Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Book of Lasts

Something resonated with me a few days ago, as I'm preparing a member of my family for a rite of passage in our faith. Naturally, thoughts turn to other times I've made a similar journey in the past. Times when the merest notion of "firsts" called for celebration. First steps. First words. Even first teeth elicit a special road marker along the side of the road each of us must travel.

But with time, as it does most other things in our lives, those firsts slip away, a fond memory recalled in less frequent moments as the years stretch on. In place of first words, the infinite cacophony of questions or complaints or merely the lyrics to a song unimaginable in that captured moment in the past, take over and the memory slips into black and white and shades of gray. Instead of first steps toward you, they sprint away in their independence.

But if there is a book tucked away of "firsts" for each of us, a memoir of childhood to be brought out and dusted off, what if there were a book of "lasts"? The last time we kissed our spouse. The last words exchanged between an elderly parent and a grown child. The last glimpse we had of our child. How different we would live our lives. How much we would savor each moment as it slides into the next. How much we would yearn for the next to never come.

Without time travel, there can be no known books of lasts. Thankfully, perhaps. A safe, albeit unsure reminder of what is to come, we remain ignorant of these road markers, knowing they exist somewhere in the grand scheme of fate or merely the inevitability of our lives.

What did you do today as if it were written in your book of lasts?


Marilyn Brant said...

What a thought-provoking post. I watched the pilot episode of a TV show last night and was reminded by an especially sad scene to spend a little extra time with my son before really pay attention as I hugged him goodnight.

Donna said...

Perhaps the closest thing I can relate here, something I was actually aware of at the time it was happening, was a time when I had grown apart from a very close girlfriend. Our friendship had developed at a time when we had many things in common but as the years went by, our lives went in different directions and our visits together seems strained and were much less frequent. We found less and less to talk about when we were together and though we never had harsh words or even spoke of it or the growning distance between us, I knew when I had lunch that last time with her, that it was likely I would never see her again. Strange feeling that, considering there was a time I told her everything.