I recently discovered a Tumblr blog called The Last Message Received. The curator posts anonymous submissions of the last electronic messages people received from others – they may be ex-friends, former romantic interests, or deceased loved ones.
I find it interesting that we now live in a world where “last words” are a little more permanent, and also not necessarily our last. Our thoughts and ideas can live on, in comments and tweets on the Internet. Someone can save an email or voicemail message for ages. In fact, you would have to choose to delete them.
Of course, I thought of one person who I really will never have the chance to talk to again. My father died three years ago today, after spending nearly four years in a comatose state. He had received a traumatic brain injury in a car accident. Though I did get to speak with him while he was in a coma, when I think of the last conversation I had with my father, I remember our last email conversation.
So I searched for it in my old email address.
This, I think, shows my father’s voice clear as a bell. He was big on family nicknames; Fluff chick and Mo-mo were both ways to refer to my sister Maureen, “MT” is my mother, and he called me Caito-son because I was living in Japan at the time. (He really enjoyed being “Dadman” too.) He enjoyed co-opting “hip” slang and using it incorrectly (pretty sure that’s not a completely correct use of “cha,” which was a word Fluff chick used all the time). He also sent this from his work email address – I blanked out the work phone number, but I’m pretty sure “Compliance Director” was just part of his email signature. Still, it’s funny to think of a guy called “Dadman” also being in charge of compliance.
It was only days after this conversation that he got in an that accident.
When I dug up this email, I also showed it to my husband — my husband and I didn’t meet until Dad was already in a coma, so even though he met my father in a technical sense, he didn’t really get to know him. So I showed him this, so he could know my father a little better (and understand a little where my sense of humor comes from).
I am glad that my last recorded conversation with Dadman was a positive one. I can look at this and feel no regrets. It’s a decent reminder to make sure that most the things I say are true to myself. I can never know for sure which messages I send will be the last ones received.