Friday, January 27, 2012

One Last Time

One day, barring an accident or sudden debilitating event, we’ll all sit in disbelief, with the family gathered; looking around incredulously, wondering how this moment could already be here.
Visitors will be reduced to puddles of emotion and lots of good memories, in some cases, while others will drop by out of obligation. Some may wonder if anything is in it for them.

My appointment. Can’t say I’ll make things better next year because the end is now. All of the thoughts running through my head are overwhelming; I don’t have time to say them all. Should have written them down, now the stories will be slowly diluted until they either have no meaning or they’ll simply be forgotten altogether.

What was my legacy? Hopefully I helped mold others into something better so my thoughts and beliefs will last a while longer, at least another generation.

I look down at my spotted, wrinkled hands that have simply run out of hours. It’s been a good run, but now it’s time. Wish I could have another good five years. Or even five days. A work week would seem a lifetime. Sometimes I’m really tired of the fight, but I still long to make a difference. I’d like to try one more time to talk to that knot-headed grandson; maybe something would click this time and turn him around. They’ve all been on their own for years, but now… more help from me.

Memories are flooding my mind, saturating this tired old head that needs to rest. My last trip to see the kids at Thanksgiving, it really was the last. It’s hard to let go of everything so familiar, but so it is.

As I gaze beyond the familiar faces, the window seems empty, as if it goes on forever. I feel like there are so many things I haven’t accomplished, I feel like crying. I’m looking past the people so dear to me, and I’m grasping for everything in sight.

Pain runs down my shoulder and into my back, and then settles in the hip. Tears well up all over again.

I know how to start my life over, only better, but I no longer have the time. Why did it take me so long to figure it all out?

Did I remember to tell her how much I love her? When? Last night? My memory is fading.

Songs run through my mind; wish I had them to listen to, here, now. They’re like a scrapbook of old photos. Each chorus brings up another picture, as vivid as the day it was taken. Everyone seems so much younger when the right song is playing.

Now, I will finally take those dark secrets with me. That’s enough to put a smile on my face. No one has to ever know, and that’s how I want it.

The light shining into the window is getting brighter. My recollections are becoming small.

I lay here, as my mind comes and goes. Next week the grandkid’s school will be in full session and they’ll be busy, thinking about the summer that will last forever, and a lifetime ahead of them. Live for the moment, their future is as wide as the horizon. Or so it seems. They’ll soon forget about me, until someone opens up an old photo album. Or maybe they’ll repeat something I always said, and then scratch their head, wondering where it came from. I can only hope.


  1. This really hits the mark. I find myself wondering much if I have ever made a difference at all. I feel that those closest to us will always have us just a heartbeat away in their thoughts. Did you just loose someone close to you?

  2. No, might be because I just turned 50, and my kids are reaching the age where they'll marry and move off before too long. And, I was thinking about my life 30 years ago, and how it's flown by in a blink of an eye. The moment will be here, where I am looking through that window, long before I can finish up all I want to do.
    Good point about those really close. I can remember conversations with those I was close to or had a deep respect for, and I will always remember what was said and how they said it. My kids won't remember unless they had a personal relationship, so it's a generation away from being lost unless it's in writing.

  3. What we put in others can last for generations, if it's passed to others they have a personal relationship with. Maybe the specific defining moments and conversations will be gone, but not the message.