Word Count 500
By Terry Rainey
Cold and gray outside, one week till Lent, time of reflection, denial, regret and guilt,
Sister Mary Xavier’s favorite time of year. For our upcoming Lenten coin collection, SisterX
had let us anonymously submit special intentions for its use. I’d told Herman that anonymous
was Latin for pain in our ass, which is what we called Rebekka Kane. I gathered the proposals
so I read most before placing them on Sister’s desk. Suggestions included Women’s Lib,
Ecology, European Gypsies, Save Arachnids, Defense of Spiro Agnew, Polish orphans, Vatican
restoration, OLPS basketball team socks, the space program, and Biafra.
Sister chose Organ Donation Awareness, Rebekka’s submission. Of course. Rebekka’s
relatives lived on Pittsburgh’s South Side. She’d brought her grandmother’s potato dumplings
for SisterX and became her ally and confidant and spy. Rebekka’s grandparents attended St.
Casimir Parish, and even though SisterX had gone to Our Mother of Sorrows, St. Casimir was
her hero saint, as he’d died a virgin, wore a hair-shirt, and slept upon the bare earth. He was
patron saint of youth and of bachelors. Small wonder about his bachelorhood, considering his
bed and the hair shirt.
Organ donation was lunch topic that day. What would we need in the afterlife? Even in
heaven, we’d want to play sports and watch Bonanza. What good was heaven with no eyes? TV,
we were sure, got perfect reception there.
Rebekka was donating her entire evil body but my friends were much more modest about
their donations. Kevin was giving up fingernails; Martin his small toes, helping some future
doofus to dance, thereby reducing Martin’s purgatory time; Herman his appendix; but I was
jealous of Rebekka and claimed that I’d also donate all my parts.
However I regretted my pronouncement, and then felt guilty about my regret. That night,
in bed, I caressed my comfortable t-shirt, thankful that it had no hair, and I beseeched God.
“Dear Lord in Heaven, sorry to disturb You, but in the morning I may be dead, and how
will I feel about that rash decision regarding organ donation? How is afterlife without eyes,
ears, tongue, liver, and knees? Could I still kneel? Can I take some things with me, a
basketball, a Ping-Pong paddle, and insect repellent? Is purgatory filled with swarms of gnats?
Is this one of Your tests, like when You asked Abraham to kill Isaac, and then You told him You
were just kidding? If we do give all our parts away, would You do a miracle and make us whole
again? Would Rebekka Kane, for example, be back in one piece, but have smaller feet and non-
smelly breath? For all this, I pray. PS, God, forgive me for my mean judgments about St.
Casimir and some of my unkind thoughts about Rebekka. I also pray I won’t die a virgin. Thank
you for Your many blessings, especially for this week’s game against St. Norbert of Xanten, and
for Susan Timberlake. Accepting Your Almighty judgment and apologizing for the wicked
virginity thought. Amen.”