Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How Will You Spend Your Dash?

Click on the photo above to read
 what the author has to say.
I always marvel at how some of you write such heart warming poems. You are truly talented and I enjoy poetry immensely as it feels like it comes from the heart.

Last week on the BYOC, there was a question asking what would be your last meal if you were on death row. I think a few people might have been wigged out at the thought of death, which made me remember a poem which particularly touches me. A few years ago, a manager where I worked dropped dead of a heart attack just before his 44th birthday. He was playing old-timers hockey and poof, he dropped dead. At his funeral, they read this poem:


The Dash Poem
by Linda Ellis ©

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 the date of her birth
and spoke of 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 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.
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
might only last 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?

There have been many funerals since that time. It seems I am now at the age where funerals outnumber the weddings or celebrations. But at each one, I think about the dash. There is usually something quite profound in the eulogy, a remembrance, an anecdote, a story. Something that makes us remember the good that was their life. I remember at the funeral of my MIL, 10 years ago, her son told about how "mom" could bake. Her date squares were infamous. As her son mentioned a few of his favorite foods, many of us mumbled a treat we particularly remembered. You could hear the whispers throughout the church. It was part of her dash.

In talking about the Dash poem, the author wrote: Living a dash that you can be proud of doesn't mean trying to be perfect and changing yourself to fit the mold of what people tend to think of as a "good" person. To me, it means doing the best you can every day to live a life which may someday allow you to leave behind a legacy of kindness, love and laughter. 

Sometimes I forget my dash. Other times I think about how I should do more to be kind, to be loving and to have laughter in my life. I'm still working on my dash. I'll post more in the coming days as I have some thinking to do about my dash.

Just throwing this out there, but how's your dash doing?


Heather said...

What a glorious poem. I have tears running down my face. Thank you! I have thought a lot about my life since my brothers death at age 30. My outlook has changed immensely!

Justine said...

I love this post! Each new year always gets me to thinking about whether I'm living my 'dash' in the way I want to be. Losing weight is definitely helping. Thank you for writing this post, Sandy Lee!

tessierose said...

I love the poem, you know Cara at The Dash, has something to that affect explaining why she named her blog The Dash. I like it, thanks for sharing!

~Lisa~ said...

Amazing poem.. Thank you so much for sharing, for helping us all think about our "dash"..

You always give me something to think about and I appreciate YOU!

Jacquie said...

Truer words have never been written. Beautiful poem.

Dinnerland said...

Love the introspection-- do you find (because I do...) that losing weight and losing the crap in my head about worrying about my weight, has made room for more deep thoughts?
Thx for posting this reminder to enjoy the dash.

Lee Ann said...

Thanks Sandy Lee, I enjoyed this post. I've heard this poem before but it's always great to be reminded of it. :)

Sandi said...

Beautiful poem and thank you for making me stop, listen and reflect about what it means!


Darlin1 said...

Thanks for sharing! No matter how many times I say it-"Living a dash"--I can always be reminded ---over and over again!


Bonnie said...

So very true and so beautifully written. Thanks for sharing and the reminder.

THE DASH! said...

This poem is where I got the heading for my blog - because its so true. Its a beautiful poem and thanks for sharing it with others. I love it so much. Hope youre well xxx

Roo said...

I certainly want to make my dash worth something! Such a beautiful poem (and I actually thought of Cara straight away as I know that is her inspiration for her blogname!) I am going to repost this on fb as it is so wonderful.

Stephanie said...

What a wonderful, thought provoking post, Sandy. it is definitely something I needed to hear today. I want my dash to be filled with positive things looking forward. Thank you very much for this...and just so you know, the friendships that i have made with all my fellow bloggers will always be an important part of that "--"!!

Read said...

Thanks so much for this. This fits right in with where my brain is right now and it was a very good reminder of the basics - what really matters!!!

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