I knew there had to be more to that saying, and I felt certain I'd heard it before, but I just couldn't remember the context. Google came to my rescue, and brought me to this blog, where a poem explaining "the dash" was posted.
It's a bit sad, of course, but that's not the point. It's also a lovely sentiment.
I like to think we do an okay job filling in our dash and making memories with the kids, but I occasionally need a little reminder that it's the everyday that matters.
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. (1934-1998)
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 won; 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 done before.
If we treat each other with respect, and more often wear a smile.
Remembering that this special dash might only last a while.
So, when your eulogy's being read with your life's actions to rehash...
would you be proud of the things they said about how you spent your dash?
by Linda Ellis