A TALE OF TWO
Two very different families sat down to brunch this week.
The first family, morbidly and inappropriately, decided to host a memorial service in a very public setting, surrounded by other uninvolved guests, who were merely just there to partake in omelets, bacon, pancakes and other indulgences from the buffet; not grief.
This family occupied several tables, specifically sat the Jewish members in attendance at their own segregated table, and requested the event coordinator to invite “those damn Jews” to get into the line for the buffet last, after all the other tables had been served.
This family also brought their own screen and projector, as well as a simple PA system, so that everyone else in the restaurant had to look at the deceased and hear about her life.
The pianist then had to take a 30 minute break, while multiple eulogies were read. The most memorable one starting with a pointed glance to the Jewish table and the opening sentence, “You should not have died, it was your own brother who ordered you not to be fed through your life support tubes.”
The second family made their reservation a month in advance.
At the time of the reservation, they requested that the pianist learn the piece September Song. There were no other notes accompanying the reservation.
The pianist, who did not know the song, dutifully bought the sheet music and learnt the score.
This family of 20 arrived on time and sat at one long table, where it was then disclosed to the restaurant staff that they were all there to celebrate the grandmother’s 100th birthday.
Without any ado, after brunch and before the cake was to be served, a niece quietly brought the wheelchair-bound grandmother as close to the piano as possible.
With no one else around, the niece nodded to the pianist and he played September Song.
The grandmother wept.
When the music ended, the grandmother said in the frailest tremble of a whisper, “My sisters and I used to sing that song. I am the only one left. When you play it again, please think of a foolish woman.”
The pianist immediately replied, “I will not. I will only think of a woman who has lived a long and prosperous life, who has received many blessings including a family that honors, loves and cherishes her.”