It has not been a good day for news. Today I found out that a co-worker living with breast cancer finally succumbed to the disease, a friend’s grandfather had a massive stroke, and another friend’s husband was killed in a motorcycle accident. This last piece of news rocked me to the core. We’ve only just reconnected but our lives since high school have a number of parallels, including us both having had our second child within the last few months.

I cannot process the thought of losing a member of my little family. I really don’t know what I would do. I do know that I would have to keep living, somehow. You can’t just shut down. Temporarily, maybe, but not permanently. With two little ones at home temporarily is even out of the question. You have to find a way to carry on, but OH MY GOD I don’t know how people do it.

I asked my husband tonight if we could just stay in our house for the rest of our lives, where we know it’s safe. I was only half joking. He just smiled and said “But then we wouldn’t have any fun.” He’s right, but the thought is still very tempting.

I never got to meet my friend’s husband, but today was the most glorious sunny day and he must have loved being on his bike. He was out living life, not hiding from it.

So please, hug everyone you care about right now. Even if we all live to be 100 and die of natural causes, life is still short and we all have to say goodbye to someone at some point. It’s important to live life to the fullest, whatever that means to you. Tonight, to me, it means sitting on the couch with my husband. It’s not very exciting, and tonight that’s just fine.

The Dash
by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At a 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. (1934-1998)

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 most 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’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 we spend our dash?