The Wish of a Lifetime

A 200 word “novel”

She appeared old for her age when I first arrived thirty-five years ago. She pounced on me after my first Sunday.

‘Father Danby. Such a pleasant name. So good to have a young priest at last. Father O’Brian seemed tired and lacking faith before he passed.’

I tried to defend my predecessor, but she brushed away my comments and turned the conversation her way.

‘Father, I’m old, but the years haven’t diminished my enthusiasm for God and the blessed day I meet Him. I pray every day he takes me.’

I was troubled about her readiness to die and told her so.

‘Don’t be concerned, young priest, I am not depressed. Death is such a wonderful thing to look forward to, I cannot wait. How can you not see death is a door that opens into the ecstasy of God’s presence?’

Over the years she never lost her enthusiasm for passing. Many lonely evenings in the Rectory ended when she visited to discuss death and attempt to make me love it. But her arguments only served diminish my conviction I would ever face God.

After 98 years her wait ended.

I prayed her God was not as elusive as Mangan’s sister.

© Guaj 2023
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what do hairdressers dentists and priests have in common?

they defend their predecessors. It would work and perhaps in a more surprising way if you changed Danby’s profession. You can have versions of various Danbys.

these people ( what’s her name? we need it), they are infatuated with Death to God’s dismay.


She lived looking forward to death; but would like to know how she lived. And she ended Father Danby’s loneliness, which is an achievement that will guarantee an audience with her Maker.

Joyce was an elusive one on the subject of love and lust.

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