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Final Rewards

By Mari Janecek

Whoosh, Jim found himself in heaven.  God welcomed him into the most beautiful world beyond description.  The Lord, said, "Enter my faithful friend.  Let me show you your new home. The huge Pueblo adobe home with a beehive fireplace that dominated the living room, had terra cotta floors which he knew Mari would love it.

    "You sure deserved it, putting up with Mari for over forty years." said the Lord.     "Well, you made her that way." Jim said.

    "Oh, no I didn't.  My plan called for her to arrive in April making her an Aries, practical, sure footed, etc.  but with her stubborn streak she held off her birth for as long as possible you know.  She acts first and then maybe thinks later.  You know what a Taurus woman is like?"

     "Oh, yes." Jim said smiling.  "Jim we don't have any sex up here."  "Is Mari up here too?"

    "She just made it.  I gave her a sleeping bag.  Oh, and I plan on pulling a little joke on her too."

    "Mari will hate that.  She needs all the comforts of home.  A shower, bathroom, radio, etc."

    "Enough about Mari.  You need to see why you got such a great reward."

    The Lord pulled down the Book of Life and flipped it open to Jim's name.  The sheets were all pristine white.  "Aah yes, I see where it all started with the first kiss.  She wouldn't let you get away with a handshake.  You kissed her and then wouldn't see her for a week.  It sure shook you up.  I gave you time to get over her, but you wouldn't listen to me, so see how you had to live."

     She never bored me.  She's funny, unpredictable, and different."  Exasperating would nail it on the head, Jim."  The Lord opened the Book to Mari's page.  Most of her pages looked dingy and grey.  Jim looked down and saw that she received a D- for her life's performance.  She almost failed.  How could that happen.  Mari always did everything Jim wanted without complaining.  She never nagged, argued, or pouted.

     The Lord said, "When I gave her free will, she took advantage of it.  Only doing what she felt like doing and omitting the things she should have performed."

    The Lord seeing Jim's anguish look pulled down a screen to show Jim his life with Mari.  He saw himself removing nails from the paneling Mari hung askew.  She used 500 nails, the whole box for a 4'x8' section.  Took you over six hours to remove them.  While Jim pulled out the nails, Mari outside in the yard, removed your prized rose bushes cause she thought they were weeds.  Of course, they wouldn't bloom in the Wisconsin autumn.  What a helpmate!

    The patience you showed Mari blew me away.  Remember when you watched the 1988 Winter Olympics together.  The athletes were cross country skiing and she asked you, "Jim what happens when they get to the part of the country like Florida, and they run out of snow?

    Remember her PMS fit of crying cause she missed her dead relatives?  You looked at your watch and told her she had five minutes to start her period and she did.  I loved that."

    Then the moments of fear when she had cancer surgery and you talked to her that evening on the phone and couldn't understand a word she said because she was drugged up with Morphine?