It made me think long and hard about what I would write if someone asked me what I stand for. Living in the dash, 1939 – ????, I need to realize that I am on the latter 1/4 of the dash line (if each quarter represents 1/4 of a century – because of course, I intend to live to be 100).
And I’ll still be playing my accordion in 2039… you bet!!
[Go ahead – smile!]
What Do I Stand For?
Give the question some thought and see what you come up with. Here is what I wrote back to Sehr Jalil. (You should click on that link and see what SHE wrote in her blog about that! Quite interesting!!)
I believe these are the teachings of Christ, who said the greatest of these is LOVE. So I send you the gift of love today, my dear WP friends.
Today is my mom’s birthday. She’d be 104 today. I woke early and was greeted by this gorgeous sunrise peeking over the beautiful Madison Range.
As I zoomed in on it, it became more vibrant.
Orange was my mom’s favorite color. Good morning, Mom! I see you smiling down from heaven. I remember your best days, and set aside the years when Alzheimer’s robbed you of the sparkle, the tenacity, and the wisdom that marked your best days.
Always involved in activities, Mom loved the Rebekahs (female branch of the Odd Fellows), and her bridge club, which weekly met in our living room. Even into her 80’s she loved her 20-Ands Club. She represented a lot of “Ands.” She was an impeccable dresser, beautifully groomed. Managed always to stay fit. She was probably the person who invented the “Selfie”!!
I wrote this poem on December 18, 2004 with Mom in mind. I used phrases she spoke in her last weeks on earth. She was big on giving orders – right up to her last days – even telling God when to take her “home.” She died the day after I composed this, on December 19th.
Before I Die
Before I leave this earth I have a few requests Listen up, my dears, Tomorrow there’ll be tests.
Take my diamond necklace And convert it into cash. Use it for my funeral, Then live life within the dash.
It’s too late for me, friends, To change the things I’ve done; But you have time to listen And teach others of God’s Son.
“The Dash” is all the years Between birth and when you die. Those in-between years Are where your stories lie.
Take my gold and silver, Go out and help the poor. Make amends for all the years I lived from store to store.
Take my many angels, Give them to folks who are Ill, hurting, or lonely. Tell them about the star:
The star of Bethlehem that Was where the angels went To see the newborn baby – Our Lord from Heaven sent.
Take my many clothes and find Folks who are in need. Take the food that I have stashed. Go to the hungry. Feed!
Take my shoes and slippers. Take them all and give Them to the cold and homeless. Help them to warmer live.
Take my chairs and tables, The lamps and bedding, too. Give them to a Home or Mission. They’ll help out quite a few.
Then look around your house, friends. And see the excess treasure. Take it to the needy. You’ll be blessed beyond all measure.
Live your life within the dash In loving generosity. Before you leave this earth, Reach out in pure humility.
Take your gold and silver. Go out and help the poor. God will bless you richly, and You will never want for more.
And we did give most of her angels away – my friend/former student, Lorei, hung them with a note on the doorknobs of the other residents at her care facility where mom lived. Mom had dozens of angels in her collection! And, we gave her clothes and other “stuff” to the people and places that could use them.
However, I have a few of her angels in my “Sanctuary” upstairs. My maiden name is “DeAngeles” (translates to “of angels” – in Italian). Mom lives in me… and today I celebrate her sunrise, her best qualities, and the gifts she instilled in me: self-confidence, unconditional love, tenacity, and a love of poetry.
Happy Birthday, Mom! I am “Living in the Dash” just as you taught me.
When I posted this, it was supposed to be a tribute to a fellow blogger who shared Maya Angelou’s poem, “Continue.” But, when my post aired, the poem was missing. I have since tried to find it, but to no avail… until now.
I wrote, “I love this Maya Angelou poem. I had not seen it before. Have you?” And then, there was no poem for you to see!!
One thing I did find during my search was this quote by Maya Angelou, “My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to allow humor to lighten the burden of your tender heart.”
This is our month on JanBeek of gratitude and kindness… and Maya’s heart and talent surely expand the love this blog is meant to share with you.
I continued my search for her poem titled, Continue, and finally found it!! It was on Phil Ebersole’s blog with a sub-title of, “Thoughts about politics and the passing scene”
If you’ve followed my blog for a week or more, You know that I attend the Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana each Sunday, and I take sermon notes. I take them in poetry – that’s just the way my brain filters the message as I hear it. It helps me listen, and remember, and share with Bob when we get home.
Today’s sermon by our pastor, Rev. Steve Hundley, was titled, “What is Heaven Like?” Here’s my take-away on it:
If Heaven is as it should be, Then I’m gonna sit on the bank Of a beautiful river with my rod And thank God for every yank.
But I know Heaven is beyond My wildest imagination. I know it’ll be flowing with life, With no death, tears or stagnation.
I’m gonna ask God for help to Understand what Heaven is like; And since I have a Harley here, I’m gonna ask if I’ll have my bike.
I’m gonna ask God for help to Understand how I’ll recognize The loved ones who went before me. Will I know ’em when I look in their eyes?
Our Bible assures us that we Will experience joy beyond bounds, So I’m sure I’ll know the angels Who’ll welcome me with glorious sounds.
I know I’ll be healed and whole In Eternity with those I love. So, Heaven will be as it should be When I join my Lord in Heaven above.
When I get to Heaven, I’m gonna Run and leap like a frisky deer. So, when I leave this earth, friends, Don’t weep, don’t cry; Take joy and cheer!
It’ll be Thanksgiving with all our loved ones gathered ’round, and it’ll feel like a Homecoming!
I’m excited to let you know I have another essay appearing in the current issue of AlexandriaLiving magazine!
It’s always a thrill to work with the kind folks at the magazine and as an Alexandria, Virginia resident it was especially fun to contribute.
Below is the link to my piece in the online version of AlexandriaLiving. Check it out, and if you like, please comment on the magazine website in the space just below the essay. We would love to hear your feedback!