“And you know who my friends are,” he quickly added. “No leechers,” he said, using a word I’m sure he made up that very second.
“What is a leecher?” I inquired.
“You know, those people who really didn’t like you while you were alive, but want in on the fun after you are gone,” he fervently explained. “No laughter, wine and fried mushrooms for the leechers!”
I didn’t know, but did take the time to look up leecher in the dictionary. There is no such word, but oddly enough, it sounded appropriate for the situation.
Lewie then asked me to promise that the arrangements requested would be put into place after his death occurred.
Which got me thinking about my own demise.
So many arrangements to be made. So little time.
Do I want a vigil? Do I want fried mushrooms, fish, and coleslaw? James Whitcomb Riley readings? And of course, the image of leechers arriving was a bit troublesome.
After my conversation with Lewie, I decided to make preparations for my own death.
I would like a celebration at my house as well. Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller, Vivaldi and Billy Joel will be playing in the background.
Instead of wine and beer, cups of hot Earl Grey and Constant Comment tea will be available for consumption. Family and friends will munch on baked artichoke dip on tortilla chips and crock pot cheesy dip with bacon bits on slices of crusty French bread, both of which will be prepared by my friend Rhonda Hundley.
If Lewie is still with us, he will read excerpts from “Charlotte’s Web,” one of my favorite books, and Philippians 4:8, my favorite scripture in the Bible.
And this tragic turn of events, of course, would be my get-out-of -jail card for overseeing all of Lewie’s anti-vigil death requests.
Alvia Lewis Frey is a columnist for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.