I remember with crystal clarity my last conversation with my mom. We were on the phone, watching the Cubs game, commiserating over lackluster pitching. She told me she had a splitting headache; I hoped it would get better if her beloved boys in blue could put up a W.
They didn't. And the next day, she was gone. (It was not their fault.)
I'm struck by how tragic lasts can feel, because for the most part, we never know they're happening when they're happening. My dear, dear friend Brian made me waffles after I had my gallbladder surgery back in 2009 ... and I
have not heard from him since. Oh, I've tried. I've bordered on stalker, that's how hard I've tried. But that morning, over waffles, is the last time we spoke. I fear I will always miss him, and he was my lifeline during some of my most tumultuous times.
I've had more last kisses than I care to count, and each time - with rare exception - I wish I'd known. I would have cherished them more. Last hugs. Last meals shared, or prepared, with someone I love. Life, it would seem, is full of lasts.
It's hard not to grieve them, as we move from one season of life to another. I miss a lot of things that have moved into the category of "last." But I suppose, by way of explanation, that's part of why I live the way I do. I was once told that I live an amplified life; that I experience things in a way that can only be described as "more," and I'll accept that as a compliment. Because if I'm soaking in every gorgeous moment, it won't hurt so badly if that moment happens to contain a "last."
Life is short, and on any given day, we could be facing a litany of lasts. That day is not today. For the moment, I'm putting my focus on firsts; I'm young enough that I have a lot of firsts in me yet. But I'm wise enough to know that if I live in deep appreciation of the moment I'm in, if I experience a last, I will be mindful enough to treasure it for what it is.