Parker’s grandfather passed away last Sunday, March 22. He was a wonderful man, whose influence will be felt by those who loved him for years to come, even for eternity. His traditions and teachings will continue in our homes forever.
Last Christmas, he and his wife gave us a book titled The Dash, which is based on the poem “The Dash.” I can’t re-post it here out of respect for the author and the poem’s copyright, but please pause for a minute and go read the poem HERE.
You’ve read it? Okay, let’s go on.
I love this poem for many reasons, one of which is the power of grammar. People brush punctuation off, as if it doesn’t communicate anything. In fact, I bet some people are rolling their eyes right now, but give me a minute.
The dash is crucial. 1986–date of death? 1933-2015. How is that dash in between birth and death not important? It’s the middle. It’s the in-between life and physical death. It’s the childhood and birthdays. Adolescence and adulthood. It’s marriage and a first home. It’s middle age and arthritis. It’s retirement and grandchildren. It’s family vacations and hard work. It’s laughter and tears, good times and hard times too.
So much happens in the middle. That dash, that simple dash, is the way you spend your life. That poem has me asking:
“how will I spend my dash?”
What will be my middle? What will be my contribution on this earth?
Parker’s grandfather spent his dash so well. I only knew him for a few years, but these things I do know-
- He had a strong testimony of Jesus Christ.
- He taught my brother-in-law about hard work.
- He taught my husband to go to church and to have faith.
- He taught my mother-in-law to carry on.
- He taught my sister-in-law about love.
- He taught me to welcome new members of the family.
- He gathered his family around for the most important moments in life and ultimately in death as well.
- His family looked up to him more than anyone I have ever known.
I wish I could have known him longer, but my prayers are with my husband and his family tonight, tomorrow, and in the coming weeks, as they put their patriarch to rest. Goodbye for now, until they meet again.
I am grateful for this Easter season. For the Atonement of Jesus Christ and His resurrection. I am grateful for the knowledge that this life is not the end of our relationships and that families can be together forever.