A December to Remember

There are 27 more days left this year, until December 31, 2019. It seems like it was only yesterday that we were writing our plans and declaring that we were moving fearlessly into 2019. For many of us were talking about working out more at the gym, caring less about people’s opinions, finishing school, only wanting to be around positive people, never wanting to fall as low as we did last year etc.

Looking back at the last three hundred and thirty-eight days with 27 more days to bring 2019 to a close … I wonder how we did? At one second past midnight on December 31, the day and month will change, and another new year will begin. For some of us our names are already on a New Year’s party list, and we know exactly where we would be and what we will be doing.

As we reflect, look back, take stock, see how we did … will we be happy with our choices and progress for 2019 … or will we be living with regrets and repeating the same old quote ‘Next Year 2020 is my year?’ Sadly, time, days, months, and year cannot be delayed because someone either missed the bus or even fell off the bus.

Everyone of us has purpose and that’s the reason our eyes are opened every day. Will we fulfill that purpose before our life is expired? Time is constantly passing and waiting to get to a ripe old age to take care of what really matters is never guaranteed to anyone. The clock cannot be controlled by anyone.

Most things we do are usually done out of routine … whether you are a stay at home parent, or you own your own enterprise. For some of us it’s kind of painful to see how we wait so late to give thought to the most important thing in our lives and it”s our last day on earth.

Suddenly when we realize that it’s our last day, or last hour we make a rush to do the things we should have given much more thought to when we had the strength and the time to do it. I’ve lived to see many, many, many good people live to regret that they didn’t have enough time to forgive, to love, to appreciate life and to prepare for death and what comes after death.


I’m sharing a poem that I first heard at a friend’s funeral over fifteen years ago and it has never lost the impact it had on me from the first time I heard it. I trust it will help to put things in perspective as we bring the year 2019 to a close.


the poem by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning… to the end.

He noted that first came the date of 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 they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them 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 still can be rearranged.

To 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 lived your dash?

© 1996-2019 Southwestern Inspire Kindness, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

We invite you to share the poem. Please include this credit line: By Linda Ellis, Copyright © Inspire Kindness, 1996, thedashpoem.com.

Linda Ellis’ poem, ”The Dash,” uses a metaphor, comparing life to the dash between the birth date and date of death on a person’s tombstone.