Thursday, December 29, 2011

Genealogy Serendipity Moments - The Dash Between the Years

Yesterday I attended the funeral of a dear friend, Marv Giles. His wife Mary Ann and I have spent many hours working together to research the family history of her family. His family has been researched pretty extensively. In the course of the remarks at the service, one person spoke of the significance of the Dash between the years of our lives and referenced the following poem. It has been referenced in many blogs and read by millions. I share it again for those who have not read it before.

The Dash
By Linda Ellis
I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke of the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth
And now only those who love her
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’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 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 read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

Our dear friend Marv spent his entire life helping and serving others. He showed great compassion and generosity to our family and especially our children. At their home they had a large space on the back of their kitchen cabinets where they displayed all the significant people in their lives. I felt great respect in knowing that they included our family in this display. Their personal family included four children from his first marriage, two adopted, and two children from her first marriage. This blended family had its share of struggles, but Marv was always the rock that steadied the ship. He loved to tumble rocks and create things out of wood. We have personal wood boxes filled with rocks and a cutting board that he made. Once for a child's high school project we interviewed Marv about his military experience in WWII. We are proud to honor him as a patriot of our country who was willing to sacrifice for the freedoms that we enjoy.

So, as we close out the year 2011, we have experienced many serendipity moments. It is time to reflect the Dash between the years and ponder the significant moments in which we consecrate our time here on earth. May you plan well for the year 2012 and take advantage of such moments in your life.

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