Sunday, April 11, 2010

Last Trip

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.

Peace, Linda


  1. Poignant. Beautiful. Well done. Cherish the lasts always.

  2. We always think there is more time. A poignant reminder that there are always lasts. This will stay with me for a long, long time.

  3. Was just thinking that if I knew it was the last time I would ever see him, I'd hugged him longer. Maybe I would have even taken his arm and fled the place. Thanks Linda. You're a visionary.

  4. So heartbreaking and true. Savor the days, the moments, even the most mundane of them, because time and people will go away from us -- despite our best hopes.

  5. Do you know the poem Limits by Borges?

  6. And the older you get the more last moments there are to remember. Gillian

  7. Linda, that poem is so profound.


  8. OMG Linda. What you have written here is really beautifully poignant. The first sentence really pulled at my heartstrings, as did all the rest. I was openly crying by the time I got to the end. I feel for you, and I think it's good that you're writing about this, even though I can't imagine it's easy. Thinking of you and sending love your way :)

  9. Powerful post, Linda. As I read, I thought about my own parents. They they frustrate me at times, but I am thankful to still have them around.

  10. Thank you all for feeling this poem. Gillian, thank you for gracing my pages. Mark, thank you for the Borges gift; no, this was new to me. I'll return again and again. And please don't cry Chrys :^)

    Carrie, no visionary, just someone who's all too human, and feels it al ltoo much lately. Peace, Linda

  11. That first segment steals my breath.
    There is so much raw emotion in it... stunning and simple.

    I'm looking for short pieces for my literary magazine at the moment. I would love for you to contact me.