When someone passes away, we put a line between their birth year and death year. In place of a lifetime of memories, we place a single dash. That dash is a horrible representation of who we are. It makes you stop and think about what that dash represents.
A friend of ours passed away on Saturday. 1978 - 2013. His dash represents 34 years. Yes, you read that right. He was taken far too soon but by a God who knows best. We met this young man, let's call him Coach, just recently really. Over the past couple of years, he became really close friends with our best friends. Maybe calling him a friend is even premature. We sadly didn't get to know Coach as well as we wanted. We thought we had more time. What I learned about Coach this week was just how big his dash was.
Like I said, I didn't know Coach well. But just from what I observed, he lived his life all in. He loved those around him. His had a wildly energetic personality and was definitely a force of nature. He coached my best boy's baseball team. But he did more than just coach baseball, he encouraged these little men and loved them with his whole heart.
When Hubs and I arrived at his viewing service on Wednesday night, I was in awe of how many cars were there and the three hour event had just begun. We stood in line with hundreds of other people before we were able to reach his precious wife and pay our respects. When we left, it was dark and chilly and the line to just get inside the church was still hundreds of people long. These people were touched in some way or another by Coach. Whether they were lifelong friends or only knew him through his community activities, everyone had their story about what a good man Coach was.
The sadness of his passing is overwhelming. Our world lost an incredibly generous soul. His sweet wife lost her love and their precious boy lost his father. I mourn for them. I mourn for my dear friend, who coached along side Coach, because he lost a true friend. What I learned through this sadness was that Coach's dash was big. It was big and full. He lived a life of love in action. His legacy, even in 34 short years, was one of friendship, love, and laughter. May we all live a life larger than our dash.