Dash

Today I attended the memorial services for an aunt. The pastor read from her obituary as he began. “Connie, 1953-2021,” he cited. He said many nice things about her and about who she was. Then her youngest son spoke eloquently about her from a personal, intimate standpoint. He also quoted from her obituary: “Connie, 1953-2021.”

I got to thinking about that dash. You know, the one between 1953 and 2021.

We put those into obituaries and on grave markers to stand in for the years between birth and death. They symbolize years lived. They encapsulate our lives.

“Connie, 1953-2021”

She was many things to many people. She was all of the female relationships one could be. She was also a neighbor, a friend, and to some, a mentor. She loved her family deeply, and she had an abiding passion for horses. Those two things were talked about the most as well-wishers came to comfort the family. Those two things lived in the dash of her life.

We were never close. Some family members just aren’t, and that’s okay. Not everyone in a family is on equal terms with everyone else.

I listened to my cousin, and I thought about my aunt and the dash of her life.

But I also thought about the dash of my own life. If I died tomorrow, what would people say about the dash of my life? I’ve changed a lot in the last few years. What would people remember? Maybe it’s a natural thing to ponder when faced with mortality.

“Connie, 1953-2021.”

She was a good woman. May she Rest In Peace.