This is about children, but I feel it can also be said of my mother. One day I will have my “last times,” and I won’t even know that it will be the last.
“Long ago you came to me, a miracle of firsts.
First smiles and teeth and baby steps, a sunbeam on the burst.
But one day you will move away and leave to me your past,
And I will be left thinking of a lifetime of your lasts.
The last time that I held a bottle to your baby lips…
Last time that I lifted you and held you on my hip…
Last time when you had a binky stuck inside your mouth…
The last time that you crawled across the floor of this old house.
Last time when you ran to me, still small enough to hold,
Last time when you said you’d marry me when you grew old.
Precious, simple moments and bright flashes from the past,
Would I have held you longer if I’d known they were the last?
Your last few hours of kindergarten, last days of first grade…
Last at bat in Little League, last colored paper made..
Last time that I tucked you in for one last midday nap…
Last time when you wore your beat-up Green Bay Packers cap.
Last time you caught a frog in that old backyard pond…
Last time when you ran barefoot across our fresh-cut lawn,
Silly scattered images to represent your past.
Would I have taken pictures…if I’d known they were the last?
The last dark night you slipped in bed and slept between us two,
When last I read to you of God or Horton Hears a Who!
Last time that I smelled your hair and prayed after your shower…
Last time that we held devotions in the evening hours.
The last time you were M.J. in our games of give-and-go…
Last time that you made an angel in the melting snow.
I never even said good-bye to yesterdays long passed.
Would I have marked the moments…if I’d known they were the last?
Last piano lesson, and last soccer goal you kicked…
The last few weeks of middle school, last flowers that you picked.
Last time that you needed me for rides from here to there…
The last time that you spent the night with that old tattered bear.
Last time that I helped you with a math or spelling test,
Last time when I shouted your room was a mess.
Time and life moved quicker, taking pieces of your past.
Would I have stretched the moments…if I’d known they were the last?
The last time that you needed help with details of a dance…
Last time that you asked me for advice about romance.
Last time that you talked to me about your hopes and dreams.
Last time that you wore a jersey for your high school team.
I watched you grow and never noticed seasons as they passed.
I wish I could’ve frozen time, to hold on to your lasts.
For come tomorrow morning life will never be the same.
You’ll pledge forever to your girl, and she will take your name.
And I will watch you, knowing God has blessed you with this day.
I never would have wanted, Luke, to somehow make you stay.
They say a son’s a son until he takes for him a wife.
You’re grown-up now; it’s time to go and start your brand new life.
One last hug, one last good-bye, one quick and hurried kiss…
One last time to understand just how much you’ll be missed.
I’ll watch you leave and think how quickly childhood sped past.
Would I have held on longer….if I’d known it was your last?”