The Last Time
“If I’d known it was the last time
I’d held on a little longer…
Let that moment linger
And never let your fingers
Slip away from mine.
If I’d known there’d never be another day
I’d of watched you as you walked away…
Kept you in my eyes til you were out of sight
If I’d known it was the last time.”
~Lee Ann Womack
It’s funny…because the entire time I was in NYC last weekend, I never felt tempted to call my Mr. Big. Never felt tempted to text him. Never felt tempted to reach out to him in any way…even though I was there EXACTLY six months to the day that I last saw him. I felt strong, I felt independent, I felt sassy. I felt bulletproof.
If the flip side of strength is weakness…tonight was my coin toss. My heart finally caught up to me.
I was on the way home a little while ago listening to a Lee Ann Womack CD and her hauntingly beautiful song “If I’d Known It Was the Last Time” came on. Suddenly I was back there on that Queens sidewalk, watching him disappear into a crowd of people as tears rolled down my face, wondering if I would ever see him again.
I haven’t. And something tells me that I won’t. More certain now than I have been in the six + years that I’ve known him…I truly feel that it’s over. We spoke once on Christmas Day and had our swan song conversation, and I don’t expect to see or hear from him ever again. Just as I knew in my heart every time before that it wasn’t over, this time I know with certainty that it is.
But on that October day in Queens, I had no idea. I look back at that girl now, the Mandy of six months ago, standing there on a sidewalk in a city of millions, and I wonder what she would have done differently had she known that the man she loved wasn’t just walking out of her proximity…but out of her life.
Would I have chased after him? Would I have kissed him a little harder? Held on a little longer? Told him I loved him one more time?
Would I have done everything differently? Or nothing at all?
The truth is…I don’t know. And I don’t think I wanna know. I think that’s why, in life, we’re never told when it’s the last time we’ll see someone or hug someone or kiss someone or hold someone’s hand. Life doesn’t come with an itinerary. Ironically enough…if it did…we’d never get where we’re meant to go.
At that moment, had I known it was the last time I’d see him, I might not have walked away. And I needed to walk away. The uncertainty of NOT knowing gave me the certainty I needed to board that train out of Queens and out of his life. So I can look back now in perfect peace, knowing in my heart that things played out exactly as they were meant to.
Last moments are special. Sacred, even. No matter what came before them, they are the moments you remember entire relationships by. But don’t be so quick to look back on last moments and wish you had done something differently. And don’t waste your time wishing you had known beforehand that it WAS, in fact, a last moment. You knew everything your heart and mind could handle at that moment. And you knew everything you needed to know to get you to the next one. Allow yourself to shed a few tears, like I did tonight, as you gaze back on those very special last moments in your life.
But then find your smile again in the comfort of knowing that the flip side of every last moment in one relationship is a first moment in another.
Because this is what I know, from the depths of my heart and soul:
There are no “last moments” with the people who are meant to be in your life.