I clearly remember the last time I smoked.
It was a year before I got pregnant with our first son.
I had tried quitting before, unsuccessfully, but this time the stakes were so much higher that I knew I was going to succeed.
Most of the time though we don’t know when a last time is a last time.
Some time ago I took my mom on a day of shopping in Trier. We used to do this regularly. Now she is aging and I’m busy with kids and my activities. Will there be a next time?
My dad is always surprising me with things fixed in the house, mowed lawns and chopped wood ready to make a fire, which I can see in the mirror he strategically installed in the living room. Sometimes they annoy me (because they can infringe on my privacy and upset the way I do things or would have liked to do things). Often they make me smile. Mostly they warm my heart. When will he be doing these loving gestures for the last time?
A few years ago, the boys and me were walking around in town. They were both holding my hands and I wondered: for how long? And although we still hug every day, I don’t remember the last time we hugged real big bear hugs all wrapped around each other. They no longer claim their good night story and even though I still spend some time at their bedside at night, I wonder when this will stop too.
There is often a positive side on last times. It means your kids are growing up, you’re moving to a new place (physically or mentally), things change because they have to.
There is also a sad part about last times. Because they will never return.
But last times are there to teach us that every moment is important and that we should savour it.
We often forget this in our busy lives where we rush from one thing on our to do list to the next.
Especially now, in these uncertain times, we have come to realise that we don’t know when the last time is that we can see our loved ones, hug our friends, have parties with more than 10 people, go out late at night, dance at live concerts, etc.
So next time you sit on the couch with your kids, hug them tight, make it last just a minute longer.
Make sure you stop and stare at the magnificent moments nature displays.
Look into the eyes of your loved ones for a minute every day to deepen your connection.
Say ‘I love you’ even (and especially) when you have had an argument with your partner.
Watch your kids sleep, stare at the fire, laugh aloud with your friends, hug your parents tight.
Watch the birds, the sunset, the water running under the bridge, the raindrops in the puddles.
Look, listen, touch. Breathe it all in.
Sit still and breathe again.
Soak it up.
This is your life.
And it’s made of these small moments.
They’re all you have.
And they might be your last.
Enjoy every second of them.