Our lives are full of Firsts, from that initial primal yell, until our last breath, some are of minor proportions, but others stay with us forever.
How about the first time you rode a bicycle? Drove a car? First day at school? High School? University? Most of them we met with thumping hearts and though we tried not to show it, were scared stiff.
Remember the first time you traveled alone? Planned the trip, made all the connections, bought the tickets, and then, with no one at your side, and in a strange city, even hailed a cab and arrived at the hotel where you’d registered.
I was so proud of myself that I crawled into a comfy robe, and though I wasn’t even hungry, I called Room Service, and shivered with delight at my maturity. I met the man at the door, signed the tab and was grown-up enough to give him a tip. Talk about Maturity. That was me.
Then there’s the first time death came near me, and I realized that death doesn’t just happen to others, but also to me and mine. And has come more than that first time, too. Yes, relentlessly, it comes, and comes, and comes, and comes.
Remember the first time you made love? Me, too. And whether it was a moment of wonder and bliss, or, sadly neither of those, we remember. Well, I don’t know about men, but women do, and for the rest of our lives, too.
How about the first time you applied for a job, and when you were hired, you had to make your place in that environment, with no parent, teacher or friend to guide you. Big stuff, those ‘first times’, for a teenager. And then how about the first time you were fired??? Never happened to you? Well, goodie, goodie two-shoes, aren’t you great?
And then, no one really knows, or cares, but do you remember your first marriage? And if you had but one, again how lucky can you be? And sad to ask, but there’s the other side of the coin, how about your first divorce? Horrible, wasn’t it? And I understand it never gets better. It’s one time when ‘practice doesn’t make perfect’.
How about the first moments you held your children in your arms? I think those are firsts no mother ever forgets, and I gazed upon them, inwardly thinking, “So this is what’s been going on inside me all these past months?”
Of course I knew I’d been pregnant, but for some reason, it didn’t seem real until I held my sons in my arms. Oh, what wonderful ‘firsts’, and still remain so, for to this day, I sometimes see them in love, admiration, and in awe, suddenly remember, “They came from me, Yes, right within me, I made their physical beginnings”. God, in the wonders He performs, is good..
Remember moving into your own first home? Ours was only a two room apartment, but it was ours, special beyond words, and I remember that small place to this day.
Oh, yes, and how about when, for the first time, you walked into the display room of cars and though you had butterflies in your stomach, the salesman didn’t know it, and he seriously discussed your needs … and all by yourself . . . .you . . bought . . . a car. And wrote the check to pay for it, too. Talk about being grown up, that was it. All by my myself.
Then there’s always the first moment you realized you were moving up in the generations. From being the youngest, slowly we had younger siblings, and without hardly knowing how or when, we became one of the middle group, sandwiched between our children and our parents. And then . . .
Yes . . . then, your parents leave, and you know that you have become the oldest generation, and it’s one ‘First’ that shocks you to the core. Happened to me far too early, but I remember, boy oh boy, do I remember.
How about the first time you became aware that you have Unseen Helpers at your side, helping, protecting, nudging, endeavoring in so many ways to catch your attention? You finally recognize that those Unseen Ones use dreams, words that ‘jump out at you’ from a book, article, radio, tv, or just overheard. They come to us out of nowhere, but they come and they change our lives, too.
And no matter how long we live, there will come that moment when, for the first time in this life, we face that old hypocrite death, and can marvel at how simple it seems. Death, we find, doesn’t always come swiftly, but like Sandberg’s ‘cat paws in the night’, comes gently, silently, softly, until one day we know that we’ve been receiving hints that some day we will be through with this machine-body, and your Unseen Helpers have been giving you hints that it’s getting nearer all the time.
“Firsts”. You have yours, I have mine, and I hope yours were/are all quite wonderful. Most of mine have been.