This time will be the last time

Francis is up here, paying me a cheerful visit.

Fran

It took him an hour and 45 minutes to waddle into the room, and then another seven years to crawl up to the desk. I really wish I'd have paid attention, actually, to how he got up here, because usually I have to lift him. Now he is up here hissing down at Tallulah, who is barking up at him. They can't stand each other. It's like I have FOX News and MSNBC together, here.

Win

In the meantime, Winston just strolled in and effortlessly leaped into the window. It was kind of sad, thinking of when Francis used to be able to do stuff like that. I wonder when the last time was that Francis could just leap up like a normal cat, before he got arthritis and all fat and old and such?

Do you ever think about stuff like that? The last time stuff happened?

Two summers ago, Marvin and I went back to Michigan because it was our 10-year wedding anniversary. We decided to spend the night at the bed-and-breakfast where we got married.

10yr

Here I am, on our 10-year anniversary, reenacting my wedding pose.

Bride
The real picture doesn't have a line through it; it's just the ding-dang scanner.

Anyway. So we went to my mother's house before we went to the bed and breakfast, because said B&B is in my hometown. My Uncle Jim dropped in, and we went in the back yard and sat, and then my Aunt Kathy came, and so did my Aunt Sue, and finally my stepfather came home from work. We were all just sitting around laughing and talking while my mother ran back and forth with 2937749235 items of food as she always does. Tallulah was there, too. She was just a puppy.

I remember my Uncle Jim laughing while Tallulah ran around my mother's back yard. I knew from the way he laughed that he thought my dog was cute, and I was proud of Talu.

I really didn't want to get up and go to our romantic dinner and evening, because I was having so much fun. But I think we had reservations, so we finally left.

That was the last time everything was normal with my family. The next time I saw my uncle, he was in the hospital with cancer. We all sat around and laughed again, but we all knew he was really sick. That day of our anniversary, July 18, 2008, was the last time everyone was healthy.

Am I the only one who thinks of stuff like that? The last time stuff happened? The last date you had with anyone else before you met your spouse, the last normal phone call you had with your best friend before you broke up with her, the last weekend to yourself you had before you had kids.

I was thinking about Francis the other night. He slept with us every single night without fail until the day we got Tallulah, and he's never slept with us since. Tallulah slept in a crate for her first year, so Francis could have kept on in the bed, but he was too mad. I think about that last night in February 2008, when poor Fran had his last night sleeping with people. Since then he sleeps alone on his angry chair.

Do you ever do this? Think of the last time something happened? Or am I just Sylvia Plath?

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Author: June

At one point, I was sort of hot, in a "she's 27 and probably a 7" kind of a way. Now I'm old and have to develop a charming personality. Guess how that's going.

66 thoughts on “This time will be the last time”

  1. No, you’re not alone. I remember the last passionate kiss I was given…more than 3 years ago. I see people on the tele smooching away and have to turn it, because who knows if I’ll ever get any of that action again. And I’m 36. SAD!!!

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  2. I do it all of the time. Lately I’ve been thinking about how two years ago was the last time I saw my grandmother healthy. She passed away on June 13, 2008. Or how June 5, 2007 was the last time I would give my grandparents an anniversary card because my grandfather passed away on August 27, 2007.
    The summertime is always a creepy brooding time when I miss my grandparents like crazy.

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  3. I never really thought about it, thinking about the last time something happened. The only one I know for sure is when I left my mom & stepdad’s. It was a good visit.He hugged me and told me I was a “good kid”. He passed away a month later.
    Now I’m worried that I’m not remembering important stuff! Thanks June.

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  4. We never know when it’s the last time until much later, do we? That’s the part that makes me think. Maybe something TODAY will be the last time. Hmmm.

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  5. I’m trying to think of the last time I had a good hair day.

