Sweet Jesus

Kathryn Lynch

© Copyright 2018 by Kathryn Lynch
Photo of a dozen doughnuts.

The Old Lady's heart was failing, but her brain was still functioning, holding its own. She knew that the young woman who was always around and who seemed willing to wait on her hand and foot, was a hospice nurse. It was unclear if she should hide that fact from her adult children, or if everyone knew, and the fact was supposedly being hidden from her. They would never talk about it. Let's face it. She was dying and it was going to happen sooner, rather than later.

That morning when her daughter came to visit, she asked, “Mom, can I get you anything?” 

“Yes”, she replied. “I would like a dozen of the biggest, gooiest doughnuts that they have in the grocery store”. 

“You are not supposed to have sweets!”, the young woman responded. “Make that an assortment”, retorted the Old Lady, who knew that she was going to get the desserts.

When the box was delivered by the boy from the store, the nurse was conveniently in the other room. The Old Lady chose a strawberry filled glazed doughnut. Jelly oozed around her ancient teeth as she bit into the core. A smaller amount clung to her fingers which the Old Lady placed in her mouth, one by one, thoroughly enjoying the moment. She consumed three more treats, all different, until she could eat no more. Then she deftly slid the box under the bed.

She slept well, until someone knocked at her door. The man entered quietly and took a seat near her bed. “I have some really good doughnuts”, she said. “Would you like one? The Old Lady did not hear the response, if any.

Epilogue: After the funeral, the box with seven stale doughnuts was found under the Old Lady's bed.  The son, daughter, and hospice nurse argued, denied, and blamed each other for providing her with these forbidden treats.  No one ever realized that one doughnut had, without explanation--disappeared.

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