Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Dash..

About six years ago I went to a funeral of a patient ..this lovely man was  in the hospital for well over a year..every other day we transported him for his renal dialysis..his wife was so devoted to him..she was there everyday, taking care of him..such devotion I have yet to see again…


Some families you meet and you never forget ..he was one of them…I can remember going on vacation that year and I could not bring myself to say goodbye..see you in September..he had not been doing well and I did not think he would be there when I returned back to work..

When I returned ..he was still a patient in the hospital…still not doing very well..he passed away a few of months his funeral they read this poem.


The Dash: by LInda Ellis


There was a man who stood to speak

At the funeral of a friend

He referred to the dates on his tombstone

From the beginning to the end.

He noted that first came his 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 that dash stands for all the time

That he spent alive on earth

And now only those who loved him

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 rearranged

If we could just slow down enough

To consider what is true and real

And always try to understand

The way other people feel

We’d be less quick to anger

And show our 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 is being read

With your life’s actions to rehash

Would you be proud of the things they say

About how you spent your dash?

Cause that dash stands for all  the time

That you spent alive on earth

And only those who loved you

Know what that little line is worth

What matters is how you live and love

And how you spend your dash.


this poem made me realize we all need to think about how we spend our ‘dash’…love the ones you are with…cheers to those of you who read the poem all the way to the end!




so..we are off to spend our ‘dash’ how we see may not be how to others spend theirs  but to each their own…you have one life to live! get out and LIVE IT!!!


  1. Great post Doug & Sue!! Such a great lesson in life if we would all remember it is the "dash" that matters most. Not the number of years but the dash. Great poem.

    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

  2. Thank you so much for posting this poem. It's exactly what I needed to read today!

  3. Hi, Thanks for the note and following along. I just joined your site too. Hope you don't mind me adding your site to my list of blogs I follow. Love your color scheme. Pidge

  4. That poem was really thought provoking, and I thank you for sharing it. The dashes are the most important when you come to think about it. I'm glad you are working on your dash....I think I'll do the same. :)

  5. Your blog hit a nerve...My sis is in critical care unit of a hospital in really bad shape...She wasted her dash most of her life, I'm afraid..and now is nearing the end of her life. She abused her body, chain smoking, no exersize, bad choices in many ways...I want my "dash" to be in bold italics and underlined!!!


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