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  6. I remember the last time I upset someone…
    Just yesterday…

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  7. I think about that all the time, June. The last time my family was whole (before my brother died on July 18, 2008) was at my cousin’s wedding in May of 2008. The wedding was held in Virginia Beach, VA, overlooking the ocean. It was breathtaking and I look back on that as the last time we were a family of six (my parents, three brothers and I – obviously we have our own children and spouses too, but there were six of us in the immediate family).
    I almost dread family gatherings now because I don’t like the feeling of being a family of five.

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  8. Well now I feel totally shallow. I can’t think of ONE THING that was the last time! I am quite young, though…
    Well, I’ll share my “first time” (no, not my virginity) losing someone close to me. I didn’t know any of my grandparents, but there was one old woman who took us all under her wing who was 99 the last time I saw her. She was spunky, loving and oh so amazing. When she died I remember laying in bed thinking I’ll never see her again, and how I couldn’t really get that to click.

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  9. I was just telling the story of the last time I had contact with my stepmother and her children, my stepbrother and sister. Seriously, just telling that story about 30 minutes ago.
    It’s sad how people fall away from our lives. I find myself being the one who is always trying to hold us all together when some want to be shed of me. Really sad.
    My fat little schnauzer quit sleeping with us in the last few months because he can’t seem to jump up and down off the bed any more. Maybe Fran is having trouble getting up and down and doesn’t want to seem infirm so he just sleeps elsewhere?
    I am finding lots of “last times” to remember this year. This year is 15 years since the year from hell in our family. In 1995 my Papa died, then my step-father died, my sister and then my Nana. So since Jan. 1 this year, pretty much every day I say something like “Oh, it’s been 15 years since . . . . “.

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  10. I remember the last time my children had a nuclear family. A mom and dad three cats and a dog. December 1997.

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  11. When I think of my dad, I think of the last time I saw him. He was being eaten up by his cancer, and the chemo made him so sick. I remember how brave he was in the face of all the hurting and inevitable death, which was diametrically opposed to the way he had always been such a hypochondriac. In his last days, he told me that “old age ain’t for sissies” and I knew exactly what he meant.
    When I think of him now, I substitute the photo of him in his navy uniform with his best buddy, looking all of 18 with his whole life in front of him. It is a much better memory than the last one.
    The minister in our church preached a sermon entitled “Send Flowers to the Living.” I think that’s a great thing to do. Thanks for all the virtual flowers you all send Furry and me.

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  12. I often think of the last time I had this or that experience. (Such as my 10-year wedding anniversary…that was in 1983. Who’s old?) Lately, though (and here I go, raining on an already-rainy parade), I’m always thinking, “Is THIS the last time?” Will this be the last birthday, the last Christmas, the last anniversary, and so on. Cancer does that to a person. But, believe it or not, I don’t dwell on it. The thoughts just flit through what’s left of my poor chemo brain and then I get back to enjoying whatever is happening now. Because whatever it is, it might be the last time…oops, I did it again! 😉
    Looking back and thinking of the last time things were a certain way is just one of those bittersweet aspects of life. Then we move forward and realize that whatever is going on in our lives in this moment is what we’ll be looking back on with a mixture of sadness and pleasure one day in the future.

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  13. I was once lamenting to a friend after a breakup, “If I’d known that was the last time I was gonna have sex with him, I’d have done a better job!” And my friend said, “Honey, you should ALWAYS have sex like it’s the last time.”
    Damn good advice, that.

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  14. Terra gave his father’s eulogy. It was lovely.
    “How old do you have to be to die? he said & I said I didn’t think anybody was ever old enough.
    & that made sense to him since he was still new to the world & remembered how forever had been.”
    –Brian Andreas, Forever
    I have considered the last of things a lot in the past eighteen months. Now I’m considering the taste of the future.
    But maybe i should treat them all like the last to savor the sweetness.

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  15. Terra gave his father’s eulogy. It was lovely.
    “How old do you have to be to die? he said & I said I didn’t think anybody was ever old enough.
    & that made sense to him since he was still new to the world & remembered how forever had been.”
    –Brian Andreas, Forever
    I have considered the last of things a lot in the past eighteen months. Now I’m considering the taste of the future.
    But maybe i should treat them all like the last to savor the sweetness.

