An elderly Italian man lay dying in his bed. While suffering the agonies of
impending death, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favorite ravioli
wafting up the stairs.
He gathered his remaining strength, and lifted himself from the bed.
Gripping the railing with both hands, he crawled downstairs.
When he reached the bottom of the stairs, he leaned against the door
frame, gazing into the kitchen, where if 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 hundreds of his favorite ravioli.
Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of love from his wife of sixty years,
seeing to it that he left this world a happy man?
He threw himself towards the table, landing on his knees in a crumpled
posture. His parched lips parted, the wondrous taste of the ravioli was already in
With a trembling hand he reached up to the edge of the table, when
suddenly he was smacked with a wooden spoon by his wife.
"Don't touch!" she said. "These are for the people at the funeral."