My children indulge my love of body butter. They buy me body butter for Christmas. They buy me body butter for my birthday. Whenever they want to treat me to a gift, they think body butter. And so that is why I got a jar of body butter for Easter instead of a chocolate egg.
I lift the lid of the body butter jar. It smells delicious. I can’t wait to dip my fingers into it and smooth it onto my arms.
“How many jars of body butter have you used up?” my husband Andy asks.
“Hundreds,” I reply. “Can’t you tell?” I flash my arms in front of his eyes. “Doesn’t my skin look smooth and young?”
“You look very well preserved,” Andy agrees.
“You won’t need embalming when you die,” observes my son Callum. “With all that butter you’ll stay beautiful for ever. You won’t decay like everyone else.”
“Then when someone digs you up and sees your well preserved body they’ll think you’re a saint,” says Imogen.
“You’ll be declared an Incorruptible,” smiles Sophie.
“Like St Bernadette,” adds Gemma-Rose. ‘They’ll put you in a glass case and people will come from miles around to see you.”
“Everyone will think you were a very holy person and all you did was use loads of body butter,” laughs Andy.
I think about this for a minute. What if my body does get dug up? What if it is well-preserved? What if the Church declares me a saint? Will my whole family just laugh loudly and tell everyone, “Mum just used lots of body butter. She’s not holy at all!”
Does it sound too preposterous to imagine me as a saint? Is body butter the only chance I have at canonisation?
“I could be a saint, a real one,” I protest. Everyone smiles. Don't they believe me?
“Perhaps I’d better stop using body butter,” I say. “Then they’ll be no confusion when everyone is trying to confirm whether I am an Incorruptible or not.”
I look at the pot of body butter. It does smell good. I bet it feels good too. It would be rather a shame not to use it.
I peer into the jar and I think... Is it really necessary to have elephant skin to become a saint? Of course not. What’s the chance of me ever being dug up? I could end up being one of those quiet unknown saints. They don’t dig everyone up.
I hesitate no longer. I dip my fingers into the butter and smooth it onto my skin. How could I have even considered wasting my Easter gift?