Dads, have you ever read an obituary and thought about what yours would say? Or, have you been to a funeral and pictured what the pastor would say about your life?
I have. Is that weird? I hope not. But, for those of you who haven’t yet had these thoughts, I can tell you that it can be a pretty powerful way of taking a look at the priorities in your life!
I don’t read a lot of poetry, but one of my all-time favorite poems is “The Dash,” by Linda Ellis. Ellis wrote “The Dash” during an afternoon in 1996—a relatively short poem, just 36 lines and only 236 words. However, since then, this poem has touched millions of lives.
While I am not a poet by trade, I thought I would take an afternoon to write a dad-specific version inspired by the original poem.
I would love to share my poem with you! Would you like to read it?
A Dad’s Dash
by Mark LaMaster
Dads, on the day that your eulogy is read,
Your life will be summed up in a paragraph or two.
Memories will be shared and tears will be shed.
From birth until death, these words will define you
In the busyness of this life we may not notice,
But each and every day we are building our legacy—
How we will be remembered and how others will quote us
How we handled life whether it was great or messy
The poem, “The Dash,” tells us that our dash
Represents all of the time we have spent on earth.
Dads, we know that this life goes by in a flash
And that our Dad Dash started from the day of our kids’ birth.
From this day on, let’s develop our Dad Dash.
Let’s pursue our family with fervency and passion.
Let us not tread the water of life, but make a splash
In a culture that cultivates consumerism, vanity, and fashion.
May our lights shine before other men
In such a way that they may see our good deeds.
Let’s lead with intention and not let life just happen.
Let’s use our gifts and give our family what it needs.
May our Dad Dash show how we were bold
And how we stood firm in our faith led by grace—
Watching over our family, young and old
Each day, without exception, seeking His face
So, when our Dad Dash is read on the day we are laid to rest
With our family sitting before us in the front row,
May our wives and kids say, “He was the best!”
While other lives we touched reflect on how we helped them grow.
May the words generous, selfless, content,
Respectful, trusting, patient, passionate, and intentional
Flow from the lips of the pastor’s statement,
Describing a man that was full of life and multi-dimensional
May your Dad Dash reflect a life of splendor.
Dads, it’s not too late to build your legacy—
A legacy reflecting the love of God and your neighbor.
Join me today and take action in building our destiny!
©2017 Playoff Parenting, LLC.
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