ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Health»
  • Quality of Life & Wellness»
  • Personal Development

For the Last Time: A Moment with Bill Reflection

Updated on December 16, 2014

Early on in Life

I visited the family farm in Iowa for the last time in 1954. The green corn stalks swayed in the wind, whispering their song on a hot summer’s day, as grandma pulled hot biscuits from the oven and the family gathered around the dining room table in prayer and thanks. It was the last day I would see Aunt Vi, Uncle Jake, and my grandparents. Today they are distant memories, short documentaries in the theater of my mind, re-played from time to time, in black and white, for a crowd of one.

I said goodbye to childish things as school demanded more maturity, more responsibility, and more attention to the seriousness of life. The puddles were splashed in less often. The giggles, which once could be heard almost daily, decreased in number as the weight of the future rammed headlong into the carefree nonchalance of childhood.

I pulled ponytails for the last time, read comic books for the last time, went roller-skating for the last time, and believed in Santa Claus for the last time, all before puberty grabbed me in a chokehold and altered the course of my life.

I was tucked into bed by my parents for the last time, hunted Easter eggs for the last time, and saw the smiling faces of many childhood friends, all for the very last time.

For the last time with some family members
For the last time with some family members | Source

The Teen Years Marched On

Easter dinner was spent, for the last time, with two more aunts, one uncle, and another grandmother, all during the teen years.

I played catch with my father for the last time during those formative times. I cruised the strip, goggled at Janice Armstrong’s breasts, and double-clutched in a road race, all for the last time. I jumped off the high-dive at Surprise Lake, the water shimmering below, beckoning me, taunting me, and I raised my arms in triumph after surfacing, another dare answered, another step on the journey of those teen years, for the last time.

I played Little League baseball for the last time, said goodbye to my faithful dog Pixie for the last time, and danced in school proms for the last time. I watched in awe as a space ship landed on the moon, experienced the mystery and wonder of a first kiss, and lost my innocence, all for the last time.

I spent summers not working for the last time, relaxing in the glorious comfort that only a lack of responsibility can provide. I strutted the strut of the young, preened and pranced in all my majestic plumage, for the last time, and said farewell to naivety for the last time, as the 60s faded from view and adulthood reared its ugly head. Sock-hops, family rosary sessions, neighborhood barbecues with Jimmy and Patrick, and family Sunday dinners, all in the rearview mirror of my life, never to be experienced again.

For the last time playing high school sports
For the last time playing high school sports | Source

A New Reality

I said “I love you,” in person, to my father, mother, and sister, all for the last time. I stood atop Mt. Rainier and watched the sun rise over the valleys below, for the last time. I held dozens of jobs for the last time, mourned over hundreds of regrets for the last time, and gave up on myself for the last time.

I questioned the existence of love for the last time, and wondered about the purpose of life for the last time. I looked in a mirror and said “I hate you” for the last time, purposely hurt someone for the last time, and allowed myself to be disrespected and abused for the last time.

I said adios to cruelty, anxiety, and over-indulgence, ridding myself, once and for all, of those tri-headed monsters, and kicked to the curb the twins of evil, complacency and apathy.

I ate with reckless abandon for the last time, drank a drink for the last time, and considered my body indestructible for the last time.

So many last times approaching
So many last times approaching | Source

Missing the Old, Embracing the New

Do I miss it all? I would be a liar if I said “no,” for much of my former life was dear to me, and there are still times when I will long for the suppleness of youth, the carefree, reckless abandon that marked so much of my younger years. There are times when I cry over opportunities wasted, and there are nights when the darkness falls upon me and I wish for one more chance to tell my mother, father, sister, and friends, all now gone, how much they meant to me, or to tell those I wronged that I am so very sorry. I mourn the lost chances, the excessive ego, and the times I could have helped someone but failed to do so.

But those times are few.

The darkness then fades, replaced by the majestic sunrises of my later years. Today I can close my eyes and experience the wonder of senses exploding with input. I smell the autumn air, hear the love in our household, taste the small, and large, victories of life, feel the accomplishments so hard-earned, and see miracles that once seemed unattainable.

