Famous Last Words

We’ve all heard the expression “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” I’m not sure if that’s true, but lately I’ve been dealing with my last impression of varying people.

A family member recently passed away. My last memory of her was at a family wedding where she came up to me and said “Tell me all the terrible things I’ve been hearing about you aren’t true.” I’d recently gone through a nasty divorce, so God only knows what she’d heard about me from the other side. I was truly at a loss as to how to answer her statement; and that was the last conversation I had with her.

Words matter. Words stick around, at least in our minds. Contrary to what my Mom told me to say to a bully in second grade: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”, words can definitely hurt. My son Christopher always ends our phone conversations with “I love you”, as does my sister Elise. I think of Nicole Simpson and her last conversation with her parents before her tragic death. They both said “I love you” to each other on the phone, which is what I would want to hear as last words. I need to say it more to people I love.

I recently listened to a Podcast about what Science Fiction ability people would want to have if it was possible. The ability most people wished they could have was Time Travel. For most of the respondents, they wouldn’t use the ability for Global Betterment (like killing Hitler) but to rectify something in their personal lives. Like the lady that said she wished her last conversation with her husband had been a different one.

He called her and complained that she hadn’t ordered Tupperware and she told him it was hard to do when the Tupperware catalogue was sitting on his truck’s dashboard. He argued it wasn’t, but then found it; they both laughed. Still, she wished the conversation had ended differently. I can only guess she wished she had said “I love you” to him.

Since this is a Foodie Blog (hard to tell, I know, given this philosophical outpouring), here are some famous people’s Last Meals.

  • Apple Pie James Dean
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich Frank Sinatra
  • French Onion Soup Julia Child
  • Mock Turtle Soup, Roast Fowl, Chestnut stuffing, Baked Yams, Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce Abraham Lincoln
  • Spaghetti with light sauce. Adolf Hitler
  • Caesar Salad, New York Strip Steak, Baked Potato. Ernest Hemingway
  • M & M’s F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Coffee, Orange Juice, 2 Boiled Eggs, Toast and Marmalade. John F. Kennedy
  • Tuna Fish Sandwich. Jimmy Hendrix
  • 4 Scoops Ice Cream, 6 Chocolate Chip Cookies. Elvis
  • Dover Sole, Vegetable Tempura, Mushroom and Asparagus Omelette Princess Diana
  • 4 shots Rum, 2 Pina Coladas, 2 Beers, Fried Prawns, Plate of Foie Gras. James Gandolfini
  • Corned Beef Sandwich. John Lennon

While we’re not sure what Anthony Bourdain’s Last Meal was, the last meal he posted to Instagram while in Alsace, France was a huge plate of Sausages, Pork, Pork Belly, Potatoes and Sauerkraut with the ironic title “Light Lunch.” My own Last Meal would consist entirely of Comfort Foods, which remind me of my childhood, with sushi thrown in for good measure and I would definitely want a fine champagne to wash it all down with.

Sushi, Bento Box from Matsuri

But, unless you plan on killing yourself or, are on Death Row, you more likely than not won’t get to choose which meal will be your last; it will be left to the Fickle Finger of Fate. You do, however, have control over what words come out of your mouth on a daily basis. My last words to my Dad before he died were “I love you.” Can’t beat that for last words, to say or to hear.

Up Next: Another Road Trip to end the Summer

Published by gleeguilford

Born and raised in Miami, the daughter of a pilot and stay-at-home Mom, I love food in all forms. My great grandfather opened the first Italian restaurant in Miami in the 20's, The Boathouse on the Miami river. I love exploring my heritage and linking food and recipes to personal stories. I've been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love and wrote restaurant reviews and news as the Miami Dining Examiner for three years. I love exploring Miami's latest hot spots, hole in the walls and institutions. I'm always looking for innovative ways to use the plethora of tropical fruits and vegetables South Florida offers, especially from my own garden.

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