Sunday, February 26, 2012

Linda Derstine (1949-2012) Our neighbor, Our friend

The Dash
By Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning…to the end.
He noted that first came the date of her 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
That she spent alive on earth
And now only those who love her
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 can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we 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 read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

When my family moved to Perkasie in 1986, 
Mrs. Linda Derstine became a part of my life.
Part of my story.
She always smiled.
She always cared.
She always loved.
When Kaish was born she and her husband Mark
 often let us come over to swing on their swings 
and play in their sandbox.
Kaish grew up with her grandbabies.
We mourned the loss of Mr. Derstine with her.
Mrs. Derstine was a light in this dreary world.
A beautiful light.
I will never forget her.
63 years wasn't long enough.


M said...
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M said...
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M said...

(Just having a little trouble posting-) So true, the dash is important. My sister was born in 1948...just a year before your neighbor...but she died in 1977 when her babies were just 5 and 6. She was 11 years older than me and I never really knew her. 63 is too young. My sympathies to her family and you.

Loukia said...

This was so, so beautiful. How we spend our dash... oh, so very true. Thank you for sharing this. Hugs to you.

Tracy P. said...

So sorry for your loss, Becky. This is such an important truth. Thanks for sharing it.

Gigi said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. It sounds as if she was a wonderful person.

Mari said...

This is a wonderful tribute to your friend. I always appreciate that poem and it was good to read it again.

Adrienne said...

Beautiful tribute for your friend, Becky. I am sorry for your loss!

Tamar SB said...

I am so sorry for your loss, as we say, blessed be the judge of truth - baruch dayan emet - may her memories be for a blessing. Such a touching tribute.

Farmgirl Paints said...

Oh girl I'm so sorry. What a beautiful poem and so very very true. You know these pics make my heart sing! Love ya friend.

Courtney Foster said...

I am sorry you lost a friend. I love how you honored her here.

Debby said...

Beautifully said. So true. Love the dash idea. Your friend was too young and I can tell a person that was treasured. I hope the memories bring you a little peace.

Rachel @ A Cupcake for Moose said...

Friends are true treasures. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. She sounds absolutely lovely!

Ami said...

I am so glad you had such a lovely person in your life. And so very sorry that she's not there in person with you now. But as long as you remember her with love, and share her with other people, she isn't really gone.

Maddy said...

So sorry for your loss, Becky. 63 years is not a very long time, but it sounds like the impact she made on those around her will last a lifetime.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I'm so sorry the world has lost another wonderful person. Love and hugs to you and the family....
The dash is the MOST important part of our lives, it shows what we did with our time, no matter how short or long.

April said... heart breaks for the loss of your dear friend. She sure sounds like she was a remarkable person. Praying for you and those she left behind.

Nezzy said...

What a beautiful tribute to a dear friend and neighbor. 'Sounds like Linda spread sunshine wherever she dashed.

I'm so sorry for your loss and Heaven's gain.

My heart and prayers are with you and her family.

God bless ya sweetie and have a peaceful day!!! :o0

photowannabe said...

63 is definitely too young.
It certainly sounds like she made the most of the DASH.
This analogy was used last week at the funeral of a mighty man of God and mentor pastor in our Sacramento Area. He spoke at our church many times and will be sorely missed.
I want to have my DASH be meaningful too.
Beautiful tribute Becky.

t@emmons-blessings said...

Becky, what a beautiful tribute! We are so, so, so sorry for the loss of your family friend! You always have the most wonderful things to say. We pray for healing hearts all around. May HIS love comfort you.

be blessed,


Dina @ 4 Lettre Words said...

She was certainly blessed to have spent some of that "dash" with you, my friend. (So am I.)

Anonymous said...

I am so devastated by her death. She was good and kind and loyal and I loved her so much. She impacted my life in a huge way!

derstine family said...

Becky thank you for posting this. Grandmom and all us kids always looked forward to visits from you guys. Your mom's friendship meant so much to her. Love, Calli Derstine.

Mom Taxi Julie said...

63 years is way too young :( I wish more people would think of that dash.

Kaitlin @ Homemaker Design said...

Beautiful!! ♥ I am VERY sorry to hear of your loss - it is tough. Praying God's blessings, guidance and peace for you and those around you. :)

Again, thank you for your prayers and for stoping by my blog (again) :) Your comments lifted my spirit. :) Blessings!

Kaitlin @ Homemaker Design said...

Oh yes, your photos - they are absolutly GORGEOUS!!!! *sigh* such beauty all around us! :)

Christina said...

I'm sorry for the loss of this wonderful friend. Very sorry.

Teachinfourth said...

That dash IS important. Sometimes we forget that...

The images are fantastic and match the words very well.