Life's Lasts

Lately I’ve been thinking about lasts – trying to remember the last time I saw the sea, the last time I won something (nope, nothing in recent memory), how sometimes it’s good to know it’s the last of something, and sometimes it’s not.

I‘m not great at goodbyes. I experience goodbye anxiety, especially when it’s goodbye to a person or group that has played a big positive role in my life. I just can’t help thinking how this will be the last time that I am going to be in this particular situation with these particular people and I’m going to miss it, a lot.

I can’t remember the last time I had an ice cream cone – which is sad really, because I mustn’t have taken time to really appreciate it. I do remember the last day of a summer job working at an ice cream parlour when I was 13. I had endured a seemingly endless teenage summer working for this sleaze ball who had crossed what we now know as the harassment line more than once. One day I had enough and I called home to say I was quitting. To make sure there wasn’t a scene when I quit, my family came to pick me up. I gave them all ice cream cones before tossing my apron aside and marching out of there. I’m glad I knew that was my last day, it allowed me to own my independence. I’m happy to tell you my employment situation got increasingly better as my life progressed.

But that illusive last ice cream cone; I’m assuming it was chocolate of some sort – escapes my memory.

I can’t really remember the last time I had a conversation with my Dad where he was really totally there or the last time I heard him play the piano beautifully. Had I known at the time that it was the last time, I might have lingered a bit longer, asked a few more questions or heard a few more melodies.

I do remember the last time I saw my sister Laurie, who passed away one night quite suddenly. I spent her last night on earth at her party, where she just seemed to say and do all the right things. That night we did linger and I left her home at 3 in the morning. We stood at her door for half an hour chatting, despite the fact that we had chatted all night. She had a fatal asthma attack shortly after I left. I’m tremendously grateful for my last moments with her.

I remember Anton mentioning to me he wished he’d known the last time his son asked to be picked up and carried. It just hit him one day that it had been a while and that it was likely never to be again, that stage of life had ended. It must be such a difficult job to be a parent, when your purpose is to teach your kids to thrive without you. I stagger to think of the many lasts involved in parenting. But then, there are lots of firsts too, the rewards for enduring the lasts.

So sometimes it’s good to know it is a last time when you’re in it, sometimes it’s not.

As I write this, I venture near the bowl of strawberries only to discover they are gone. I ate the last one, quite absent-mindedly :o(

I guess I’m a slow learner.

Although I can’t be positive, I’m pretty sure this won’t be my last blog.

Until next time…..

It’s probably a good idea to think of each encounter with anyone in your life as your last, because it could be.

Such a simple approach to life, if maintained, could be life altering.

Photo Credit ~ Sylvia Armstrong

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