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 love 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 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 read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they sayAbout how you spent your dash?
My step-grandmother passed away tonight. It was a whirlwind of a loss. My mom called me at 5:45 to tell me that the doctors believed she suffered a brain aneurysm and that her brain had shifted. There was nothing the doctors could do for her at this point, so they took her off life support and were just waiting for her to pass. She did less than two hours later. Barbara, you will be missed by all those whose lives you touched. May angels lead you in.
In the grand scheme of things, my shit is too small to be so worried about. As I sit here typing, I've spent the last two days feeling sorry for myself because I can't get my nutrition just right in order to lose weight and fuel my workouts. I've been so incredibly stressed out about it that I've been eating myself and my family out of house and home. Yet, tonight, I'm snapped quickly back into reality and reminded that life is too short to get hung up on the small stuff. This is small stuff. My imperfections are small stuff. This life is only the beginning. I'm wasting it by feeling depressed about things that are not going to change overnight no matter how badly I whine, cry, get angry or wish.
Instead of "why can't you get this right?" or "why can't you be perfect?", new questions are instantaneously flooding my mind. What is your purpose? Are you a blessing to those around you? Are you living your life with intention? Do those around you know how much you love and care about them? Are you living your life as an example to your children? Your spouse? Your friends? What was the last act of kindness/love that you did today? What are you doing to better the lives of people around you?
I'm angry. I'm upset. I'm sad. I'm shocked. As my husband hugged me and then helped me clean up the playroom, I wanted to yell at him for not doing it earlier while I wasn't home. Instead, I stopped myself and thought "he's helping me now, and thank God he's here." Life is so ridiculously short, and it seems that I have to be reminded of that too often.
How are you spending your dash? I know that my dash needs improvement, and I'm not letting another second go by without changing it. Tomorrow, I'm waking up with intention: to be a blessing to everyone I see.