Have you heard Brad Paisley’s song that proclaims a long list of lasts (called “Last Time for Everything”)? There’s a last time for wearing a tux in a gym, he says. A last time for spending all day on the lake with your granddad. A last time for biscuits and gravy at momma’s house. And so on.
This is why I take so many pictures. A person does run the risk of taking so many that he or she actually misses key moments, so I try to remember that. But I think I’d rather take too many than not enough.
This past week, I attended the funeral of a good friend’s mother. My friend and I go way back. The last time I saw her mom alive was two years ago at my friend’s father’s funeral. Amazingly, she recognized me, even though we hadn’t seen each other in probably thirty years. Sadly, I don’t have any pictures of us together.
A few years ago, I posed for a picture with a buddy in his driveway at his going away party before he served a tour in the Navy overseas. I couldn’t help but wonder if it would be the last time we would ever see each other (I wrote more about it here). Thankfully, he came back safely. So, we’ll have a different last time.
Every Saturday when I visit my 81-year-old mom, I hug her and tell her I love her as I’m heading out the door. Then I pose with her and take several selfies. I try not to think about the fact that each photo could be our last. But when that time comes, I’ll treasure that photo.
How do you try to capture lasts? Memory? Photos? Journal? Something else?
Lee Warren is a freelance writer and editor who has written twelve non-fiction books, one novella and hundreds of articles for various newspapers and magazines as well as edited more than 50 books that currently appear in print. He's a fan of NASCAR, baseball, tennis, books, movies and coffee shops.