Were he alive today, last week would have been my brothers 60th birthday. Garrison Keillor once said “When your brother dies, your childhood fades, there being one less person to remember it with, and you are left disinherited, unarmed, semi-literate, an exile. It’s like losing your computer and there’s no backup.”
As I thought on this, it reminded me of something I have told my children over the years (and always have tried to remember myself). For many things in life, we never know when they will end. We just don’t know when that last time, actually is the last time. Whether it’s a favorite place, or last shot in a pick up game, the last time you spend with a friend or loved one, or the last time your youngest child crawls up in your lap and asks you to read them a book. Only afterwards do we understand, then all too often it is too late to savor and fully appreciate what was.
If we can make the effort to recognize those things that are important to us, and treat them each time, like it was the last time, we will benefit two ways. First, we find ourselves more grateful and it makes the experience richer and the memory more clear. And secondly, we find we still might miss it later, but we have fewer regrets about it passing from our lives.
All things do end, a brother, a teaching career, your children being young; good and bad, they pass from our lives into our memories. In a busy focused life, too many times these things pass unrecognized. So today I will try to live the advice I gave my children, “Every time, take those things in life that give you greatest meaning and treat them as if it were the last time.”
Have a good weekend my friends, “Carpe Diem.”