The Last Time

Anyone who knows me is aware that I have a deep love of coffee. I have a few preferred coffee mugs, and even subscribe to what some might call a “fancy” coffee bean subscription service that sends me a new bag of beans, from a different roaster from around the world, each month. I am the kind of person who goes to bed excited to wake up and enjoy a cup of coffee.

So you can image my distress when I had an unpleasant thought about coffee the other day. Someday, I will drink my last cup of coffee. Now I know for some of you this may not seem like a big deal, but for me it was a very upsetting truth. A truth I could accept but did not like in the slightest. Someday, probably without me even realizing it I will pick up and sip coffee for the very last time.

It’s a hard truth to face sometimes when we ponder our own mortality. To consider that in the grand scheme of things our existence is brief and honestly unremarkable when compared to the vastness of the cosmos. But for me, my existence matters. My love of coffee matters, and to those who know and love me, it matters.

Now, why do I bring up such a depressing and honestly unpleasant subject? Because I want you to understand that someday you won’t be here. Someday you will be gone, and all that will be left behind will be the memories of who you once were. Your loved ones will want to hang on to those memories anyway you can, and we should not make that difficult for them.

Recently a client messaged me asking me if I could restore an old photograph of his father. He explained to me that his father hated the way he looked, and never stood in front of a camera. In fact his father went to great effort to avoid cameras, and/or destroy any pictures that were ever taken of him. Meaning, that his son only had one surviving photo of the man that was his father. Only one.

To say this was a tremendous responsibility was underselling how I felt about the situation, but I was willing to do my best to help this client, and am currently working on the photo now. But it got me thinking…Why do so many of us avoid having our photos taken? We make up excuses after excuse as to why we should not be in pictures, forgetting that someday a photo or home movie might be all someone has left of us.

So the next time someone asks to take your picture, try to remember that someday you will pick up your last cup of coffee, and maybe your loved ones will want a photo of you drinking a beverage that you loved so much.

The one and only image of a father. This is all that remains…