Yesterday at lunch, I ran in to a man I know in our community, whose wife had suffered a stroke over the weekend. I asked how she was doing, and he said that the end was near and the family was considering taking her off life support. They did so that afternoon, and she passed from one world into the next.
Later yesterday afternoon, I interviewed a woman on her 100th birthday. It was excruciatingly hot in her little house, but other than being cold natured and having knee problems, she was in remarkably good health. She had her wits about her, and said she didn't have very many fond childhood memories because she spent so much time working in the fields with her family.
Last night I attended a visitation at a local funeral home for a very prominent man. I don't think I ever met him, but I've known his wife for some time. In the 20 or so minutes that we were there, I counted at least three current or former judges, a bank president, and several city and county officials. Anyone who was anyone had come out to honor the life of service this gentleman had given to his community.
Maybe it's the start of the new year, or maybe it's all the time I've spent in funeral homes lately, but I've been thinking a lot about life and how it's lived. There is an old adage that says that life is what you do "in the dashes" - in that time period between the dates on your tombstone. As this new year dawns, some are just starting that life, some are seeing that life end, and some are trying to survive life the best they know how.
I, for one, am being just a little more mindful today of how I'm living "in the dash."