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Live Your Dash

Good morning. It is Monday, January 3, 2022. Jeanette Stark here.

Happy New Year!

It was one year ago yesterday that Wendell Stark passed away. It was a tough day. My son Larry bought a nice plaque to mark the place where we buried his ashes last year. We buried his ashes on my daddy’s grave. My grandson’s had placed small rocks around the spot to mark it. Yesterday, we placed the plaque.

My son and two granddaughters brought deli sandwiches and we had lunch together before heading up to the cemetery. It was special, even with the deep ache I felt in my chest.

I find it hard to believe it has been a year already. Time is racing by at break-neck speeds.

On Wendell’s remembrance cards, for his celebration of life last year, I had printed The Dash poem. I want to share that with you today and encourage you to live your dash to the fullest.

We are not perfect; far from it, but if we get up every day and keep trying, we might, just might, hit the mark. If we forgive easily and freely; if we love wholly and fully, if we trust God completely, we will make it.

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 the tombstone

From the 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 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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