One Time, It Will Be the Last Time

As I left the house from my 20-minute lunch break earlier today I did what I always do when I leave, I kissed my wife and told her I love her.

I reached the office and sat for a moment and thought about that.  It’s a tradition we;ve established.  My wife does it and I do it, every time, without fail.  We never leave without taking a moment for each other.

Everyone tries to avoid thinking about the terrible things that can happen.  Most of the time, because they don’t happen all that often, we succeed.  We can get complacent.  We can get sloppy.  This is the sure path to regret.

I kiss my wife goodbye every time I leave, and I do it because one time it will be the last time.  Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but one day, one day it will.  One day I will kiss her goodbye, and it will be Goodbye.  I doubt very much that I will get advance warning.

There’s an apocryphal but wonderful story of Martin Luther.  He was out in a yard, working, when one of his parishioners came by and saw him with his hands in the dirt.  Indignantly, the parishioner said, “Martin, what are you doing?  If you knew that Christ would come tomorrow, what would you be doing right now?”  And Luther looked up at the parishioner and said, “I’d be planting this tree.”

Always be doing what you would be doing.  One time, it will be the last time.  Leave with no regrets.

4 Responses to “One Time, It Will Be the Last Time”

  • If I knew that Christ were coming I’m not sure I’d be blogging. But then I guess you never know.

    As to whether you’ll get any warning, the fact is that you probably will, most people do. But reminding your wife, and yourself, that you love her is never going to be a bad thing. Keep it up.

  • PS. I love you. Just thought you should know.

  • Catherine says:

    Scott never leaves without a goodbye and “love you” as well. I suppose I’ve come to take it for granted. And yet, it is very noticeable when he forgets, and I’m sad until he comes home.

  • Amy Jo Yates says:

    What a powerful example. I guess I have a similar tradition with my young son. From the begininng, I have never wanted to just disappear on him or sneak out. That felt wrong. I always want to say goodbye, not be sneaky. He is learning that I will be true with him. He is learning that he can count on his mom being honest and real with him, even if he doesn’t always like it. He is learning that even though I’m saying goodbye, that I am not abandoning him, I plan on returning.

    As he grows, I hope that this tradition – a pattern of honesty and love will shine through in our relationship always.

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