Tonight was senior night…the last time I will ever watch my #3 daughter play on her high school volleyball team. <sigh>
There are lots of “lasts” during a senior year in high school – everything from the last “first” day of school, the last homecoming, the last powder-puff game, the last winter formal …to the last chapel, the last final, the last lunch on campus with friends and the last day of school. And then in our tradition laden family there are many other lasts that we not only commemorate but remind the soon to be graduate to enjoy and relish as it may be – the last family trip to the pumpkin patch, the last Thanksgiving at home, the last Christmas tree hunt, the last beach holiday, the last Walk for Life, the last Valentines Dinner with Daddy, the last family Passover meal, Good Friday hot cross buns and Easter Sunrise Service and the list goes on.
The nice part of this high school finale’ is that you know when each of these “lasts” are happening. They are nicely calendared, organized and recognized as the momentous events that they are. Ahhhhhh if only we had such knowledge of the many precious “last” times we experience with our children:
- The last time we kissed an owie and wiped tears off that soft cheek
- The last time we rocked our baby to sleep
- The last time they were small enough to pick up and hold in our arms
- The last time we buckled them in the car seat
- The last time we helped them brush their teeth
- The last time we tied their shoe
- The last time we had to catch them when they jumped off the monkey bars
- The last time they crawled into bed with us in the middle of the night
- The last time we woke up in the morning to watch their deep rhythmic breathing and peaceful face as they slept
These “lasts” are not calendared or commemorated. They seem to just happen during our everyday lives and often, even upon looking back, we cannot remember when we experienced one of these last precious moments of childhood. They just slowly fade away with no fanfare, no picture-taking, no holding on and breathing in of the last time we get to experience some of the greatest joys of being a parent.
There is also another season of “last times” that seem to slip through our fingers. After the tragic heartbreaking loss of a loved one we can instantly look back and remember –
- our last conversation
- the last time we were together
- the last time we told them we loved them
- the last laughter we shared
- the last hug, kiss or tender affection
And just like those precious moments of childhood that slip away without notice, we never knew that this would be “the last time”…….
During seasons like my daughters senior year of high school I am very purposeful to live “fully in the moment”, cherishing and enjoying each special event, activity and “last time” that we have together. Maybe there is something to be learned from this. Maybe I should more purposefully cherish each and everyday with my little children who will all too soon be grown up and having their own “last” year of high school. Maybe I should cherish each and every moment I have with my friends, family and loved ones, always taking the time to stop and tell them I love them, share a laughter or an embrace and live fully in the moment! Life truly is short and quickly passing by….Lord help me make the most of each moment.
This just might be the last time…..