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  16. Terra gave his father’s eulogy. It was lovely.
    “How old do you have to be to die? he said & I said I didn’t think anybody was ever old enough.
    & that made sense to him since he was still new to the world & remembered how forever had been.”
    –Brian Andreas, Forever
    I have considered the last of things a lot in the past eighteen months. Now I’m considering the taste of the future.
    But maybe i should treat them all like the last to savor the sweetness.

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  17. Oh, sorry, Fay. I forgot to look you up. Every human in the history of time who I have ever known called me on the phone yesterday. And I had TWO DEADLINES.

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  18. I too always think of what once happened, I have a good memory for things like that, I also think a lot of what could have been! I don’t know if it;s a good or bad thing, but I believe we all do this sometimes.

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  19. Sad post. I don’t think I remember last times that something good happened before something bad happened but I do remember a lot of bad times. And they all sucked. The most recent was just a few days ago when my daughter miscarried her 2nd baby. She lost the 1st one a little over a year ago and now this one too. Maybe I remember the last time I was looking forward to being a grandma – yep, that was a week ago and now it’s gone. Sorry to be a bummer but life is just sucking a lot lately.

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  20. I think about this a lot. Every year on the day before my kids’ birthday I think about events of that particular day. I remember the last weekend my husband and I had before our first child was born. I remember the last guy I kissed before my husband. I remember my last day at work. Most recently, I remember the day before my mom died. I was there in the afternoon, taking her clean laundry to her. I knew she was getting close but it was a normal visit. I told her I would be back the next morning. The next time I saw her, she had died. I tend to remember the melancholy/sad times the most. I remember every bit of any full day when I have received bad news, when I have made a bad/wrong choice. I do have a steel trap for a memory for other things too, but for some reason I instantly memorize all the events of time preceding a bad/sad event.

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  21. I think about this a lot. Every year on the day before my kids’ birthday I think about events of that particular day. I remember the last weekend my husband and I had before our first child was born. I remember the last guy I kissed before my husband. I remember my last day at work. Most recently, I remember the day before my mom died. I was there in the afternoon, taking her clean laundry to her. I knew she was getting close but it was a normal visit. I told her I would be back the next morning. The next time I saw her, she had died. I tend to remember the melancholy/sad times the most. I remember every bit of any full day when I have received bad news, when I have made a bad/wrong choice. I do have a steel trap for a memory for other things too, but for some reason I instantly memorize all the events of time preceding a bad/sad event.

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  22. I think about this a lot. Every year on the day before my kids’ birthday I think about events of that particular day. I remember the last weekend my husband and I had before our first child was born. I remember the last guy I kissed before my husband. I remember my last day at work. Most recently, I remember the day before my mom died. I was there in the afternoon, taking her clean laundry to her. I knew she was getting close but it was a normal visit. I told her I would be back the next morning. The next time I saw her, she had died. I tend to remember the melancholy/sad times the most. I remember every bit of any full day when I have received bad news, when I have made a bad/wrong choice. I do have a steel trap for a memory for other things too, but for some reason I instantly memorize all the events of time preceding a bad/sad event.

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  23. Well, June, now that you’ve made me think about it! July 4th, 1990 was the last time my family was all together. My father was in the last stages of lung cancer, but still mobile. My only sibling, my sister, her husband and children were here prior to leaving for a trip to the Pacific Northwest. By the next weekend we were burying my brother-in-law following a car accident. The next weekend we buried my daddy.

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  24. Every now and then, yes I do think “Is/was this/that the last time?” Particularly when the phone rings in the middle of the night. Not sad so much, but reflective. It makes choosing how to live life easier I think. Lately I’ve been choosing to live mine with much more kindness and a lot less judgement.

