The Dash
There was 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 her 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 stands for 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 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.
We’d 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 lifes actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say About how you spent your dash?
Because that dash stands for all the time That you spent alive on earth
And only those who loved you Know what that little line is worth
It matters not how much you own The cars the house the cash
What matters is how you live and love And how you spend your dash
What matters is how you live and love And how you spend your dash.
~Linda Ellis
This poem was read at a funeral I attended this morning. The funeral was for a young father whose life was cut short by a tragic accident. 
When I arrived home, I needed to be alone for a bit to process my emotions.   I needed a run.  I could solve all the worlds problems on a good long run. There are days I am angry. There are days I just breathe. There are days I feel sorry for myself. The time out on the road gives me a chance to work through whatever I’m feeling. So I laced up my shoes and hit the road. 
I try learn from my past. The past has made me who I am in this minute. But I can not go back. I can not move backwards. If I live in the past and I will be full of sadness, anger and guilt. I need to continue to put one foot in front of the other and move forward. I can not focus too much on the future. It is not here yet. If I live in the future my life  will be filled with fear, worry and anxiety. I can not worry about what is to come. There’s nothing I can do about what has happened in the past, and the future will be empty unless I commit to living in the present.  I must live in the present. I must take each day as it comes and live it to the fullest. I can not long for the past or put off my life until the future. The time to live my life is now.
I want to spend my Dash well. I want my Dash to mean something.

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