What are you doing with your Dash?

There is a poem by Linda Ellis called “The Dash” http://lindaellis.net/the-dash/the-dash-poem-by-linda-ellis/ that resonates with me.
Perhaps it is that I spent a good chunk of my most recent vacation in cemeteries visiting the graves and crypts of many dearly departed loved ones. I know it is also because I have reached an age and deeper understanding about my own mortality. It is sooner rather than later, and I want that dash between my birth date and final resting date to have meant something, to spend my dash well on life and love.
I reflected on the dashes of my aunts and uncles whom I visited on the east coast at their places of rest. Each one of them had a lasting influence on me and held a place in my heart. I am proud that they were part of my family and that I was lucky enough to have had relationships with them. I can’t believe they are all gone, so quickly. When I look at baby pictures of my mom and her twin, I realize that 90 years has become a blink of an eye.

I hope to be remembered fondly, but realize I need to take charge of that dash to do so. Let go of any anger or petty concerns. Love my family and friends fiercely. And try to be the kind of person that someone says “she made life nicer for me.” I’m a work in progress, but that’s my goal. One day at a time, and one encounter at a time. As my brother Roger always says “l’chaim!” – to life. Because life is a dash.

4 thoughts on “What are you doing with your Dash?

  1. Sis, not knowing who will outlive whom, but probably because of my age I will be the first, but you don’t have to be gone for me to tell you that you have made my life nicer. I so wanted a baby sister and Mom and Dad gave me you, Roger and Lisa. You are all blessings in my life and I thank God for you.

  2. Sweet cousin, your words are wise, as they always are. I think you are doing a fantastic job of living your dash and always have. John and I love you and admire all the many good things you do in this world, and you inspire us to try harder and love better. You have surely “made life nicer for us.” You and your sisters and brother are our dear ones, and it is because of the initiative all of you took years ago to come here that we know you and have you in our hearts and lives. I don’t think any of you know how much that means to us. We love you.

  3. Sharon, you have definitely made life nicer for many people, including your colleagues at SDSU! You have been wonderful to work with over the years. I admire your spirit, your work ethic, your energy, your writing talent — and your dash!

  4. Sharon, your dash has been well spent and has much more to accumulate. I’m so glad that we are in the computer age because we haven’t been able to spend time together, yet I feel like I know you from your posts. You have so many facets and I know that if we were able to get together, we could talk for hours and never reach a lull. 🙂 I love your outlook on life and your easy going way of enjoying the little things that come along without getting all prudish or judgmental. I believe you are optimistic and full of joy over the simplest things, and that you find beauty in so many things that most of us don’t even notice. I am so glad that you are my cousin and want you to know that you mean the world to me. Love you cuzzie!!! ♥

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