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  25. I remember playing in a softball game two days before my wedding. I said to one of my teammates, “This will be my last at-bat as a single man.”
    He looked at me and said, “Never say never.”
    No truer words have ever been spoken.
    C’mon, gang, cheer up! Didn’t any of you ever say, “This is the last exam I will EVER have to take!”, or “This is the last day I have to work before I retire!”
    It doesn’t have to be all bad!

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  26. I find myself thinking that DURING the something that is happening. I think “This may be the last time we are all together as a group.” Or “Will we all be here next year at this time?”
    Morbid, huh? Or am I just getting old?

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  27. I just did this while playing a slot machine. My mom and I used to gamble together. She loved, loved, loved to play the slots. She always played the double double diamond delux. I was in Vegas and sat down at a double double diamond delux and said outloud “It has been 4 years since I gambled with my mom.” The man sitting next to me looked at me then cashed out and moved. Oh but I did win $140 on that machine. So yeah, there is that.

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  28. Hulk has an excellent point. It was wonderful turning 21, especially because I was married and had already been turned away from doing a lot of things my then 25 year old husband was able to do. Good riddance, and hello hefeweizen!

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  29. Look at Hulk, playing the cheerleader, trying to rally us all back to happiness. How cute!
    Yeah. I remember a lot of lasts. I also remember a lot of firsts. And sometimes I just hope that something was a last!
    You should put your fancy cigarette machine art near Francis’ angry chair. Spruce it up a bit. Maybe make it more of a happy chair?

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  30. Mothers do this all the time. The problem is you never know when the last time is happening, right? The last time you picked up your child and held her on your hip, the last time your toddler nursed to sleep, the last time your pre-adolescent smiled at you. It’s a heart-breaking exercise, this last-timing thing, and best indulged in only when already feeling sorry for oneself for one reason or another.

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  31. Oh June! And oh Furry and the rest of you guys except for Hulk and Jill Munroe!
    You know what this reminds me of? The Regrets post. Where we all cried into our screens together.
    In my life, everything is divided into distinct halves: Before my dad died and after. The last time we had dinner with my dad. The first Christmas without him.
    At the end of each summer, as my girls head back to school, I think, this is one less year we will all have together.
    And now I”m crying. You guys!
    And I just want to say, you guys are the best commenting family there ever was on any blog.

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  32. Such a good post, June. I think about “the last time” all the time…the last time I kissed my father goodbye before he died, the last time my best friend and I shared a drink before I moved across the ocean, the last time my sister and I went on vacation together and came home to a healthy family, etc. They’re definitely bittersweet memories but they remind me how much I’ve loved, and been loved.

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  33. Jeannie. *snort*
    I’m horrible with dates but I do remember about a year before my mother-in-law died that I said to my husband, “We’re entering that phase of life when we start loosing people.” Yep.
    I think that’s why I am trying to stay more “present” as they say. Here. Now. So that I can remember more when I need to.
    Fifth, Fran makes me weapy. I love having pets. I hate that they get old. I stopped reading the archives of bbp because I could not face the death of your other cat. Rosie?

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  34. I always think about the last time I talked to my mom when she was sick with cancer. She was in the hospital and was planning on going home because she was tested and found cancer free.I was on my way to work and said I would call her later but I didn’t because it was too late to call when i left work. Then she had congestive heart failure that night and ended up brain dead on a ventilator. If I had known it was the last time I would talk to her, I would have said more.
    Good times…….

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  35. I was thinking of having toast this morning and remembered that I have “Toasty the talking toaster”, I went up into the cupbaord above the refrigerator where all of life’s mysterys are stored. I pulled down good old Toasty, plugged him in, inserted some really high fiber bread (why do we now need so much fiber, huh?), pushed the lever….. 4 minutes later the toast popped up and Toasty said “toe”.

