Your Last Chance

(published by Glenda Clemens on Go KIND Seattle)

“In case you never get a second chance: don’t be afraid!”
“And what if you do get a second chance?”
“You take it!”
C. JoyBell C.

Today in my email this subject appeared: “This is your last chance!” Now, I know and you do too, that it is NOT my last chance to spend money with any company. The particular company sends me a similar email DAILY for a week or two about every three or four months. So, I know and you know this is NOT my last chance with that company.

I don’t particularly believe there is a way to know for sure what our last chance is. Sometimes we are in a situation that it is very clear: this is our last chance but usually we don’t know for sure. In the example above, it doesn’t matter because I am not going to spend money with that company regardless of how many chances and offers and last efforts they use to entice me. Sometimes, however, it does matter and we did not know that this was truly our last chance.

When I was a little girl, heading off to school one day, I didn’t know it was my last chance to hug my dog Queenie. I came home from school to learn she had gotten out of the yard and been run over by a car. When I was 12 years old my grandmother died. I didn’t know that when I hugged her a few months earlier I would never see her again.

“Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say goodnight till it be morrow.”
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

In these two examples of unknown last chances, although I grieved I did not carry a burden with me because our last moments together were ones of love and kindness. When I hear about someone who had argued or been estranged from someone they love at their last meeting before death took their loved one away, I feel great sadness.

The lesson for me has always been, even when you don’t agree, even when you are angry as hell, even when you are up to the teeth with rage, part with love and kindness. Following the words of the Bard, I prefer to live my life parting with sweet sorrow, with kindness if you will so that when we meet again — if we are lucky enough to do so — we can embrace with love even if we embrace without unity.

Pay attention to partings. Pay attention to love. Pay attention to kindness. It might be your last chance.