish
wife of sixty years, seeing to it that he left
this world a happy man?
Mustering one great final effort, he threw
himself towards the table,
landing on his knees in crumpled posture. His
aged and withered hand
trembled towards a cookie at the edge of the
table, when it was suddenly
smacked by his wife with a spatula.............
"Buzz off" she said, "they're for the funeral."
Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives."
--John Adams, letter to Benjamin Rush, April 18, 1808