I found myself at the cemetery on Pico and 14th in Santa Monica. My grandmother and great grandmother are buried here and from what I understand, a few other distant relatives. I didn’t have time to look them up and visit, but I wandered through the property and came across a headstone that read “MOTHER; A.E FRYE; 1837 – 1909”. It was a simple headstone and I didn’t see one next to read indicating FATHER, like I had seen for a few others. I don’t know why it hit me, but who was this person? Was she alone when she passed? Had her lineage continued? What contributions, if any, had she made to the world, her community, her family or friends? Was she a homemaker and was she happy with that role? She had passed before the 19th amendment had passed, had she ever voted? Did she play a role in the suffrage movement, or did she think that the law of the land was sufficient for her and all women?
My thoughts began to meander through my mind until I was reminded of the poem, “The Dash Between” by Ron Tranmer (http://www.rontranmer.com/the-dash-between). I love this poem. I get caught up in the daily grind and life’s struggles and forget that life isn’t about me, but about serving others. Will that dash contain volumes of what I was ‘doing’ in order acquire more and more in the vainglory attempt to serve myself and memory long after I’m gone? Or will it be a quiet statement of who I was ‘being’ in order to uplift others and positively impact those around me… giving hope, bringing a little heaven here on earth? It’s been 107 years since Ms. Frye has passed and I wonder what legacy she left behind. ‘Ashes to ashes, dust to dust’; we come in with nothing, we leave with nothing. What would represent your ‘dash’? I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on what I’m doing, who I am being, and if they are lining up with what God would have me be.
I knelt there at the headstone
of one I love and cried.
Name, with dates of birth and death
were perfectly inscribed.
I pondered these two dates
and how little they both mean
when compared to the tiny dash
that lies there in between.
The dash serves as an emblem
of our time here on the earth,
and although small, it stands for all
our years of life, and worth.
And our worth will be determined
by how we live each day.
We can fill our dash with goodness,
or waste our life away.
To ourselves, as well as others,
let’s be honest, kind and true,
and every day, live the way
we know God wants us to.
May we look for opportunities
to do a worthy deed,
and reach out with compassion
to those who are in need.
For If our hearts are full of love
throughout our journey here,
we’ll be loved by all who knew us
and our memory they’ll hold dear.
And when we die, these memories
will bring grateful, loving tears,
to all whose lives were touched
by the dash between our years.