Dash Between The Years

In a church filled with family and friends
My father’s best friend got up to speak
He was older so his walk to the altar was long
and he was tired – his voice was a little weak
He said some profound things that morning
about their friendship & what they liked to do
Then he repeated a small piece of advice
I wish to share with all of you

It’s not how many years you live
It’s what you do with your life
Whether you’re a college graduate
or a busy corporate man or wife
It’s the time it takes in-between
the day you’re born and when you die
You’ll want to do it right but you won’t
You’ll make mistakes & regret them – but don’t
You’ll go through it all, the laughter & the tears
during that dash between the years
During that dash between the years

That made me reassess my life carefully
Was I living to just get by, or through
by trying to avoid all those hoops
By avoiding doing anything new
Was I truly living & giving my all
or just doing everything half-assed
Was I too anxious for the future
and also resting on my laurels from my past

Then I hugged my Mom and family
Talked with them for a little while
Many of those memories we shared
made us laugh, cry, and smile
And I realized right then & there
Dad’s friend was right in his speech
Dad used his life to be an example
others could learn from, or teach

That it’s not how many years you live
or the fancy car & SUV that you drive
The whole point of being on this journey
Is truly living while you’re alive
So do that dream you’ve been dreaming
Have faith in what seems to be a mystery
Whether you focus on your family or careers
May it be a life well lived – That dash between the years
May it be a life well lived – Your dash between the years.


Lyric Notes: I know this theme has been written about, but I felt the frame could be improved. A little from here, a little from there, this is a story I frame with my Dad’s memorial, but that’s just because I feel like a Father is a perfect example of how to convey a message such as this. My Dad was a Controller turned Life Coach who at the end of his life, was just as optimistic towards the people he loved as he was when he didn’t have cancer. There’s a lot of stuff there, but I wanted to write a serious message about that passage between when you’re born and when you die – as advice to live “a life well lived,” as David Wilcox (one of my favorite singer-songwriters) has put it in a couple of his songs. Maybe this one will hit you differently, but it’s a good lesson to just go for your dreams while you’re still alive. Something I probably need to hear regularly as well.

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