Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Those Lasts...

Do you ever wonder about those little moments that become the big moments?

You know, the ones that you look back on and you know you'll always remember?

How often are those moments ones that you just take for granted?

My little sister used to pronounce tomorrow "to-morry-o". I can remember the first time I heard her pronounce it the correct way. We were sitting at the kitchen table at Mom's house. She was probably six or seven, and she said it, and Mom and I looked at each other. I think I almost started to cry... but I don't remember the last time she said tomorrow.

My Papaw Paul used to love to grade our road. He'd come down at 8 AM in the morning, just as this nigh-shifter would have gotten comfortable in the bed, and I'd hear him scraping. I don't remember thinking the last time that I saw him climb up on his tractor that I wouldn't hear that again, but I do remember thinking of how much I missed his roadwork the last time it rained and potholes filled our gravel driveway.

We get so excited about firsts in life... especially around this time of year. I'm as guilty as the next person. We live our life in anticipation. Caleb commented the other day, as we were talking about him turning sixteen this year: "Mom, I'm wishing my life away."

And we all do. Wishing our life away until the next big thing. The next holiday. The next vacation.

"Everybody's working for the weekend."

Four years ago, about this time, I left the Coliseum at Breathitt High School following a basketball game to visit my Grandma Na at KRMC. Even though she wasn't feeling well, she was a feisty thing, asking after Wallace (whose self-esteem problems really bothered her). I don't remember thinking that the next day could be the last day she'd take a breath...

but it was.

Too often we live in anticipation... but we also live in regret.

Regret that we don't say that last thing.

Regret that we don't appreciate the time we have.

Regret that we should have... could have... would have done this differently if we had just known.

I'd like to say that knowing that makes me do better, but it doesn't. Even as I focused on the word "live" last year, I still found myself living in anticipation, not appreciating the moment.

So, tonight, in this beginning of this new year, I'd like to challenge you to live in the present.

We may not know the last... may not recognize it as such... and may not know the importance of those moments as they happen... but looking back, they'll be more vivid.

Remembering is much better than regret. I know this as I am full of memories of sitting on Mamaw's couch, discussing Breathitt and Jackson sports (not that she was interested in the games... just the people, her grandkids), and discussing Sunday School lessons. I know this as I think of sitting behind her in church and seeing her nod her head. I know this because even though I didn't spend the time I wish I had, her legacy lives on just a little in me.

(Picture taken in the summer of 2014, of my Mamaw, in the light blue, and her sister Virginia, at the Arrowood family reunion. Mamaw is wearing her favorite outfit... a family joke.)

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