Sunday, April 11, 2010
If I had known
the trip to the hospital
was the last time
you would ever be outside
I would not have rushed
you through the rain.
Prompt: Last _____
There are many firsts, and many lasts. The lasts are the most poignant of moments, because they creep upon you with the least expectation and, often, the lasts come after a long period of wishing they would end. I think of the times woken by my hungry infant and wishing this breast feeding to be over, the diapers changed, the long drive finished, the dissertation done, then, it is done. It is over. And once it is over, yu wish to be back with it.
The slow death of my father felt like a climb through a cairn-marked mountain trail. But on this journey, the stone markers were lasts: the last time to mow the lawn, drive to the store, eat solid food, sleep through the night, drink coffee, drink Scotch, sleep beside my mother, read a book, speak, stand in your garden, feel the rain.
I drove my father the hour to Chapel Hill for his cancer treatment many, many times. It seemed it would never end. And then, it did, and I would give anything to drive him there again.
Remember the lasts; treat every moment as if it were.