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  36. Sniffle. My mom, who was my father’s sole caregiver, suffered a sudden and fatal stroke. She never regained consciousness. I never knew our conversation in the ER would be our last. My father, who had been in failing health, died of a broken heart twelve days later.
    I’m an only child and was desperately close to my parents. It was devastating. My dad had been sick for awhile so we always thought he would go first. I thought when my mom was a widow, years in the future, I would get her a little yappy dog named Phyllis to keep her company. But my mom, the picture of health, died first. It was quite a shock.
    Anywho, that was last February and March, but I am very very conscious of the “last time” of everything now. On a lighter note, when we did the book club Sunday, I said to myself, “This is the last time I will do book club from this house because we are moving.” (And you didn’t think I could work that in today, did you?)

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  37. Sniffle. My mom, who was my father’s sole caregiver, suffered a sudden and fatal stroke. She never regained consciousness. I never knew our conversation in the ER would be our last. My father, who had been in failing health, died of a broken heart twelve days later.
    I’m an only child and was desperately close to my parents. It was devastating. My dad had been sick for awhile so we always thought he would go first. I thought when my mom was a widow, years in the future, I would get her a little yappy dog named Phyllis to keep her company. But my mom, the picture of health, died first. It was quite a shock.
    Anywho, that was last February and March, but I am very very conscious of the “last time” of everything now. On a lighter note, when we did the book club Sunday, I said to myself, “This is the last time I will do book club from this house because we are moving.” (And you didn’t think I could work that in today, did you?)

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  38. Sniffle. My mom, who was my father’s sole caregiver, suffered a sudden and fatal stroke. She never regained consciousness. I never knew our conversation in the ER would be our last. My father, who had been in failing health, died of a broken heart twelve days later.
    I’m an only child and was desperately close to my parents. It was devastating. My dad had been sick for awhile so we always thought he would go first. I thought when my mom was a widow, years in the future, I would get her a little yappy dog named Phyllis to keep her company. But my mom, the picture of health, died first. It was quite a shock.
    Anywho, that was last February and March, but I am very very conscious of the “last time” of everything now. On a lighter note, when we did the book club Sunday, I said to myself, “This is the last time I will do book club from this house because we are moving.” (And you didn’t think I could work that in today, did you?)

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  39. I am retiring but not telling anyone until after school is out for the summer. Ugh…don’t want to retire. I’ve worked for a gazillion years and still like it, but health doesn’t agree. It’s unsettling walking down the hall this week and thinking “this is your last week.” Very unsettling and bringing about some pretty intense and hurty feelings.

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  40. He told me the night that his mother died, there were storms & far away he saw purple lightning & someone left the window open & the room filled with a swirl of butterflies & she slipped out quietly without anyone noticing
    & I’m pretty sure the grief was softer because of that.
    Brian Andreas — Butterflies

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  41. He told me the night that his mother died, there were storms & far away he saw purple lightning & someone left the window open & the room filled with a swirl of butterflies & she slipped out quietly without anyone noticing
    & I’m pretty sure the grief was softer because of that.
    Brian Andreas — Butterflies

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  42. He told me the night that his mother died, there were storms & far away he saw purple lightning & someone left the window open & the room filled with a swirl of butterflies & she slipped out quietly without anyone noticing
    & I’m pretty sure the grief was softer because of that.
    Brian Andreas — Butterflies

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  43. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1988, she was a type 1 diabetic who for 62 years had suffered and battled and birthed two sons and was up to that point quite healthy. She was a career woman, a graduate of U of Nebraska and Radcliffe. A Breck girl 1951. An Assistant Superentendant of schools (Ididn’t have too much detention). The “in recovery” breast cancer, reared its ugly head in 2000. It had metastisized into bone cancer. In October of 2006, just weeks before her 80th birthday, she gave my dad a hug, he was going to have cataract surgery on one of his eyes. Her exuberance, the hug shattered her upper arms. After ambulance transport and sedatives, she was placed into a hospice (the most awesome people that ever exist). I was in Toronto at a business meeting, made air connections and flew into San Diego. She had a morphine drip. I did not know or understand at that point that she was being deprived on nutrients…she opened her eyes when I came in from my flight… I do not still to this day know if that flicker was recognition….

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  44. June is still looking like a beautiful bride. Marvin is a lucky guy!

