Last Saturday we attended funeral services for a dear friend who was vibrant and loving, even to the end of her 2 1/2 year battle with brain cancer at the young age of 49. Two days ago we held funeral services for my Father-in-law, who passed at age 83; having lived a full and productive life, he was also taken by cancer. We are grateful his illness was fairly short and did not drag out his suffering.
Interacting with a friend and family member in their last days and reflecting upon their time on this earth during the celebrations of their lives reminded me of this poem written by Linda Ellis. Reading it always makes me contemplate how I am spending my "dash".
I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning...to the end.
He noted that first came her date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said 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 the 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.
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider what's true and real,
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.
And be 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
May last only a little while.
So, when your eulogy's being read
With your life's actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?
Wesley Douglas Hobbs, Jr. 1925 - 2012
Julie A Jacobsen 1962 - 2012
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