Saturday, May 8, 2010

Today is Joe Brawner’s memorial service. It’s one of those days I’m quite sure I’ll laugh and cry equally, see relatives I only see at weddings and funerals, and eat potato salad and banana pudding. That’s just what you do when someone you love goes to be with Jesus.

It’s really weird when your siblings pass on. It’s like burying part of your childhood. I lost my brother almost three years ago, Jim lost his sister seven years ago and now his brother. It sort of shakes you to your core, but it also causes you to seriously think about your own life ... where you’ve been and where you’re headed.

Several years ago I came across a poem that asks all the questions I’ll ask myself today ....


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 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,
Things 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 that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy's 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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