The other day, my wife was holding our four-year-old grandson on her lap reading a book. Typically, he has too much energy running around the house to slow down for a book, but this time, he remained quiet and interested as she read. I made the comment to her that someday soon, he won’t be interested enough to sit on her lap and read… someday soon will be the last time.
Have you ever paused during an event and savored it as probably being the ‘last time’? Often, we don’t realize until later that ‘that was the last time we ever…”. There are times, however, when we know for sure we are experiencing one. I remember my son’s last football game in high school. It was a year end elimination game and it became obvious early in the second half that his team would not advance to the next game. I remember lingering on the field after the game well after the teams had left the field. But, I just couldn’t leave because I knew I was experiencing a bittersweet ‘last time’.
I remember the night before the weddings of each of my daughters thinking, “This is the last day before I place my daughter’s hand into that of another. I remember the last day I had my dog Rudy, knowing he would be gone the next day. That night, Rudy was allowed to eat anything he wanted!
More frequently, we only realize later that the ‘last time’ was the last time. I remember saying goodbye to friends or colleagues not knowing this was likely the last time we would ever see each other. Who could have known that two of my basketball teammates would play well in their last game before they would die? How was I supposed to know the last time I ever hit a home run in baseball? Somehow, we think that things will always be the same, but life just keeps moving along.
My intent today is not to discourage, but to encourage you. I am merely reminding us all that we should never take the good things of life for granted. Let’s be aware of life’s changes and savor them. Let’s live in such a way that we don’t look back with regret. After all…
- Someday, your last child will ‘leave the nest’
- Someday, you will change a diaper for the last time
- Someday, when you hang up the phone, you’ll be thinking of that last time with someone you love
- Someday, that last day at work will usher in a whole new chapter of your life, hopefully, filled with ‘first times’
- Someday, you will play catch with your son or daughter for the last time
- Someday, you will sitting around a table laughing about those stories he used to tell
- Someday, you will make a mortgage payment for the last time
- Someday, you will walk for the last time without help
But, for today, let’s make the most of what life brings. Let’s not worry about tomorrow. Today is the only day we have been promised. So, make a call, write a letter, schedule some fun, play hide-n-go-seek, and savor the minutes because we never know when the last time might really be ‘the last time’.