I was making an old school pop mix (80s MTV years) when I realized that I hadn’t heard certain songs in my collection since the actual era in which they were hits. I just sat back and said, “whoa” as I bopped to the groove(s) that gave me so much joy in their heyday. Then I wondered if I would ever have heard them again if I hadn’t been making the mix.
That was the scary part about it.
I’ve got over 20,000 songs in a collection I’ve amassed since I was a child in the 70s, including songs I learned to love from my father’s days. I know for a fact that I won’t listen to them all again before I die and so I wonder… …what, from my stash, have I listened to for the final time?
But that doesn’t just apply to music. I mean, think about it. There are hangout/vacation spots you’ve been to that were either one-time visits or places you’ve frequented quite often over the years. But at some point, you have or will visit them for what will likely be the final time.
Food too. There’s something you’ve had, whether you enjoyed it or not, that you will never have again in this lifetime. For me, if liver falls on that list, I won’t shed a single tear. But some things I’m still sour about because they came from places that are no longer in business and no one makes them like these people did. One in particular would be the Chicago-style deep dish pizza I used to get from Wholly Joe’s, right here in the Columbus area. And speaking of pizza, I’m thinking about a place called Iggy’s back in East Chicago, whose pizza I’ve been missing for decades.
And don’t get me started on those recipes that my grandmother, father, mother (alive, but suffering from dementia), aunts and cousins took with them. Yeah, I’ve talked about that before – how I wish I had taken the time to learn them.
And then there are the people.
I remember, when speaking in front of my high school senior classmates during our final weekly meeting in the auditorium. I told them to look around at each other because other than graduation, it would be the last time we’d be together in totality, ever again. Sure, we might try, but once we’ve gone on our separate ways, it’s with all likelihood that we will never even be in the same city again, maybe even state. I guess that’s why I was so depressed while sitting on stage during Commencement. As I looked along the sea of fearful, sad and/or excited faces, all I could think about was it being our last hurrah.
Which brings me to my point. But please, don’t let this thought depress you in any way. Consider it a call to action…
We never know just who we might be seeing or talking to for the final time. Unless they’re on their way to the electric chair, nothing is certain (I know, I know – even THAT has its exceptions. Shut up.).
So, take this moment. In fact, take EVERY moment. But don’t assume that you will never see this person again. What I’m encouraging you to do is APPRECIATE them. HUG them. TELL them what they need to know or hear.
Enjoy every moment you have with everyone you care about. Cherish every second. Don’t let anger, misunderstandings, lies, jealousy, rumors or anything else come between you two and the joy you both deserve.
That person is your friend or loved one for a reason. A bond created by mutual decision.
And while we’re at it, make and take time to contact someone you haven’t talked to in awhile. Check on them. Catch up with them. Laugh with them.
Don’t let the last time BE the last time.
NEVER be the one to say “I wish I had told them” or “I wish I had more time”.
But know this.
If it IS the final time, please know, sincerely, that I appreciate each and every one of you…
…I love you… …I’m so blessed to have met you…
…and I’m so glad to have you in my life.
(But don’t worry. I ain’t goin’ anywhere, if I have anything to say about it.)
Go on and play that music.
Play it and enjoy every song as if you’ve never heard it before and never will again.
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