These events are eagerly anticipated and joyfully celebrated, memorialized in journal entries and scrapbooks and photo albums and end of year letters to far-flung friends and relatives.
What I have been contemplating recently, though, are lasts. The last time I read a good-night story to one of my children. The last time one of them crawled into bed with me after waking up from a nightmare. The last time my family sat around my grandmother's table sharing a holiday meal. The last time I hugged my brother before he died. The last time I lay in the arms of a lover before our relationship ended.
I wasn't able to fully appreciate these moments because it wasn't until it was too late that I realized how precious they were. Wandering in a fog of thought and too much to do, I missed them all.
Here are a couple of quotes that are going on my bedroom mirror.
First, the admonishment:
"Time is a companion who reminds us to cherish every moment because it will never come again." (Author Unknown)
Then, the redemption:
"I'd rather have a moment of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special. What you need to know about the past is that no matter what has happened, it has all worked together to bring you to this very moment. And this is the moment you can choose to make everything new. Right now." (Makhtal Ali)
Carpe diem, y'all.