December 12, 2013

How You Live Your Dash


I have recently attended two cousin's funerals. Both pastors, during their eulogy, spoke of this poem and commended both ladies for living their dash for Christ so well.

This poem was written by Linda Ellis and another cousin, Glenn Ellsworth Ullom Hansen, a newspaper publisher in Rantoul, IL loved Linda's poem so much, that he added it to his wife's, Marguerite "Peg" Clark Hansen (1917-2001), funeral leaflet to be read during her funeral.  Here is Linda, reading her poem on a YouTube video.



How You Live Your Dash
By Linda Ellis.


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.
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.
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 arranged.
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 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's being read
With your life's action to rehash . . .
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

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"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe." (Hebrews 12:28).