This morning I found an email from one of my best friends in my inbox. I could read happiness and pure joy in her words. Her oldest son and his wife had become parents of a little baby boy. All had gone well and both mother and child were healthy. On the same day a week ago, one of my dearest friends had lost his father. The words he spoke when we talked had the sound of soft remembrance and regret that his father’s life was over.
A poem I heard not too long ago popped into my head when I read my email this morning. It is a beautiful poem about the dash representing our life. When we leave this world, our life will be recorded with the year of our birth and the year of our death. But in between those years you will see a tiny little dash. Hardly ever do we pay attention to that dash, although it is far more important than the year in front and at the end.
This dash represents our life and the way we lived it. The baby boy just born 24 hours ago has begun his own dash and a week ago my friend’s father finished the ending of his dash. The dash that lies in between those years represents who we are and how we will be remembered. The little grandson of my friend will need the help of his parents, family and friends to start his little dash and find out who he is. The father of my friend had discovered his place and identity in this world and finally needed the help of his family and friends to finish his dash.
We ourselves with the loving guidance of our family and friends will become responsible for the meaning of our dash. If we are fortunate we learn how to find the purpose of this little horizontal line. In the end we want to be remembered by the way we lived our years, rather than the amount of years we lived. If we can find purpose in our life, we can make that little dash look strong in between the years and give it the importance it deserves.
The joy we feel when a new life is born compares with the loss we feel when a loved one leaves us behind. The new life gives us hope and shows us the future; the life that ended gives us wisdom and memories. It is like a blank page and a written book; the excitement of the words about to be written and the reminiscence while reading. Would it not be great if the reading would be worthwhile, if the words would have meaning, if the end of the book is a good one, no matter how many pages? Isn’t that what we want our dash to represent? When the year on the right side of the dash is recorded, we would like our dash to be meaningful and we want to leave something behind; a good feeling, because we were here.
If you would like to know more about Ty Watson House and the services offered by the Alberni Valley Hospice Society, please call us at 250-723-4478.