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Funerals and Focaccias

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Elizabeth Terry

Doris was born on 5th January 1923 in Montreal, Nerida commenced the eulogy. Ten minutes later, she had stammered through copious tears. At this stage Doris had reached kindergarten. After at least one eternity she had graduated from primary school, then high school, secretarial school then finally found love, married, had two daughters. After 42 and a half minutes we had reached the point when she entered Leafy Elms, the nursing home where she lived for the past five years. The eulogy was accompanied by the mandatory video displaying Doris smiling proudly in her two wedding photos, with her two husbands (not together of course), with her daughters, beautiful blonde Bernice and the younger Nerida, first as a brunette, later as a blonde. There were photos of her homes over the years, photos of friends, even one of me. There were pretty scenes back in Canada, grand-daughter Zoe, Goldie, Zoe’s manic and partially evil Cocker Spaniel, various nursing home inhabitants and Santa Claus. Every Christmas Leafy Elms hired a new nursing home Santa, each with his arm around Doris. A big vacant smile on her face. A mournful smile on each Santa given the job of entertaining the ageing troops as they prepare for war with death or to surrender peacefully as they contemplate whether they will see another Christmas, another new Santa. Perhaps Christmas should be offered in June as an additional treat, or would that place the inmates into a precipitous decline? And can you rent a Santa in June?

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