The Significance of the “DASH”

On this Christmas Day afternoon, I share with my followers reflections as I prepare for 2019.

(Birthdate  ”dash ” Date of Death)

Have you ever given thought to the significance of the “Dash” between a Birthdate and Date of Death? I know until recently, I had not.

While listening to a tribute of a longtime family friend’s funeral I had a “Stream of Consciousness” when the speaker asked the question as to the significance of the DASH.

As significant as the two “bookend” dates are, knowing that death does not happen without birth, what occurs between these two significant dates is equally and arguable more important as to our lives and hopefully the lives of those around us.

The “DASH” is a reference as to what happened between these significant bookend dates. What filled the gap of time between when we were born and the day we died? How did we live our lives in the manner that is most important in using the god given and developed talents?

I so wish I had definitive answers to “How to live our lives!” that everyone would embrace. I know that it can be defined differently by so many. Would it not be rewarding and fun to have this type of discussion with your life partner? Just imagine the impact that would make in the depth and meaningfulness of the “US” of that relationship.  Maybe, no, it is a “no” , I should not be concerned as to how others will define this and just be “BOB”, to do as I feel is what I feel is important and not get caught up with comparison as we cannot be someone else.

The unique definition that others may apply are all based on how they were raised, our “Family of Origin”, who we have associated during our lives, the depth of our vulnerability to discuss alternatives and various aspects of a meaningful life. We may discover for ourselves that possibly a misguided definition as to “What Matters and is Important!” becomes apparent and change is in order? All these aspects to arriving at the framework for this question can be fun and challenging and very possible open our eyes to a depth we never imagined until it was vulnerable and courageously discussed and debated.

AND THEN….when we feel great as to our definition, we discover we have not always walked the walk, and discover that the desire and ability to change is by far the most difficult, not impossible, just painfully difficult and relies on trusted others in our lives to make change possible.

I heard a phrase that resonated with me recently, “change does not occur until the pain of the current is greater than the pain of change.

How powerful is that?”

So what are guiding principles that will guide my “DASH” and yours? Are they similar, dramatically different? Have not thought about it? Is it time? (No, it is overdue!);
• Be Kind
• Be selfless and look outward to being happy and filled with JOY
• Be trustworthy
• Have an abundance of Grace and believe in the act of forgiveness
• Be willing to take risk, be courageous and forgo comparison, courage is learned behaviors…learn it!
• VULNERABLE communication is the foundation for success in life and in relationships
• Work on expanding my relationship with God
• Discover my god given talents and use them!
• Be a good steward of resources
• Honor those important to me who no longer are living and live up to what they wanted for me when they were alive. An act of honor I feel.

As for those of us who have lost someone close, what occurred after “the date of death of the significant person in our lives”? This is pivotal to how our own individual “DASH”, the time between the dates of the death of a loved one and our own date of death, becomes a second and very “PERSONAL DASH” that is created and will be lived out.

As I reflect on the death of my father, knowing that the grief has subsided and that he will never return, I asked myself, how best to honor what I had? My conclusion is to do as he wanted for me when he was alive. To excel in life as he would wish in my own personal way and at the same time make him proud. To embrace talents and know that mistakes will be made in our own journey, yet grace, kindness, gratitude and reflecting outward in fulfilling life would be the greatest honor that I can give. To not do so, would be disrespecting all that I had from the past.

Would it not be cool to someday at the bookend of my date of death I saw my father (or significant person lost in our life) and they said…”so proud of you in how you lived after my death, how you move on and found room to add (not replace) in your heat what we had, your honor of what we had, and what I wanted for you was the greatest gift you could have given. Thank you for never forgetting!” That is the tribute I hope I can experience during my “Dash” and hopefully you can as well.

So in conclusion, celebrate our Birthdays, plan a funeral that celebrates, not death, but the DASH!



A Simple Straight Forward and totally unedited Rambling –

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As I have coffee getting ready  to be part of an event sponsored by Free Bikes 4 Kidz (FB4K’s) in their annual Bike Give A Way, I am struck with this rush of thoughts that has prompted this totally unedited and spontaneous Rambling.

Over the years I have always attempted to do my best to appreciate the kindness of others and use two words that say a lot, yet often are said too casually and without realizing the depth and their significance…THANK YOU!

I am struck by the depth of what these two words really entail…KINDNESS, GRACE, APPRECATION and CARE. These two words not only express an appreciation for someone else’s acts and behavior, it also creates a BRAND of who I am and what is in my heart and the foundation of who I am , how I look and behave in embracing life and the future. JOY is a wonderful term for the byproduct of kindness and the words THANK YOU! JOY not just for myself, but for those around me and whom are the recipient of this simple jester of thanks.

I said recently, “Do not just listen to my words, but watch how I act”. It’s the actions of others that convey the Brand of a person not the eloquence of their words. Don’t get me wrong, I am far from perfect; I have bruised my Brand, who has not on occasion? What is critical is what happens next and do I care enough to change…the answer is YES!

As I reflect on a dear friend who had a stroke and courageously and resiliently is battling to get back to a new normal, I have been struck, by my almost daily visits, the preciousness of life and how critical it is to focus on the future, learn from the past, embrace the greatness of life previously had and look forward to what lies ahead.

The past creates a foundation of wonder and blessings, yet letting the past hinder the greatness of friends, life, relationships and the wonders that lie ahead of us is a great loss and not honoring the great gifts that God has given us and cheating ourselves.

Let’s give THANKS and SAY THANK YOU from the heart and take the future on with gusto, wonder and grace…just few of my many THANK YOU’s;

• THANK YOU for my Past as I will embrace it with joy and loving memories
• THANK YOU for my strength to embrace my future journey and let my past support me, but not hinder me
• THANK YOU for the gifts that my father gave me and continues despite his death 15 years ago to embrace and take on my future with excitement, fear, trepidation and wonder
• THANK YOU for my feeling heart that gave me love and the wonders that love gave me and enabling me to love again
• THANK YOU for my mind that I take for granted as so many struggle with illness that I do not fully understand
• THANK YOU for my feelings and my sensitivity to those around me
• THANK YOU for blessings as my issues are so minor when I see what others are dealing
• THANK YOU for my ability to run, walk and feed myself as so many I see as I walk the halls of Sister Kenny watch me with desire
• THANK YOU for those in my life that have come and gone as I have gained from all who have touched my heart and soul
• THANK YOU for the passion to live for the future and not handicapped by the past as there is so much to live for and experience
• THANK YOU for today as tomorrow is not guaranteed
• THANK YOU for my desire to continue to grow, improve who I am
• THANK YOU for allowing God to touch my heart and soul and allowing faith to guide me
• THANK YOU for my parents who helped me understand the value of GRACE and KINDNESS

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