“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 of the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years. (1951-2017)
For the 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 own;
The cars…the house…the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash. (Author Unknown)
Today I will attend, not officiate, the funeral of a friend. I tutored two of her five children many years ago, both of whom are now adults and creating their own “dash.” This mother lost one daughter in a tragic car accident and just last year lost her husband. She lived her dash well in spite of the hardships and heartbreak she endured. Her life was one of dedicated service (a nurse) to others and to her family. When our paths crossed on occasion, usually at the grocery store, she would talk of her children and what they were doing and how proud she was of their progress in life. Her dash was not a little line separating time. Her dash was writ large with love upon her community, family, and her friends, including me. Today I will attend the funeral of a friend, and celebrate her dash.
For thou wilt light my candle:
the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. (Ps. 18:28)