Lee Strauser’s eyes opened, for the first time in a week; there was clarity. Lee uttered, “Aloha,” and proceeded to die in a matter of fact fashion. Due to congenital complications, rigor mortis was setting in quicker than expected.
This was followed by a profound silence; a distraught family and a priest left behind staring at the floor. The priest took it upon himself to break the stillness, “Since aloha is both hello and goodbye in the Hawaiian language, I would like to think he was really saying hello to a better place.”
Richard, the eldest son, stood up and approached the priest. He whispered in the priest’s ear. The priest’s face turned eight shades of red. He cleared his throat, and was further embarrassed by producing an obvious audible chunk of phlegm.
“I am very sorry. Let me begin anew.” He had no choice but to swallow the gob in his mouth, for speaking was difficult. “Since aloha is both hello and goodbye in the Hawaiian language, I would like to think she was saying hello to a better place.”
Richard stood again to whisper. The priest cleared his throat, reproducing the annoying mucus strand. This time, he took a single-ply hospital tissue and spit. “Once again, I am very sorry. I had no idea that your disdain for cultures that are not your own was so strong. In fact, I am not comfortable continuing here. As a man of the cloth, it is my duty to stop and point out that we do not and never will endorse racism.”
With this, the priest departed leaving behind a mourning family whispering furiously.