Even though I am posting this on April 1st, this has nothing to do with April Fools. Something else you see from me might, but this isn’t.
Growing up is full of “lasts”. Some are very obvious, and we see them coming: the last day before becoming a teenager, the last day of classes in high school or college, the “last time I’m telling you to pick up your room”. But there are some things we never realize are the last, and don’t realize it until years later.
I had one of those realizations this past weekend. It was Easter Sunday, a time to be together with family and, of course, have an Easter egg hunt! However, I wasn’t home because of my schedule this year (or last year for that matter), and neither was my little sister, who is off at college now too. As there are two of us away from home now, it gets hard to be home all together. This means that two years ago, when I was a homesick freshman, was probably the last time my family will ever do an Easter Egg hunt together. That is just a weird feeling, and it makes me kind of sad. When you graduate high school, it is big, memorable, final, but that last Easter Egg hunt was none of the above, not out of the ordinary.
When I look back on my life, even my (relatively) short 21 years, I see many of these “ordinary lasts”, and I see more in my future. As I get older, as I become less attached to my family, making my own way in the world, this will become an ever-increasing experience. But this doesn’t make it any easier. Some of them will be good, some bad, but the ending of something is always a bit hard.
This is becoming especially real as a lot of my friends are seniors this year, or are graduating early. When will be the last time I see them? Will I even get to say goodbye? Or will it just end? The realization of that last Easter Egg hunt was hard, but I still get to see my family, I still get to celebrate things with them. With my friends, I don’t know if I will even see them again.
But I think these “ordinary lasts” are actually a blessing. They help us to transition from childhood to adulthood without all the stark contrast the momentous lasts bring to our lives. I’m not normally an emotional person, but I honestly might have cried if I had know that Easter Sunday would be my last hunt, and it would have been hard to go back to college. Although it is sad to look back on, I have grown since then, I am removed from the situation, so knowing it is the last is not quite so hard to deal with.
But now I must move on. Nothing I say or do can stop any of these last times, so I must do my best to make sure that the last time is wonderful, whenever that may be. See you around friend, until it is that time, the time to say goodbye, that one last time.
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
-An old Irish blessing (and a beautiful song)