I forget where I read or heard this, but: There was a day in your life when it was the last day you played with your childhood friends. Not because anyone died, or because you or any of them moved away, but it was simply the last day all of you were together. And you didn’t realize it at the time. Hell, you might not be able to remember that day even now. But that day happened.
Must admit: I have been thinking a lot about that this week. Especially last Saturday, April 18, the 25th anniversary of the day The Houston Post shutdown. I’ve been trying to remember what I did in the Post newsroom on April 17, 1995 – who I spoke with, what we said – and I’m sad to say that, with precious few exceptions, I’ve been drawing a blank.
But now I have a more pressing concern: I’ve been trying to remember what I said to my University of Houston and Houston Community College students during our final class meetings before the lockdown last month. I hope I said something encouraging, or optimistic, during those meetings. Especially at HCC, since this is my final semester teaching there. I’m still keeping up with all of my students online, of course, as I receive and grade assignments after switching over from lectures to “distance learning” instruction. Yet still I wonder: If I’d known then that I would never see many of them ever again – what would I have said? And would it have mattered?
Our lives, unfortunately, are littered with last days that we don’t see coming, that we might not recognize until long after the fact. Most of them have nothing to do with death, and everything to do with life. Maybe the best way to live our lives is to live each day like it might be the last time we see the people in our lives?