The Dash by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak

at the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the dates on the tombstone

from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the 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 they spent alive on earth.

And now only those who loved them

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 is being read,

with your life’s actions to rehash…

would you be proud of the things they say

about how you spent YOUR dash?

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