Monday, April 14, 2008

What Will Your "Dash" Be Like?

Jason's uncle Bob recently died after 18 months of battling the horrible disease of ALS (aka Lou Gehrig's disease). While we were reflecting on Bob's life after his funeral, Jason's aunt began talking about this "dash poem" below and what that dash between your birth and death really symbolizes on a tombstone.

We all cheered to bob's "dash" -- he had always been one to help others and live life to its fullest. But you could tell it got all of us thinking -- what will our own dashes symbolize? It reminds me of the famous quote, "It's not the years in your life, but the life in your years." I wanted to put this poem in here so I always remember to be living my life to its fullest.

The Dash
By Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of his friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the the end.
He noted that first came the date of her birth and spoke of the second with tears, but he said that what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth,
and now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own; the cars, the house, the cash.
What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard, are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left.
(You could be at "dash mid-range.")
If we could just slow down enough to consider what's true and real,
and always try to understand the way other people feel. less quick to anger, and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives like we've never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect, and more often wear a smile, remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read with your life's actions to rehash...
would you be pleased with the things they have to say about how you spent your dash?

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