My first granddaughter was born this past March, 2019. Charleigh Erica Goldberg is the daughter of my middle son, Eric, and his wife Payden, and is the first girl Goldberg in over 25 years! Interestingly, the second girl Goldberg in over 25 years will be born this December. Baby Girl Goldberg is due around Christmas and will be the first child of my youngest son, Trevor, and his wife Kaitlyn. That will total four grandchildren when you include my son Grant, and his wife Alison’s, two boys, Zac and Ryker.
Many of you have children and grandchildren, and even great grandchildren of your own. As we watch them grow, we tend to focus on the first time that something happens in their lives. The first time they roll over, their first step, first tooth, first word, first day of school every year, first date, first dance, first car, first house, and on and on. There are even entire books dedicated to the “firsts” in our lives as well as in our society. For an interesting look at this subject, pick up a copy of Robertson’s Book of Firsts: Who Did What for the First Time by Patrick Robertson. After all, who wouldn’t want to know who invented popcorn, the first baby carriage, the first department store and the dishwasher, not to mention how war was transformed by the introduction of certain weapons?
Pondering, journaling and reflecting on all of the “firsts” in our lives is a wonderful way to accurately and fondly catalogue our lives and pass on the legacy, however exciting, trivial or mundane. But what about the “lasts” in our lives? Not just the sense of pride or regret at some act we performed, thought we had or words we spoke. And certainly not the covenant we have all made with ourselves, many multiple times, swearing “that will be the last time!”
No, I’m talking of the reminiscing and intentional looking back that we all do, at certain events or things we did or failed to do, regardless of our age or circumstance, thinking, “that might be the last time.” Thinking of that “last time” provides a different perspective. And unlike a “first” that we may definitely recognize as a “first,” many times we don’t realize that a particular action, sentence spoken or event will actually be a “last” when we are in the moment. Firsts are instantly recognized. Lasts take reflection. Distance.
Some “lasts” are planned. Graduation from college, taking your sweet, old, favorite dog to be put down or even the move to the new, and last, database and billing software programs we use here at GLC. And with Colorado’s assisted suicide law, you can even plan your last day on planet earth. Others are spontaneous and happen in an instant. You just don’t realize they are a “last” until other conditions materialize. My last “at bat,” my last blow dryer, the last time I played golf with my best friend from college who died a year later, my last Jimmy Buffett concert and the last conversation with my Dad, were all things I didn’t see as “lasts” until they were.
An older friend once told me he has “last” thoughts when he buys things; a new car, a new pair of shoes or even green bananas. And I‘ve had several clients tell me that the house they just bought will be their last move. I have to admit, I had similar thoughts a few weeks ago when I was talking with a real estate agent about an office building I was looking at and he told me about the 20 year financing option. “Hmmm,” I thought, “if I sign a new 20 year mortgage, I may be leaving that mortgage to my wife if I die during that time.” Good thing my life insurance is paid up.
I suppose the moral of the story is don’t wait. Tell those you love that you do. Hug your family often, speak kindly to one another and make sure your estate plan is current! Your plan is not just a bunch of black words on white paper. It’s the final conversation you’ll have with your loved ones. Make darn sure it says what you want it to say. There is definitely a last time for everything. You may never know if it’s a last, but some things you just don’t get to do again.
Douglas G. Goldberg, Esq.
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