If I Knew



If I knew it would be the last time

That I’d see you fall asleep,

I would tuck you in more tightly

and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time

that I see you walk out the door,

I would give you a hug and kiss

and call you back for one more.

If I knew it would be the last time

I’d hear your voice lifted up in praise,

I would video tape each action and word,

so I could play them back day after day.

If I knew it would be the last time,

I could spare an extra minute to stop and say “I love you,”

instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.

If I knew it would be the last time

I would be there to share your day,

well I’m sure you’ll have so many more,

so I can let just this one slip away.

For surely there’s always tomorrow

to make up for an oversight,

and we always get a second chance

to make everything just right.

There will always be another day to say “I love you,”

And certainly there’s another chance to say our “Anything I can do?”

But just in case I might be wrong, and today is all I get,

I’d like to say how much I love you and I hope we never forget.

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, young or old alike,

And today may be the last chance

you get to hold your loved one tight.

So if you’re waiting for tomorrow, why not do it today?

For if tomorrow never comes, you’ll surely regret the day,

That you didn’t take that extra time for a smile, a hug, or a kiss

and you were too busy to grant someone, what turned out to be their one last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today, and whisper in their ear,

Tell them how much you love them and that you’ll always hold them dear

Take time to say “I’m sorry,” “Please forgive me,” “Thank you,” or “It’s okay.”

And if tomorrow never comes, you’ll have no regrets about today.



Life is fragile.  There are no guarantees.
A line in a song from Rent says “no day but today.”
Before your head hits the pillow tonight, make sure someone knows they are loved.

Rest Well, my friend.

All photographs and writing property of LoneStarLifer. 2009.


Lana Thrailkill Mason 1957 – 2006

Three years ago today I lost a dear friend.  And today I want to say her name out-loud to honor her memory.
Lana. Thrailkill. Mason.
Diva Lana coming in for a chemo treatment.

Diva Lana coming in for a chemo treatment.

I called her Lana Lana Lana.
She answered back Paula Paula Paula.

Lana was a wife for more than 20 years, devoted PTA and team mom, wonderful singer, boisterous laugher, lover of life, generous lemonade stand supporter, loyal friend, gracious hostess, giver of gifts, gentle soul, life of the party.  Would you believe that the day she went into the hospital for surgery to remove part of her lung that she arrived in a tiara, hot pink feather boa and magic wand???  When I think of Lana, I think of passion and cantagious laughter and a smile that crinkled her eyes into little slits.  She was in no way perfect, but she was perfectly fine for me!

She didn’t smoke but was diagnosed with lung cancer in the fall of 2004.  She fought with all her might, displaying grace and dignity along the way, but the end came on July 2, 2006.  Her mother’s birthday.

Ruling from her throne.

Ruling from her throne.

During her illness I kept a website for her at caringbridge.org.  Do you know about caringbridge?  It is a free site dedicated to helping folks with terminal/chronic illnesses and/or receiving treatment to have one central place to disperse accurate information.  During the year and a half of Lana’s illness, interested parties could go to her site and find out the latest on Lana’s treatments, how she was feeling physically, mentally, emotionally, if she felt well enough for phone calls, etc. When she died I was able to put out an alert almost immediately so friends all over could be informed at once instead of having to make dozens of phone calls.  She had over 12,ooo hits on her site when she died, which tells you how many friends she had and how loved she was.

Go Girls for Lana.

Go Girls for Lana.


There were several friends and family who wore the Go Girl Ring for Lana.
That’s another post for another time, so stay tuned. 




I think one fear many of us have about dying is that no one will notice that we are gone, or that we were ever here.  Arthur Miller wrote in Death of a Salesman, “Attention must be paid.”  Lana, attention continues to be paid.  There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of you.  That your dear friend Jan doesn’t think about you.  Or Evie, or Curtis, or Patrick, or Trey, or Gay, or Kathy, or Brenda, or Paula W……………………………….

I miss you, Lana Lana Lana.  I hope you, your dad, my dad, Brother Cox, so many other loved ones, are having a joyous sing-a-long today.  I can just hear ya’ll.

To read more about Lana’s journey:

To see videos I made in tribute to Lana:
Lana scarf  queens3  hello2  goodbye 
When I Get Where I’m Going
Brad Paisley (feat. Dolly Parton)

When I get where I’m going
On the far side of the sky
The first thing that I’m gonna do
Is spread my wings and fly

I’m gonna land beside a lion
And run my fingers through his mane
Or I might find out what it’s like
To ride a drop of rain

Yeah when I get where I’m going
There’ll be only happy tears
I will shed the sins and struggles
I have carried all these years
And I’ll leave my heart wide open
I will love and have no fear
Yeah when I get where I’m going
Don’t cry for me down here

I’m gonna walk with my granddaddy
And he’ll match me step for step
And I’ll tell him how I missed him
Every minute since he left
Then I’ll hug his neck

[Repeat chorus]

So much pain and so much darkness
In this world we stumble through
All these questions I can’t answer
So much work to do

But when I get where I’m going
And I see my Maker’s face
I’ll stand forever in the light
Of His amazing grace
Yeah when I get where I’m going
There’ll be only happy tears
I will love and have no fear
When I get where I’m going
Yeah when I get where I’m going
(written by Rivers Rutherford)

All photographs and writing property of LoneStarLifer. 2009.