We live our lives, possibly marry and have children and grandchildren. We pass on our DNA which is a melding of the DNA of our ancestors and are told we have our father's eyes or our grandmother's nose but what do we know of them as a person?
When I started to trace my family tree I looked for names of my relatives, dates of their births, marriages and deaths but I felt like there was something missing. What else was there to find? The person my ancestor had been, that is what was left! The following writing was posted on a genealogy mailing list. It was written anonymously but shares my feelings of what genealogy is about, filling in my ancestors dash!
SPENDING YOUR DASH?
I read of a man who stood to speakAt the funeral of a friend.He referred to the dates on her tombstoneFrom the beginning ... to the end.He noted that first came her date of birthAnd spoke the following date with tears,But he said what mattered most of allWas the dash between those years. (1930 - 1998)For that dash represents all the timeThat she spent alive on earth....And now only those who loved herKnow 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 loveAnd 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 enoughTo consider what's true and real,And always try to understandThe way other people feel.And be less quick to anger,And show appreciation moreAnd love the people in our livesLike we've never loved before.If we treat each other with respect,And more often wear a smile...Remembering that this special dashMight only last a little while.So, when your eulogy's being readWith your life's action's to rehash...Would you be proud of the things they sayAbout how you spent your dash?