Daily Prompt: Eat, Drink, and Be Merry…

…for tomorrow we die. The world is ending tomorrow! Tell us about your last dinner — the food, your dining companions, the setting, the conversation.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us DINNER.

Hello dear friends

I’ve been really busy all day but I simply couldn’t resist today’s Daily Prompt when we were asked to write about our … Last Supper really. You see I just finished reading ‘Burial Rites’ about the last women to be beheaded in Iceland for murder in 1828.

The description of her going to the block to have her head chopped off was so compelling! As I read it, tears were pouring down my cheeks. Let’s hope I can do this story justice today. Okay folks … here we go.

My Last Supper Before I Die

It seems that tomorrow the world is going to end. Do I sound matter-of-fact as I write this? I know I do, but the truth is I am in shock about the whole thing. You see, we failed to see the signs that it was about to happen … and now I only have six hours before midnight to gather with my family and share a meal … for the last time.

My children have come to my house with their children. They are all here: Maria with her two girls Alice (12) and Violet (7). There is Daniel and his wife Belinda with Isaac (4) and Madeleine (1). We are feeling very vulnerable and all of us are in disbelief … shock I think you would call it.

I have set the table using a cheery tablecloth covered in pretty little coloured flowers of every hue. It is an attempt at making us feel better about what is about to happen to us all.

I have chosen the meal with care. Of course, it is Lebanese food because that is what I always cook when we have a celebration of any kind … and isn’t this a celebration of sorts?

Our last six hours on earth.

We are a very noisy family when we are together, but tonight is different. We are quiet … subdued … going through the motions yet making every single moment count as we show love to each other, not knowing how the last moments will come. Not knowing whether we will have the courage to endure what is ahead.

The Kibbi – the national dish of Lebanon is centre stage in the middle of the table. It is surrounded by houmous, lubin (Lebanese yoghurt), tabbouleh, a tossed salad and grape-vine leaves stuffed with meat and rice. It is a feast!

Of course, there is red wine. How could one go through these final hours without some fortification. Even the children has been given a drop of brandy in their lemonade; it seems the kindest thing to do.  The children are struggling to understand what is going on poor things … especially the little ones.

How many times have we, as a family, sat at this old silky oak table which my father gave us, and shared a meal together? It is a familiar setting and we know we are in the best possible place to face the ending of our world as we know it. It is a comfort to us. It fortifies us in a different way. As we join hands together and pray, we know we are not alone.

We have each other and I feel the family looking to me for faith and courage to trust what is ahead for us all. They are saying: “Mum, you are the spiritual one, how will we pray?” I have to answer that I have no idea… and then, sensing their need,  I begin to pray to God to give us the courage to endure to the end. That is all I am capable of praying.

When all is said and done, all of us will face death alone. No one can endure it for us. This is something that all of us must face whether we are ready for it or not.

As we eat, we are watching the clock tick down the hours and we try to say the things that are in our hearts … the things that need to be said before the end comes.

We are all single-minded in our love and care for each other: we apologise for silly things that do not need saying at all, but there you have it, we are human after all and we feel the need to purge ourselves. Confession. They laugh at the church because of confession, but here we are in the end – all of us – confessing so easily to one another!

It is strange how, when death is being faced, and we know time is running out, everything becomes crystal clear. All at once we understand what is important. We know it with such an inner knowing. Everything in our lives makes sense now, even though it did not yesterday when we did not know the world was about to end.

So we linger over the meal, laughing easily about the silly and delightful  things that have happened through the years.

My son wonders if we will see those who have gone before us – his grandmother and grandfather – will they come to meet us when the world ends? Surely, there will be some consolation to help us across the great divide into the next world? And what about the twins his wife lost when they died so prematurely a couple of years ago … will they too be there?

The time is fast approaching.

All of us are tempted to panic, yet somehow we know there is no use … what is going to happen is going to happen. We hold hands. Music is playing in the background for we have sought comfort in beautiful music. An Italian tenor sings out and it soothes our nerves and helps as we await our fate.

I feel the pressure. Everyone is looking to me for support but what can I do? God is my only hope and I lean on Him as I softly speak to everyone:

“The time is coming dear ones … let’s hold hands. I love you all so very much. I am so glad I got the chance to be here for you all. I think we should get ready now.”

Everyone is talking at once … encouraging one another to be brave … and then as soft as a morning sunrise, things begin to change.

There is no big bang. No, the world opens up ever so gently, to reveal the most illuminating light which becomes brighter … and brighter … and brighter as each minute goes by … and then … oh no! It is … TIME …

THE LIGHT … IT IS  …   

                    B  E   A   U  T   I   F   U   L …

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