We received the following poem from friends who found it in an anonymous publication. It is titled “The Dash” and has a good message for us all:
“I read of a preacher who stood to speak at the funeral of his friend.
He referred to the date on his tombstone from the beginning to the end.
He noted that first came the date of his birth and spoke of the last 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 he spent alive on earth
And now only those who loved him know what that little time is worth.
For it matters not how much we own; the cars, the house, the cash.
What matters is how we lived and loved and how we spent 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 midrange.’
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, show appreciation more,
And love the people in our life as we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect, 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 say about how you spent your dash?”
— John N. Clayton