Today I end my day in reflection, allowing myself a pat on the back for a job well-done, and making adjustments for actions that were beneath me. Today I can toss my ego aside and admit to you and everyone that I need all of you, and my life is so much richer because you all are in my life.

There will be many more “last times,” or so I hope, but eventually, as surely as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, the day will come when I will breathe for the last time. When that moment comes, when a lifetime of joy and pain, triumphs and defeats, finally ends, I will smile, and say I love you all, for the last time.

And I will be at peace.

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 23 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, that is music to a writer's soul. Thank you. I'm so happy you find something in my writing that help you on your journey. Thank you so much, and may blessings be your companion always.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 23 months ago

      Hi Bill,

      A double gainer ' for the Last Time' re-living memories cherished as a great treasure forever, while on the other hand to make better now ( where possible) what have been omitted due to immaturity.

      Lately I am spending some quality time in reflections, and your writings my friend are instrumental in keeping sentiments alive.

      Peace with us.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anna, that was a lovely thing for you to say and I thank you sincerely. I love writing pieces like this one and having them appreciated for what they are...my honest, heartfelt feeling about life.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

      This was beautiful. You have the rare gift of allowing yourself to share what is inside without holding back and it really does speak to our souls.

      Your honesty and openness is a huge credit to you. Your journey, like the rest of us has been winding and you have clearly grown and then reached out to others due to your path.

      It is a pleasure to know you Mr Holland and your current peace and contentment with life are inspiring.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      toknow, thank you for the very kind words. I love hearing from friends like you who let me know I'm on the right track. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 2 years ago

      Awww Bill. Your talent in writing, your thoughtful expression, and the wisdom in your thoughts shine through each and every word you have written. As usual your writing reaches my soul to touch my emotions and give my mind more to ponder for today and beyond. Thank you for being you! Wishing a healthy and happy New Year to you and Bev!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Sue, for stating it so beautifully. Merry Christmas to you and yours, and many blessings to you.

      bill

    • profile image

      Susan Sproull 2 years ago

      Bill, I feel the sense of peace in your words. Thank you my friend.

      As we get older we have more last times but may we never let age prevent us for having more first times. I know there will be more first times for you.

      Merry Christmas and Best wishes to you and Bev in the New Year!

      Sue

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you vkwok. I hope the same thing. :)

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you for sharing this touching story for us Bill! All I can say more is that I hope that the day won't be here for a long, long, long time to come.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, the angels are bringing Christmas well-wishes, hugs, and blessings. They love chocolate chip cookies, by the way, so stock up. :)

      Thank you dear friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Genna. An earned gift for sure, but one well-worth paying for. Peace be with you my friend, and Happy Holidays to you and yours.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It is, indeed, wonderful, Sandra. I'm not bored for sure. :) Happy holidays to you and yours.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      You carried me right along with you as shared your last times. This is the second journey back in time I have taken today having read another not too many minutes ago.

      You ended it as we all should....we would say "I love you" and be at peace. That is the way to go for sure.

      As always I am so glad that I visited this evening.

      Merry Merry Christmas to you all out in Washington.

      Angels are bringing blessings to you. ps

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      “The nonchalance of childhood”…and those awkward, poignant, immortal teen years. You described these life phases so well, Bill. I like the photo of your family; they look happy, caring people. We all wish for a few more “last times,” but it is what we remember and take with us to those last days. It is a cumulative life that we live. To be able to say, “I will smile, and say I love you all, for the last time. And I will be at peace,” is an earned gift – and a priceless one at that. Beautiful article, Bill! Voted up and shared.

      Merry Christmas!

    • Sandra Eastman profile image

      Sandra Joy Eastman 2 years ago from Robbinsdale MN

      Bill

      I think we all individuals and no matter how well you express your thoughts some people will see them differently than you intended but isn't it wonderful we have so much diversity in the world. Just think how bored we'd be without it. Enjoy your holiday. Blessings

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, this may have come out a bit more melancholy than I had planned. :) Several commented in that vein, but it wasn't my intention. I really have to work harder at getting my central point across. Thanks for sharing your thoughts...have a Happy Weekend.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      I find it sad to think about the last of anything. I prefer to think about new beginnings. That's not realistic I know, but if I keep thinking this could be the last time, I probably wouldn't be able to move forward for grief.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sandra, this writer is humbled to know that his words can help people, so thank you! That has always been my goal as a writer, to reach out and touch people on an emotional level. I greatly appreciate your affirmation, and I wish you peace over the holiday season.

