Tuesday, December 20, 2016

If We Knew It Was The Last Time

I've been thinking a great deal about endings...the end of the year...the end of a book...the end of a life...the end of a relationship...endings.  

If we knew this was the end, would we do things differently?  If I knew this would be the last thing I ever wrote, would I write something different?  If I knew this conversation would be the last conversation with you, would I say something else? If I knew this was the last kiss, would I kiss you differently?  If I knew this was the last time I was ever going to have sex with you, would I do something else....more of something... less? If this was the last book I could ever read, would I still choose to read this book?  

They say endings are just new beginnings, but sometimes endings are just endings.  Sometimes there is no new beginning, no do over, no chance to speak again, read again, kiss again or be naked with a person again.  

So, if you knew, if I knew, this was the last word, is this what I would write?  If this is the last conversation, is this the one I want to have?  If that was the last kiss, was it a good one?  

Yes...this is what I would write.  No, that conversation probably wasn't the one I would have chosen to have if I knew it was the last one.  Yes, that kiss was amazing and even though I didn't know it was the last one, it was a good one.  No, if I had known that was the last time I'd be naked with that person, I would have made it more special.  A better place...a better atmosphere...a better ending.  

Yet, I know that when I speak to people I care about, they know for sure I care about them.  My family is sure I love them.  My friends are sure I value them.  I left my job today in good spirits and they know I enjoy it.  That last kiss...it was good.  That last naked time...as perfect as every time before.  Late at night, when the world is quiet, I know my kids are confident that I love them.  Late at night, when the world is not so quiet and thoughts scatter, my friends know they can call and together we will gather those scattered thoughts.  Late at night, when sleep won't come, and life feels anything but perfect, there will be memories of perfection and there can be confidence that one person out there in the world thinks that you are exactly perfect.  

There has to be endings.  But if we take the time to have true conversations, write the right words, kiss with our whole self, tell the people in our lives how much we love them, and show appreciation for perfection, those endings can be good rather than bad, peaceful rather than full of loss. 

I believe it's better to say all the mushy, ridiculous, goofy, girly, sentimental, over the top things rather than reach an ending and not have said them.  So, if these were the last words I ever wrote, then know that I love my family, chose the book, kissed with my whole soul and experienced perfection.  

This is an ending.  But just of this...it's not the end of everything.  

Sunday, December 4, 2016


In 7th grade, by my calculations somewhere around 40 years ago, we took a field trip to the state capital in Sacramento.  Even then, I loved old things.  I bought a super old, ceramic medicine dispenser and a Vaseline container from an antique shop.  At age 18 when I got married, those items, an old thermometer and usually a candle have sat on the back of the toilet everywhere I've lived...which has been a lot of places!  I've raised five kids, had rambunctious boys in my house, had tons of people use the bathroom and that little antique ceramic medicine dispenser has been unscathed...until I lived with people who didn't respect me, value my things, or understand the meaning of memories in symbols.

Someone in that house broke it.  And left it.  On the ground.  Next to the toilet.  And never had the decency to say "Hey, Steph, I broke your thing on accident."  I found it..and I cried.  I picked up the pieces that could be put back together.  When I left, I brought the broken pieces with me.  In this apartment, the broken pieces have sat on the back of the toilet...with a candle, the Vaseline container, the old thermometer.  Today, for some reason, I decided to super glue it back together.  There are some chips missing, there is a huge crack, but it's as whole as it's ever going to be.

Two years ago today, a decision was made to turn off my sister's life support.  By far, the hardest, worst, most painful decision I've ever made in my life.  I broke that day.  And for two years I've been broken in pieces.  I may look like I'm not broken, but I am.  I may sit in the place I'm supposed to sit, where I've always been, but I'm broken.

What is the super glue that puts me back together?  There's a huge crack where my sister used to be.  There are chips gone that will forever be missing.  But what's the glue that puts the pieces of me back together?

Is this as whole as I'm ever going to be?