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Sat, Aug 30, 2014 08:15 AM
Issue of August 27, 2014

A hope note
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A hope note
Dr. Wayne Willis reflects on life and hope.

'Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May'

March 05, 2014 | 10:35 AM

Eunice and Bessie were sisters. When their father died, they came into a considerable sum of money. Bessie, who was younger, let Eunice know that she wanted to do some traveling, but Eunice balked: "Dad was a saver. He would roll over in his grave if he knew we squandered his hard-earned money."

The sisters purchased a small store. During the next few years they made the store very profitable. One day Bessie suggested: "Let's close the store for a month next January and visit a resort. It might be fun using some of those cosmetics and clothes we sell. We might even meet some gentlemen." Eunice nixed the idea, explaining that they would lose loyal customers who would take their business elsewhere.

After many years, the sisters had made enough money to put themselves on easy street. "Come on," said Bessie, "let's sell the store. Let's visit Mexico and Bermuda." Eunice explained: "We can't sell now. In this economy, no one would pay us what the store is worth."

One day Bessie had a stroke and died.

Eunice never entered the store again. She gave Bessie the most expensive funeral the town had ever seen, sold the store and went into seclusion.

Several months later she asked and was granted permission to dig Bessie's casket up and fly her to Mexico. After personally supervising the reburial, she rented a little cottage not far from the grave.

Three weeks later, Eunice obtained another disinterment permit and had Bessie's body dug up and flown to Bermuda.

She bought a little bungalow on the beach. She hired engravers to etch on Bessie's tombstone two rosebuds that bracketed six words: "Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May."

Eunice and Bessie finally made it to those places they had longed to see.

Dr. Wayne Willis


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Corydon Democrat, 301 N. Capitol Ave., Corydon, IN 47112 1-812-738-2211 email