    • Sandra Eastman profile image

      Sandra Joy Eastman 2 years ago from Robbinsdale MN

      Hi dear Bill I am writing this note to you tonight at two in the morning but I guess it's not tonight. Smile.

      I am left stunned and in awe at this beautiful piece and it spoke so much to my heart tonight. This past year has been chaos in my life and the lives of my children and grandchildren. Now we approach Christmas with great sadness because the family is in such disarray. I have been heartsick over this for many weeks, but reading your words gave me an inner peace to just knowing that all things to work together for good to those that love God and for those respect themselves enough to believe in themselves. I don't know what the future lies ahead in the future none of us do but I do know that The belief in oneself is vital to survival. Thank you for sharing yourself. Thank you for giving a piece of yourself so that others might find that inner strength that you have gained. Have a Merry Christmas and God bless you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so very much, Vellur. I am so happy that others found this to their liking.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathleen, thank you so much. I truly appreciate your kind words....truly! There are days when writing seems so easy...and then there are days when every word is a struggle. This one flowed smoothly and I am grateful.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Beautiful reflections and you must pat yourself on the back for this wonderful hub you have written.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Hubbers out there: take heed. This is what writing is, whether Google finds it or not.

      What a message. What a sensation to read this heartfelt expression. When the time comes that you experience some "lasts" - remember this hub. I've recently seen a child graduate for the last time (wonderful). I've recently hugged my Mother for the last time (heartbreaking, mainly because I only knew it was the last time later). This is what writing is. Take heed.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Michelle! Growth and wisdom indeed, and isn't that what we all aim for? Well, not all, but we can hope, right? :)

    • mdscoggins profile image

      Michelle Scoggins 2 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Great reflection Bill. What a way to demonstrate the growth and wisdom of a lifetime, but one that is still growing and learning. Evaluating your day is a wonderful way to say goodbye to the old and prepare for the new upon waking where there are no regrets.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Graham! You were the reason I returned to this. I just needed a nudge in this direction.

      Have a superb evening my friend.

      bill

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. Two great videos, it's so good to see you back in these reflective mood hub's. Tip Top writing of course without an ounce of padding anywhere. I enjoyed the whole work.

      voted up and all.

      Graham.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, you found the message and for that I am happy. Don't waste this gift of life....I'm glad you sifted through my words and found the gem. :) Thank you, and I hope your friend is doing better.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I spent the day yesterday with a friend at the hospital, so trying to catch up. I must say that this was sad for me but something we all do. There are so many words unspoken to loved ones who are gone, a smile, a phone call. This piece is a wonderful reminder to say and do the deeds before it's too late. Having peace in your heart is so important, and I'm getting there. Thank you Bill..

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Fire8storm, thank you for the lovely words. I write from the heart and hope that I reach the hearts of others.

    • profile image

      Fire8storm 2 years ago

      Billybuc, you have such a wonderful gift with words and a beautiful flow to your writing which makes your work so touching and heartfelt to read. I was truly touched this piece, thank you for sharing such personal thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very profound, Catherine. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, which are so right on!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      This is such a beautiful personal essay. One of the problems with last times is that often we don't realize at the time that it is the last time. As we age, there are so many more last times than first times. The key to successful aging is to make sure you always have first times in your life. So inspiring, I'm voting up and sharing. Also B, I, U, A.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Iris, it's a deal. We'll see you when you get here.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, DDE!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, as long as people enjoy my writing, I'll keep writing. Heck, my friend, it's in my blood. I doubt I could stop now. Thank you for your kind loyalty.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia. I was trying for sad and beautiful, so your comment made me very happy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Venkatachari M....reflection is good for the soul, my friend. I'm so glad you enjoyed this. I promise not to say "my last hub" for quite some time. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, thank you so much. If I can reach a reader in that way, I am very gratified as a writer. Your comment made my day.

