The Dash

I read of a man
who stood to speak
at the funeral of his friend.
He referred to the dates
on her tombstone
from beginning to the end.

He noted that first
came the date of her birth
and spoke of the second with tear, but
he said that what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

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 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 lone and hard,
are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know
how much time is left.
You could be at “dash mid-range.”

If we just slow down
enough to consider
what’s true and what is 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 often wear a smile,
remembering that this special day
might only last awhile.

So, when your eulogy is being read,
with your life’s action to rehash
it isn’t the date on
either end that counts,
but how you used your dash.