Last… Such an interesting word that invokes so many emotions. Some lasts we know are the last: the last piece of candy or pie, the last day of work, last time to do something, or see someone. Depending on the feelings towards it different emotions can fill that time of last. I think of the seniors last year who were so done with school according them, but they would get teary for each of their lasts: the last band concert, last homecoming, last whatever, there was a sadness, although for most last year of High School brought joy.
Last is also something elusive. We all know certain things will come to an end. In parenting we know that there will be a last for most of the tasks we do, and on some days we cannot wait, the last diaper to change, the last tooth to come in, but there are other precious moments (that do not always feel that way at the time) that have an end. The last time we carry a kid in from the car who fell asleep. The last time we are called to come lay down in bed and snuggle, the last rock in a chair to comfort someone, the last story read aloud, the last glass of water… the list goes on. It is hard some days to enjoy each one. In the back of our minds we know this season will come to an end, but in the meantime it feels like eternity.
People too there is never a guarantee when our last day is here or their last day. Or relationships change in a moment and then everything before becomes the last. People move, people cut ties, people die. Last… how do I live as if it is a last without it weighing each moment too heavy? Is there such thing as no regrets? It seems like too much pressure to put on time, places, events, and people.
There have been seasons where I have tried to live as if each time with someone is my last, but it really adds expectations that burden the relationship or the event. Instead I am trying to live each moment and interact with people with gratitude which frees me from pressure and ends up adding meaning and pleasure to an event or an interaction whether it is the last time or not. Gratitude helps frame time and relationships with more grace and mercy as we see the gift of the moment or the gifts in the moment rather than trying to make that moment something it may or may not be. Receiving life with open hands makes us aware that “all is grace” as Teresa de Lisieux said. That makes life better, whether it is the last or not.
**Disclaimer I forgot to set the timer not sure how many minutes….