Let Me Hold You Longer

A little over a month ago I wrote a blog post called The “Last” Times.  It was a collection of thoughts and ideas that had been swimming around in my mind for quite a while since Chase had passed away.  I needed to have some way to get them all out of my head and writing them all down seemed to be the perfect avenue to do so.  Since then I have received many supportive comments and compliments from people about that post.  A colleague of mine suggested that my thoughts reminded her of a book called Let Me Hold You Longer written by Karen Kingsbury.  At first I was shocked that someone would think that my thoughts and ideas could be compared to the author status of Karen Kingsbury but since the teacher in me loves children’s literature I went out to find it so that I could read for myself.  It has since become a new favourite of mine.  It is one of those stories so heartfelt that you have a tough time reading to your kids without tearing up.  It is also one of those stories that when you are done reading it you can’t help but give your child an extra long snuggle and kiss on the cheek.
I wanted to share it’s message with you all as it resonates with every parent to make note of all the times we should try to remember the important “lasts” in life.  I just wish that I would have found this book before I wrote  The “Last” Times.  The two certainly do coincide well.  Thanks Kyla for suggesting that I read the book and thanks to Karen Kingsbury for her truthful words. This is the poem you find within her book.  Please Pay It Forward today after you enjoy the read and you might just want to go out and buy yourself a copy Let Me Hold You Longer as well.

Long ago you came to me,
a miracle of firsts,
First smiles and teeth and baby steps,
a sunbeam on the burst.

But one day you will move away
and leave to me your past
And I will be left thinking of
a lifetime of your lasts…

The last time that I held a bottle
to your baby lips
The last time that I lifted you
and held you on my hip.

The last night when you woke up crying,
needing to be walked,
When last you crawled up with your blanket,
wanting to be rocked.

The last time when you ran to me,
still small enough to hold.
The last time that you said you’d marry
me when you grew old.

Precious, simple moments and
bright flashes from your past-
Would I have held on longer if
I’d known they were your last?

Our last adventure to the park,
your final midday nap,
The last time when you wore your favorite
faded baseball cap.

Your last few hours of kindergarten,
those last few days of first grade,
Your last at bat in Little League,
last colored picture made.

I never said good-bye to all
your yesterdays long passed.
So what about tomorrow-
will I recognize your lasts?

The last time that you catch a frog
in that old backyard pond.
The last time that you run barefoot
across our fresh-cut lawn.

Silly, scattered images
will represent your past.
I keep on taking pictures,
never quite sure of your lasts…

The last time that I comb your hair
or stop a pillow fight.
The last time that I pray with you
and tuck you in at night.

The last time when we cuddle
with a book, just me and you
The last time you jump in our bed
and sleep between us two.

The last piano lesson,
last vacation to the lake.
Your last few weeks of middle school,
last soccer goal you make.

I look ahead and dream of days
that haven’t come to pass.
But as I do, I sometimes miss
today’s sweet, precious lasts…

The last time that I help you with
a math or spelling test.
The last time when I shout that yes,
your room is still a mess.

The last time that you need me for
a ride from here to there.
The last time that you spend the night
with your old tattered bear.

My life keeps moving faster,
stealing precious days that pass,
I want to hold on longer-
want to recognize your lasts…

The last time that you need my help
with details of a dance.
The last time that you ask me for
advice about romance.

The last time that you talk to me
about your hopes and dreams.
The last time that you wear a jersey
for your high school team.

I’ve watched you grow and barely noticed
seasons as they pass.
If I could freeze the hands of time,
I’d hold on to your lasts.

For come some bright fall morning,
you’ll be going far away.
College life will beckon
in a brilliant sort of way.

One last hug, one last good-bye,
one quick and hurried kiss.
One last time to understand
just how much you’ll be missed.

I’ll watch you leave and think how fast
our time together passed.
Let me hold on longer, God,
to every precious last.

Chase Made A Difference . . . What Will You Do Today?


2 thoughts on “Let Me Hold You Longer

  1. I thought of this book as well after I had read your post, I had picked this book up at the Library a couple of years ago, I could hardly read it to my boys because I was crying. Thank you for this post Rachael.

  2. Oh Shawna, these words so resonate with me, having both a 10 year old and a 12 week old. I’m so happy God has granted me one final set of “lasts”, and I am cherishing each and every single one like never before.

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