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      How about we pack a picnic lunch and you two take me on one of those beautiful hikes you post pictures of. :)

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great thoughts here and always interesting at the same time.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hey Bill, like Annart I thought you were going to say this was your last "Moment with Bill"..glad that was wrong. great article here that I can relate to. A line from Frank Sinatra's 'My Way' comes to mind.."Regrets, I've had a few.. but then again, too few to mention.." I found this to be a wonderful read. Promise to keep on writing for many more years.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a lovely piece of writing, Bill. It's sad and beautiful at the same time. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      You have become so moody, Bill!!! Your full heart is here on paper. Very touching to our hearts bringing deep sighs and tears. I too had those many last moments in my life and I can understand what it is like to experience and miss them. I also used to regret for those missed chances and failures in life.

      Thanks for sharing all these moments. I wish you will never say this is my last hub. I would never want you to say that. Wish you all best wishes. Voted up and awesome.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Oh my God Bill! This is the most beautiful/touching/brilliant thing I have read or heard in I-can't-remember-when-or-ever. You have brought tears to my eyes. And a deep sigh of shame, regret, acknowledgement that I too have so many of those "lasts". We cannot correct our past mistakes, but we can learn through them. I feel blessed to be where I am today. Thank you for sharing this and giving us a chance to reflect, grow, and move on.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, you summed it up perfectly. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and I really appreciate the kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lil Sis, I suspect they are fully aware of how much you love them, because I can't imagine you keeping that a secret. Some people are just distant and completely different, even family members....I've seen it in my family, and I know it is true in others as well. I hope you can visit them soon and say what you want and need to say.

      Thank you dear friend.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Beautiful Bill. Reading this makes me reflect back on all the "last times" I've experienced in life. We all have highs and lows in life and they all add up to the experiences that help to shape us into who we are today. Hopefully we have many more "last times" left. A wonderful essay that I thoroughly enjoyed.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 2 years ago from Western NC

      Beautiful words, Big Bro. For some reason, I am really wanting to visit my parents more, talk to them more and hug them more. I know we will never be all that close - they are my grandparents, and we definitely have different perspectives on things - but I always hope they know how much I love them and how grateful I am for everything they did for me. Next time I talk to them, I'll be sure to tell them so. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Iris, you are a kind soul, and I'm so happy we have become friends. Thank you so much. I love it when I can connect with people on a special level. If you ever make it to Olympia, allow Bev and I to buy you lunch.

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Bill, this may be my favorite article I've read of yours! You used a writing tool that I love-the repeated line, "for the last time". I had goosebumps!

      Your video is awesome. I'm so glad you put it in there. And Beverly is adorable. I would jump up and yell "amen" if I thought you could hear me. You have some great lines in that video that I wanna give you props for but I don't want to steal your thunder for those who didn't watch it (if you didn't watch it, go back and do it).

      Voted up and anything else I could click.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Efficient. I kind of hope I'm around for a long, long time too. I'm enjoying life very much at this point. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jaye, I can't really say I was grateful at the time, but looking back now, I can see how I needed all of the hard lessons to finally reach this point in life. Thank you for the kind words. I'll take an awesome any old day. :)

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Jo! I have great faith in those angels of hope, and my life continues to be blessed.

      Blessings to you and yours this holiday season.

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 2 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      Wow, that was a very powerful and insightful read. I hope you are around for a long long time and I enjoy your hubs.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 2 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Bill - You've written a lot of profound and inspiring essays, but this one is breathtaking. The person each of us becomes is the product of how we respond to life's lessons along the way...how soon we actually learn what they offer us. Even when it takes longer than we'd later wish, how marvelous to finally awaken every day with appreciation for the present and hope for the future. Perhaps we should also be grateful for those bumps in the road on the way to enlightenment.

      Voted Up

      Useful/Awesome (an overused word, but accurate in this context)/Beautiful/Interesting

      and Shared

      Jaye

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 2 years ago

      What a Beautiful reflection Bill. You have some of the most sincere and thoughtful words expressed about all those last times a person may have. And sometimes the last time to be afraid of expressing what yearns to be said, even if it is a last time for this too. I pray that you have many more years to share your reflections!

