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Posted on Feb 25, 2008 at 06:26 PM

The Dash Poem by Linda Ellis, video avail on internet. "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 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 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 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 is being read With your life?s actions to rehash Would you be proud of the things they say About how you spent your dash?

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Posted on Feb 25, 2008 at 06:31 PM

from her web site, lindaslyrics The Dash Story by Linda Ellis "While it still amazes me, a simple poem I wrote during a lunch break forever changed my life. It all began when I faxed a copy of this poem to a syndicated radio show in Atlanta. Soon after receiving it, the host of this popular show read it on the air. I didn?t know then that my entire future would be altered. Titled The Dash, these 36 lines have touched millions of lives and have literally taken on a life of their own by traveling all over the world. I call it uncomplicated poetry in a complicated world, which became the slogan for my internet poetry company. People are always asking me what, in particular, inspired me to write this poem. I believe it was a combination of things in my life at the time. It was during a period when I was working for the top executives of a very large and successful corporation. It was a strict company with a tense working environment. I began to watch how the priorities in many lives there had become, what I considered, misaligned. It seemed to me that the bosses were worrying far too much about that which was inconsequential in the scope of life. Also, resonating in the back of mind were the words from a letter which had been previously routed around the office written by the wife of an employee who was aware that she was dying. I was so moved by that letter that I saved a copy of it and continue to live by her words: "Regrets? I have a few. Too much worrying. I worried about finding the right husband and having children, being on time, being late and so on. It didn't matter. It all works out and it would have worked out without the worries and the tears. If I would have known then what I know now. But, I did and so do you. We're all going to die. Stop worrying and start loving and living." Her words stuck with me. Her letter made me stop and think. This is it. This is all we get. I remember where I was when I first truly realized the significance of this poem that I had written. I was on a business trip in Minnesota, in a hotel room alone. I received an emotional email thanking me for sharing the message from a student who had just heard it as part of a memorial gathering for the Columbine High School students. I sat on the bed and cried. And I found myself engulfed in the thoughts and feelings created by my own words as I listened to them read aloud, for what seemed like the very first time, at the funeral of my father?my best friend. I write this exactly one year from that day and never have the words meant more to me. From being performed in an elementary school play somewhere in the heartland of America to being part of a State Supreme Court Justice?s speech, from being printed in best-selling novels to high school yearbooks, The Dash has truly affected millions. I may not be able to change the world with these words, but I have certainly been able to influence a portion of it! The poem?s thought-provoking lines have convinced mothers to spend more time with their children, fathers to spend more time at home and reunited long-lost loved ones. These words have changed attitudes, and have changed the direction of lives. They have, in their own way, made a difference. I know writing it has changed my life. I hope reading it, in some way, may change yours. Live Your Dash, Linda Ellis

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