The Best Last Words

My 94 year old father's greatest gift to me was his last two words.  He hadn't spoken at all in weeks.  He lay still in his retirement home bed, seemingly unaware of his surroundings, sometimes groaning softly. With eyes closed day and night, he was hanging on- maybe too tightly, to life.  My kids and I stood at his bedside, saying our goodbyes during what we knew would probably be our last time to see him alive. I sat down beside him, held his thin, life-weathered hand, and said, "Daddy, the kids' school year starts tomorrow, so we have to go back home.  We love you."  

With eyes still closed, my dad- in the strong, friendly but long gone voice he'd had when middle aged, cheerfully said,  "Bye bye." Those were his last words, ever.  He passed away just a few days later.

The moral of the story- if there is one, is that the most special memories can come from the very smallest events. It's important to remember those special moments and cherish them for the precious treasures that they are.  They will mean so much to you later when reflections are all that's left.

Leon Nash, on his 94th birthday