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Firsts & Lasts: Life's Equal & Opposite Reactions
As fate would have it, this was also one of the last dishes we enjoyed as our lives have diverged in mid-life.
It was never planned, it just happened that way.
Firsts and Lasts.
It seems life's events, like physics, have equal and opposite reactions.
The first time I held my niece was at the hospital. She weighed a mere 6 pounds and had a freakishly perfect baby manicure. The last time I held her in my arms, she fell asleep on my lap. I vividly remember the unusually warm Canadian summer day in the basement of my sister’s house. I was in Edmonton for my wedding and had watched my niece that day while my sister worked. For some cosmic reason, I just knew this would be the last time I would hold her as a child.
The first time I visited Ellen, a library patron to whom I voluntarily delivered books, she was straight forward, knew what she wanted, and was not afraid to tell me when I had missed the mark on bringing her a good book. I especially liked visiting Ellen because her rigorous reading preferences challenged me to forage our library shelves for just the right tome. If I scored a Georgina Gentry book, I was queen.
The last time I saw Ellen, she was unexpectedly sick in bed.
Our eyes met tenderly, yet with palpable foreboding.
“Do you want me to leave you some books this week?” I asked knowing the answer.
“No, honey, I won’t read them.” She said weakly, staring intently into my eyes.
“Okay, get better soon. I’ll pray for you.” I said spontaneously.
“Thank you.” She said holding my gaze the way you’d hold back a toddler on the edge of the Grand Canyon.
Without words, she had unmistakably let me know this was our last exchange.
Our children grew, went to school, and still we met.
The last time we all got together was this past fall. We headed out on a spa weekend right before our schedules would be consumed by holiday chaos. The weeks before Christmas would pass without our usual weekly lunches. As each week passed, I felt one of those weird seismic shifts that happen in life, the kind where something as comfy as an old shirt suddenly doesn’t seem to fit anymore. I now find it prophetic that our final Trio lunch was eaten at a spa undergoing major renovations.
We all know buildings aren’t the only things that are renovated.
First and lasts constantly renovate our inner souls by sprinkling themselves throughout our lives like chocolate chips in a banana muffin.
The last time I held my niece as a child was bittersweet, but she has grown into a dynamic young women with whom I have long philosophical Skype sessions. I like to think we are two old souls making sense of a complicated world. (My sister is probably rolling her eyes!)
The ending of my chapter with Ellen at the nursing home turned into a new chapter with another patron equally as delightful and challenging as my dear Georgina Gentry fan. My patron list changes often at Pioneer Manor, but each reader remains with me even years later.
And while our weekly Trio lunches have faded, the curtain has been raised on lunches with other women navigating the mysteries of midlife and intriguing new careers right along with me.
Firsts and lasts are sometimes difficult and emotional.
But firsts and lasts are the primary ingredients in our personal stories.
Sprinkle liberally with love, compassion, wonder and curiosity and you have the recipe for something amazing.
Peace & Light,
The Busy Buddha
Talk Back to the Trio
What strategies would you offer someone struggling to move forward onto life's next first or last? Share your ideas!