I am not an especially sentimental person.
Maybe that isn’t a fair statement. I have sentiment. I care about relationships. I treasure memories. I cry during Julianne Moore movies.
More acurately, I don’t sentimentalize. This is a true fact. I no longer need to save every scrap of paper I’ve ever written on. I don’t treat every holiday and birthday as an extra-special event. Babies are not cute just because they are babies. &c.
One thing I’ve especially not sentimentalized is last words. While I don’t make it a point to walk away angry, I’m not of the mind that your last utterance to someone suddenly becomes the summation of your entire relationship.
I didn’t get a perfect goodbye with either of my grandmothers, but I think they knew all they needed to know about our connections. Would I have taken more time with them if it was given to me? Absolutely – if it was time in their prime, when our relationship was the most real and vivid. But, not just to change whatever silly thing came out of my mouth last. Not to say anything I had left unsaid.
Loss has been on my mind lately, as friends of mine have been experiencing it much too soon. A few minutes ago Elise informed me that last week also took with it the life of someone we are connected to, tangentially. And, while I am not in tears, I am desperately saddened by our loss.
It’s hard with tangents. They aren’t a part of your center, but they are part of your whole. You don’t always think to tell them how much you value and appreciate them, because they touch your life so glancingly.
The thing is, I do think of those things. I make a point of it. Yet, I am wracking my brain for the last time I expressed that to the person we’ve lost, and I cannot place if I ever opened my mouth.
Please open your mouth tomorrow. To the person that least expects it.