We did plenty of entertaining this holiday season, so I was blessed to spend lots of time with friends and family. We recently moved so this was our first year spending the holidays in our new home. People ask me quite often if I miss my old house. Of course I do! We spent 23 years there and raised our babies there, but there is also something exciting about a fresh start to this new chapter of our lives. Recently though, I was asked if I felt sentimental last Christmas knowing it would be our last time in the house that held so many memories. The question gave me pause because I realized that a year ago I did not know it was our last Christmas in that house...we hadn’t bought our new one yet. I had a tinge of regret that I hadn’t taken more pictures, I hadn’t just sat in the moment and taken it all in, I hadn’t appreciated more deeply each and every one of those 23 Christmases.
Which led me to think about all the “last times” that came and went with no fanfare, no celebration, and not even the slightest awareness I was experiencing them. I think mostly of my kids but also relationships that have come and gone and little did I know I was experiencing my last kiss, my last phone call, or even the last time I would hear the words I love you from someone important to me.
I remembered seeing a poem that spoke to this and left me quite the pile of mush and after a quick google search, here is a portion of it...
The Last Time
But don’t forget …
There is a last time for everything.
There will come a time when you will feed
your baby for the very last time.
They will fall asleep on you after a long day
And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child.
One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down,
And never pick them up that way again.
You will scrub their hair in the bath one night
And from that day on they will want to bathe alone.
They will hold your hand to cross the road,
Then never reach for it again.
They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles,
And it will be the last night you ever wake to this.
One afternoon you will sing “the wheels on the bus”
and do all the actions,
Then never sing them that song again.
They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate,
The next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone.
You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your last dirty face.
They will run to you with arms raised for the very last time.
The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time
Until there are no more times.
And even then, it will take you a while to realize.
So while you are living in these times,
remember there are only so many of them
and when they are gone, you will yearn for just one more day of them.
For one last time.
Ahhhhh. So much I yearn for that is already gone. So many last times I wish I could replay and freeze in time. But yet so many last times still to come. I challenge you in 2018 to be in the moment, to be intentional in appreciating the little things, and to love every moment of your life as you would if you knew it was...the last time.