      Always in my admiration, to learn from the best that is you. In my heart of deep gratitude for the blessing of your friendship.

      Shared, up to the angels of hope that you will always be blessed! :-)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Manatita, there are always those undesirable experiences to be remembered, but my positive memories far outweigh those negatives.

      No, I'm not checking out anytime soon, or at least I don't think I am. :)

      Merry Christmas to you and yours, my friend, and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pinoy, I agree with you completely. I love my memories while I look to the future. Thank you for your beautiful thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      you are very welcome, m abdullah javed! :)

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      I cross my fingers and hope that you are not thinking of checking out, Bro, 'for the last time.' Lots to do here. He he he.

      Interesting article and somewhat different slant. I have had the odd moment or to when I look back myself. Never easy as you know. Always one or two undesirable experiences. All one can say is that our Beloved knows best, and that the shaping and moulding are necessary to become beautiful vases such as we are or would love to be.

      Hey, MERRY CHRISTMAS, Bro! Love to Bev and your loving dog. Peace.

    • PinoyMom profile image

      Shiela Gerona 2 years ago from Philippines

      Sir Bill you remind me of our farm. I also grew up in a small farm with my grandparents. It's good to remember those happy times when your family is complete. Although my father and grandfather died, their good memories will always be remembered. We need to embrace such changes and continue with our life. God bless.

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 2 years ago

      Thank you very much. Bill Sir.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Debra. Hurts and losses...most definitely. It is all part of life, the good and the bad...and we learn and move forward.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you m abdullah javed. God has showered me with mercy and good health, and I am most grateful for the gifts given. May you have a rich life this week and always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill. I will always have a special place in my heart for Iowa. :)

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      Wow and you have had a full life so far. I am glad that you listed your hurts and losses as well as the road ahead and times that you are at peace. Thank you for that.

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 2 years ago

      The memoirs of the 'last time' coupled with a true sense of 'realisation of self' simply portrays an experience of a lifetime. If we articulate the same into our lives we will be enriched with years of experience, then in no way we remain the crowd of one. Thank you so much Bill sir for sharing with us your past memories and the present emotions. Very inspiring and touchy. The relationship with the relatives speaks of the love and respect you have for them. May God shower His mercy on you and keep you in good health.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thanks, for the memories. I was privileged to grow up in that black and white image from Iowa clear through high school in 1957, before going out into the real world (college).

      Enjoyed your memories, as well. Thanks, again, for sharing in such readable prose! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I first hear that phrase in a movie ten years ago, and it has stayed with me. I just love the sentiment behind it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dora. If I create reflections in my readers then I'm one happy writer.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Yep, sweet melancholy is a much better phrase for my sentiment.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, your article brought to my mind, the last sermon I heard before graduation from a Christian College. The title was "Last." Good reading, good memories, good writing. Thanks!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, thank you! That means a lot to me. I can see why you would say sad....I prefer to call it sweet melancholy. :) Have a great day my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jo. I wish I could make some money writing like this. I'd do it every day. :) Now, back to my customers. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Larry, and I wish the same for you and your lovely bride.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Wow, Bill. This is sad and inspirational at the same time. We all have a bank of 'last times' that live on in memories. Sometimes it takes hearing someone else bear their soul to reflect on last times. And the first times.

      This is beautiful, Bill. It blew me away.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And I thank you, Eric! Peace be with you, my friend.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Bill, this is truly beautiful. Self reflection on the fullness of life can turn confusion to clarity and so much more. The beauty of doing something for the last time is that there are so much more to do for the first time. This is profound, very affecting writing my friend.

    • profile image

      larry kitzmann 2 years ago

      As always well said my friend--nothing I would add even if I were able. Take care and have a great holiday season with many more to come.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Truly a beautiful piece. I find peace in reading it, twice. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Country, thank you so much. Your comment was music to my ears, and I greatly appreciate your kind words. Thank you again.

