Wednesday, May 20, 2009

1955 - 2009: Prioritizing the Dash

I wrote Saturday about the death of Denny Hazelton, a Bishop in our stake. (A Good Man Gone: Finding Peace) The following poem, "The Dash", by Linda Ellis (edited slightly, 'cause this is my blog - and I just can't help it), was included in his funeral program, and I want to share it with everyone here:

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on a tombstone - from the beginning to the end.
He noted that first came the date of one's birth and spoke of the next date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all was the dash between the years -
For that dash represented the time his friend spent alive here on Earth,
And now only those who love him know what that little line is worth.

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?
You never know how much time is left that still can 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 the people in our lives like we've never loved before.

We should treat each other with deeper respect and more often wear a smile,
Remembering that this special dash might only last for a while.

So, when your eulogy is being read, with your life's actions rehashed,
Would you be pleased with the things that are said about how you spent your dash?

May we look back on life and be happy about how we spent our dash - and may our loved ones, in particular, and the world, in general, be better for it.

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