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  45. This post so touched my heart. Our 10th anniversary we were building our dream house, we are still here, almost 34 years later. I thought the last day I worked outside my home would be glorious, but I cried the entire day. I don’t know why, because I was so glad to get out of that place. I did miss my friends.
    I was really sad for Fran. Be kind to your little ole man. He needs special care and love, enjoy him while you have him. Now I’m crying.

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  46. I’ve thought about things like that lots. Like the best friend whose last words to me were “Love You!” as she hung up the phone. Then she for some bizarre reason never spoke to me again. However that is not as sad as having an angry chair!

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  47. Well if I wasn’t feeling all maudlin before I am now, ya bunch of Debbie Downers.
    I’m trying to think of “last time” stuff that was a bit more upbeat. Like the last time I ever needed to buy diapers and formula for my offspring. Or the last time I made a mortgage payment on Hell House. And the last time I was required to wear pantyhose and high heels to work.
    June, you were an absolutely glowing bride. Just beautiful.
    Aw, good ol’ Francis. He reminds me of my old cat, Mister Goat, who looked just like Winston but with Fran’s personality and temperament.

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  48. I have some happy lasts: this day last year was the last day I was unemployed. I’ve had my job for a whole year!
    I also frequently think about my last first kiss; as in, my first kiss with the man who is now my husband. It was a pretty good kiss.

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  49. Now I am sitting in the Sad Chair. I am sorry for all of you who have had sad, heartbreaking experiences of whatever kind, especially the loss kind. I can hardly stand to think this way anymore, I wouldn’t be able to function.

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  50. Yes. Today was one of those days. I spent the day at the hospital with my friend. This morning, she was told her husband, also a dear friend, had a couple of days to live. Would this be the last time I saw him? Would this be the last day she held his hand? Would tomorrow?

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  51. I keep thinking back to a week ago, in bed with my beautiful cat asleep by my feet the way she has done for 8 years. I got up and fed her, she ate her meat and wandered outside. Just the same as she has done for 8 years. Such a normal morning. And I hadn’t a clue that would be the last I ever saw of her.

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  52. I remember the last time I saw my grandma. She was in the hospital very far gone from a stoke. She got very agitated, I think because she couldn’t communicate, and started to scream. Oh, it made me jump, and for a minute I didn’t know what to do. So I started to sing to her, hymns I knew she loved, and she slowly fell asleep. I cried all the way back to the car.
    Sometimes what you think is the last time really isn’t, though. Christmas 2008 we went to Shasta to visit my in-laws and stayed in a really cool rental house. There hadn’t been much snow up there yet that year, and I know it sounds corny, but I prayed for snow for Christmas. It ended up snowing a foot (on top of a foot from the day before) on Christmas Eve, and was the most beautiful sight you can imagine. It was a perfect day of playing in the snow and the kids enjoying their grandparents. Far beyond what I had asked for. I thought for sure it would be my last Christmas on earth because it was so perfect. So all last year I kept asking myself, “Is this the last time…?” Boy, did I breathe a sigh of relief on Dec. 26, 2009!
    Hubs and I have also wondered if we would know when it was the last time we had sex. After almost 28 years of marriage, we’re still pretty frisky, but I wonder if at some point we’ll look at each other and say, “Okay, one more time, but then that’s it… we just don’t have the energy for this anymore!” You must get to that point sometime, right? Like when the arthur-itis and bursitis just kick in too much?

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  53. Just found you via The Nester….very pleased to find you. Had a belly laugh over your Greatest Fears Party.
    On topic, I often remember the last time I saw or spoke with someone before they died. Nice. But probably normal.
    Lately I think of the last time my son– from whom I am estranged–came home for a visit. He kept looking so intently into my eyes, someone who doesn’t do much eye contact, like he knew it was our last time together. In my heart, I hope we get restored some day, but I don’t think it will be soon enough to be here in the home he was raised in from 8-18. So, you’re not alone in morbid remembering of “last times”.

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