I have been feeling a little despondent this week. My family has suffered the loss of someone very dear to our hearts.
Upon hearing the news of her passing, one of my first thoughts were, “When was the last time I saw her? What was our last conversation about? When was the last time I hugged her neck?”
Life is full of last times, the same goes for motherhood. With either one, the hardest thing about the “lasts” is that you never know when that might be.
You never know the last time your newborn will fall asleep on your chest or take a bottle. There will be a last time that your toddler will ask you to carry them on your hip or crawl into your bed late at night to cuddle. There will be a last time you wash their hair, help them get dressed and read them their last bedtime story.
Sometimes it is hard to cherish these moments, but it is so important that we do. I know that may be hard to do when your newborn isn’t sleeping through the night, and you haven’t slept but 4 hours in the stretch of 3 days. I know that it may be hard to think you’re going to miss lugging a 40-pound child around or not having your bed to yourself. It is hard to imagine that you are going to miss the chaos of coming home after a long day at work, just to get right back to it with finishing homework and the whole bedtime routine.
I know life is full of these “lasts.” Your last day of work before hitting that long awaited retirement, your last day of school before entering the work field, your last time seeing someone’s smile, your last hour, your last breath.
I know this may seem depressing, but it is reality.
I know my experience with losing a loved one this week has really allowed me to refocus and concentrate on enjoying the moments we have. So, I won’t complain the next time I have to change Kameron’s diaper or the next time I have to carpool some kids to school. I will not give a second thought to breaking my back the next time Ashton runs to me with her arms up because she wants to be held. I will gladly help Emerson fix her hair for school or paint her nails.
I honestly would not put it past me to haul all three of them into my room tonight for a good cuddle session because I know there will come a time when they will prefer to go to their own rooms, shut their doors, and completely ignore my existence.
But I still have today, and I am going to cherish it.
(Paige Nash is a mother to three daughters and a digital journalist with The Webster Parish Journal.)
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