For the Last Time

If you spend any time at all with me, you will hear a movie quote. It might not be 100% correct. It may be obscure. It may be ubiquitous. I likely won’t be able to name the film or even actor – I’m not Remington Steele – but I will quote you something. Trust and believe.

In this scene one woman was asking another why she had never married. The second woman replied, “Because I didn’t know that the last time I was asked was going to be the last time I was asked.”

I’ve been thinking about last times since Sunday when I found out that one previous colleague died the day before and a second is in hospice care in her home. While I wasn’t close friends with either person, I liked and respected both of them and am saddened by the news. I don’t know the last time I saw Dave, but the last time I saw Betty was at our friends’ wedding and we had a great time.

With the exception of just a handful of people, I haven’t known that the last time I saw them was going to be the last time. Thankfully, I did not part with Sandy or Joey, or Lance or the others in anger; however, I always expected to see them or speak with them again. Looking through my friends list on Facebook, I see about 15 people who have died. Fifteen people whose voices, quips, responses I will never see again. Would I have done anything differently had I known? Would I have told them something special I appreciated about them?

But death isn’t the only divider, is it? My foot injury and subsequent weight gain made the last time I ran, the last time. Would I have run a little further had I known? If I had known that the last time I rocked my son to sleep was going to be the last time, would I have held him a little longer? If I had known that my last Sunday morning at Coffee and Co. was going to be my last Sunday living in New Orleans, would I have had another chocolate croissant? (Spoiler alert – I would have AND I’ve have ordered a couple to go.)

It’s not feasible or reasonable to spend every moment of your life as if it is your last; however, it’s not a bad idea to remember from time to time that things end – that there are last times. Tell people you respect them. Tell people you admire them. Tell people you appreciate them. Enjoy your run. Hold that baby a little longer. Savor your coffee and croissant.

Nothing lasts forever.


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