    • Country-Sunshine profile image

      Country Sunshine 2 years ago from Texas

      Oh, billybuc! I was so touched by this article!

      It is as such the way we should look at life. The good times - and the bad - that were our last. Enjoy them while you can, learn from them, and hope that there is another day to experience more of life's amazing adventures. Blessings to you, and looking forward to more of your inspiring & thoughtful articles!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very, very true, Carol. I love how clearly I can see some truths today, and one of them is appreciation for all of life, the good and the bad....it's all a gift to be enjoyed and cherished.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Suzette!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Frank! We'll sit down and have a great meal and talk of all the great articles we never wrote. :) Blessings always my friend.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 2 years ago from Arizona

      I have been inspired to think of my last times. And we do have many in life...some good and some very challenging. We are constantly ending chapters of our lives--when we change jobs, move to a new home, take on a new partner, and the list goes on. Getting older has some benefits and the main one is appreciation for life--past, present and future.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 2 years ago from Taos, NM

      Beautiful words and thoughts. That's life!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you for opening up your journal keeping us entertained.. this one had that good ole John Boy feel to it.. and the last paragraph.. kept sadness and joy struggling for supremacy.. don't know if I can say good-bye.. but see you when I see you in that big mail-room in the sky .. for now keep on striking the keys.. bless you bro

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh thanks a lot, dammit! DJ, now you have my crying. How dare you do that. LOL

      What a lovely, lovely comment, my friend. Thank you! I love you as well. Years ago I wouldn't have been able to say that....say "I love you" to someone you've never met? How stupid is that? But today....today I can give and accept love freely, and cherish it like a fine wine I'm not allowed to drink. :)

      You have touched me.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine! Live a life of love and those last breaths will be peaceful. I guarantee it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, you pretty much said it all at the end...and the reason for me writing this...enjoy every day whilst we still can. Thank you for "getting it." I never had a doubt that you would.

      Have a marvelous Tuesday my friend.

      bill

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      Oh, my God, Bill. That is the most remarkable, heartfelt writing that I have read in a long time. Now, you have me with tears blurring my eyes.

      You are so open and sincere, and to tell you the truth, I don't get much

      in the way of true feeling spoken in my world of testosterone.

      You are a man in touch with your feelings and are secure enough to speak from your heart. That is a rare trait, believe me.

      I appreciate you for being a friend and writing teacher. You have heard me say it before; if it were not for your guidance and encouragement,

      I would not be spending most of my day writing, accomplishing a goal

      which I would never have had the courage to attempt, if it were not for you.

      I love you for the man you are.

      I love you for the friend that can always be counted on.

      I love you because you are an open book.

      But, most of all, I love you for believing in me, when I had no one else

      who would.

      For all these reasons and more, I love you.

      Thank you,

      DJ.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 2 years ago from New York, New York

      Beautiful and thoughtful, Bill and I truly hope I can be at as much peace someday when I do take my last breathes, too. Very much gave me hope for that. So, thank you Bill and wishing you a great day ahead now!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      How lovely, bill. We all have those last times, don't we? We all have regrets. But, like you, we have to move on, learn and accept that those mistakes were for a reason. We now live with more understanding, more compassion and we make the most of the now, with fond memories of those who've done it all for the last time.

      Our lives here on hubpages, too, are all the richer for having you as a friend, bill, and hopefully we appreciate all our family and friends around us.

      When I first read your title I thought you meant it was the last time you were doing one of your 'Moments with Bill'; heaven forbid! They're brilliant and one never knows what you'll come up with next.

      Lovely thoughts for a winter's day.

      My best to you, bill, as we all get closer to that last time for everything; let's enjoy every day, every hour, every second whilst we still can.

      Ann :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you word55...I was a pitcher and outfielder as well. Good times for sure, but today my life is so much richer.

      Blessings always, my friend

    • word55 profile image

      Word 2 years ago from Chicago

      Hey billybuc, your story is very inspiring. You looked good in your baseball outfit. I wore one just like it. I was a little league pitcher and outfielder... I expect to see you reporting for at least another twenty years or so, so keep them coming. Don't go away too soon. Thanks a lot. May God continue to keep and strengthen you!