Why if ol' Maybelle didn't used to think that a fizzysist is somebody who's having a hissy fit. But then I found out that a fizzysist is a scientist. That's right. Somebody who knows all about sub-atomic particulars and the Universe, don'tcha know. And who thinks us humans are energy in body suits!
Imagine that. Energy in body suits?! What are those fizzy guys drinking?
Well, when I first heard that I said, "No way, Hose Zay! Ol' Maybelle is a red blooded woman! Okay, a little anemic, but who's counting blood cells? I am who you see. The gal with a glint in her eye, or is that a reflection in my new artificial iris?
Nevermind. I was the biggest skeptical this side of Holyburton, don'tcha know...until I visited my good friend, Clarisse Florida Butterworth, in hospital.
Now, Clarisse's mama and papa gave her that middle name after the one place they always wanted to go but never got to...Florida. So Clarisse was born with sunshine written all over her...and an inborn determination to do everything she wanted to do in life.
Why you'd be hard pressed to find anybody happier than Clarisse for filling her days and years and minutes doing exactly what she loved to do. And she knew what that was pretty early on.
Clarisse loved to sing.
Truth be told, when Clarisse sang, most folks wanted to run for the hills. Or put a bag over her head. You see, in her mind she sounded like an angel. And because she was always volunteering to perform for all kinds of functions in Lake WhaddyathinkImean, nobody had the heart to tell her otherwise.
In fact, they loved her for it. Kinda like youngins today like that Lady Googoo for telling them not to care about what other people think...and to just be yourself, don'tcha know...lampshade hat and all.
Where am I going with this?
Clarisse was also one of the most generous people you'd ever want to meet. Why she was always helping folks and encouraging them to follow their dreams.
She was Officer Stanley Penelope McBottom's biggest supporter. That's right. When everybody else (except his sweetheart, Vilma Yuccch) told him his ideas for new inventions were crazy, Clarisse told him to stick to his guns. And being a police officer, he had a couple.
And it was Clarisse who encouraged Vilma to start her online tie-dye sleeves business. Which is doing real well, I'm happy to report.
So, you can imagine how surprised I was seeing her in hospital not looking like herself at all. You see, back in August, Clarisse was diagnosed with the Big "C" and given three months to live.
And live she continued to do. Doing all the things she loved to do. And not telling anybody how her body was failing her.
So there she was looking at this point about 100 years older and skinnier than all get out. But I also saw what those fizzysists were trying to tell us.
You see...there she was like always with her big bright smile, her big happy shining eyes, and all the warm, funny, generous words she was always giving t'others. Why Clarisse was so much more than the body I saw sitting in that bed. That wasn't who she was at all. She was still the same spirit...or as those fizzy guys would say, the same energy that was the real Clarisse Florida Butterowrth we all knew and loved.
That's why when she left us last week, all of us in Lake WhaddyathinkImean felt sad, but in a way, good, too. Because she lived every ounce of her life exactly the way she wanted to.
So, now when I think about Clarisse, I see her just like I knew her -- Florida sunshine warming my heart with a smile that could melt butter.