Between new years day and Chinese new year my grandmother, and great-grandmother to my children, passed away at the age of 92. We admitted her into the hospital on new years day because she had stopped eating. She died peacefully in her sleep only one day before we would have celebrated Chinese New Year. We’re going to miss her.
At the “Celebration of Life” service we held in her memory, Rev. Terry Shea opened with a poem by Linda Ellis, to remind us that while our date of birth and date of death appear on our gravestones, it is more important to consider how we spend the years in “the dash” between those dates. I first heard “the dash” several years ago when Wayne Myers, an elderly missionary to Mexico, spoke as a guest at Coastal Church in Vancouver. The message within those 36 lines was appropriate for the occasion; I later spoke about my memories of life with Grandma Rose, packaged as “some things death teaches us about life”.
This is a recap of those thoughts, but not exactly as I presented them.