A tear slid quietly down my cheek as I stifled a gasp of “oh no!” when I read that news Sunday morning. Gone is someone who never failed to brighten my day, like my posts, or comment on my blogs. But while her family and many in our community will mourn and miss her, I can’t help but be happy too. Gone is her pain as she breathes freely again. Gone is her loneliness since she has now been reunited with children and others who passed before her that she has sorely missed. She may be gone, but she will never be forgotten.
Margie was someone that I knew from our local Threshing Bee years ago when my dad used to announce the parade. They were friends and she called him “Herbie,” when no else dared to do that. She was part of my mom’s “club” that shared meals and laughs and an occasional field trip each month. She was on my husband’s mail route, consequently they knew each other too. So for most of my adult life, I knew of her, but I didn’t really know her until we became friends on Facebook several years ago. And while I’m sure I don’t know her as well as others do, I have so appreciated her ever since.
Some people talk about making a difference and some people just do it. You could count on Margie to share beautiful pictures, make comments on your posts, or ask questions so she got the straight scoop. She made you feel like you mattered, even on social media. You don’t have to make a big splash to make a difference. It’s the little things that warm another’s heart or puts a smile on their face. To that end, we all have been blessed by the difference Margie made in our lives.
When she was required to take oxygen 24/7 several months ago, it would curtail how often and where she would be able to get out, which was frustrating to her and her previously active lifestyle. She wondered aloud on Facebook what she would do “trapped” at home. So many of us encouraged her to use her computer to stay in touch with the world and keep sharing those things upon which we all had come to depend. And she did… right up until the last day.
I have used The Dash, a poem by Linda Ellis, in previous blogs, and in lessons and devotionals at church. What will you do with that “dash” between the day of your birth and the day of your death? As we look back, we come to realize that it’s the days and years in between that truly define us as Ellis notes,
“For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth
and now only those who loved 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.”
To paraphrase Joseph Epstein, “We do not choose to be born…. We (most of us) do not choose to die; nor the time or condition of our death…But…we do choose how we live.”
There is no better way to honor Margie’s life and her profound effect on so many than to choose to make a difference for others every day just as she did. In a world continually filled with sound bites and pictures of hate, violence, and negativity, we can choose to be the messenger of hope; the light at the end of the tunnel; the rainbow in someone’s clouds.
RIP Margie. The world was a better place because you lived here. We look to the heavens as you soar with angel’s wings and hope that you will continue to smile down, encourage, and inspire those you left behind. Today you have inspired me to write again, a blog you will not "like" or comment on, but one I had to write. So in your honor, I renew my quest to make a difference as I live out the rest of my dash.