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GeorgiastillEarlier this week, I noted that a dear friend was having a birthday. He turns 91 today, and I’ll call him this afternoon and we’ll fill the space until I’m  home. I look forward to the conversation, and yet am also painfully aware that it might be the last time I talk to him on his birthday. As he gets older (we all get older), it’s a realization I can no longer ignore, and whatever ‘last time’ we shared becomes the last time ever.

There’s something obviously sad about that, and yet I wonder whether we wouldn’t be better off to treat every time as if it were the last.

Years ago, I attended college about an hour down the road from home. I lived on campus, but went home every chance I got. Most weekends, I was back mowing grass or working in the garden. For enough times that I can remember, I’d leave on Sunday afternoon and get twenty miles down the way before turning around. It would suddenly occur to me that I didn’t tell my daddy I loved him, or didn’t hug and kiss my mama. Maybe even then, I felt the pull of that ‘last time’.

Perhaps that’s the real wonder of living in the now – such that every time is the first and every time, the last – such that this (this between time) is all that matters.

Let us spend it lovingly.

the last time that we spoke
leaves were falling down
lines I could have written
to that day
but all I knew (of verses)
was the way you said my name
as sunlight split apart
in pools of grey

the last time that we spoke
was a promise
not to grieve
the taste of tears
a moment here (always)
no one more kiss to hold us
for days (for lives) between
lines I could have written
to that day

the last time that we spoke
of secrets yet unknown
so much I should have said
(I didn’t say)
about the way I miss you
when leaves are falling down
lines I could have written
to that day

. . .