Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Dash

I had the pleasure of camping recently at Potato Creek State Park in North Liberty, Indiana.
I love their bike trail!

If you don't know about my OCD camping ways - have a gander at THIS (in fact, you may want to read it after you've read this rather morbid post-I have tears rolling down my cheeks from laughter after reading it - that's one of the things I love about blogging - going back and reading where I was a year ago)

I'm happy to report, that no citations were issued for excessive foil usage, and I didn't even notice too many messy towel violations.
I've discovered that Benadryl helps me sleep through any serial killer fears.

It was a good trip.

I even got to meet a blog friend!

M and I have been corresponding back and forth for about a year - I knew she didn't live too far from the campground and asked her if she'd like to stop by for a visit.
I'm so glad she said yes.
What a doll!

I absolutely love meeting you guys - and so does the BoyChild.
What a smile, eh?

What I found most profound about this camping trip, and I thought today was a good day to talk about it - since it was 9 years ago today that I was preparing for my own mother's funeral - was the fact that there's a cemetery smack down in this state park.

I'm just gonna say this -
I love cemeteries.

I love walking around and seeing the old headstones.
I like imagining their life's story.
I like figuring out how old they were when they passed.

I loved that Aaron was as into it as I was.

There was so much heartache in this cemetery.
Look at the ages of these children if you can -

And these - all from the same parents -

Leaving the cemetery I was struck by the fact that I haven't really experienced heartache.
Yes - I've lost my parents -
yes, I've lost friends and have had 'normal' heartaches -
but my heartaches seemed to pale in comparison to this poor woman who lost all of her children, three at birth.

I realized how incredibly blessed my life has been.
Relatively easy.
More joy than heartache - which perhaps has something to do with my perspective of things.

I didn't want to forget - so I took a cutting of this rose from the grave.

Why do I like cemeteries so much?

They remind me that there is an end.
They remind me that I'm alive now.
That's it's not too late.
It's not too late to change, it's not to late to make amends, it's not to late to speak a kind word, and show love to the people in your life.

If you are reading this blog, you've been given a great gift -
(no - not reading my drivel!)
You have breath in your nostrils.
You are alive.
You are living your " - ".
One day, there will be a date after that dash.

Jayme Goffin
1962 - ?

Make the most of your dash today.
It's not too late.


  1. No wonder we "bond", Jayme.


  2. Oh so true and perfectly said!

    I love your analogy.

    And I love cemeteries too. I had a high school history teacher who took us to cemeteries. There's no place with more history than a cemetery he would say. I have to agree.


  3. Coming here, I feel like I'm in the company of a sister. I also love cemeteries, finding families, imagining their stories. I used to take my girls to cemeteries ... they contain great social studies and math lessons. There is a peace in cemeteries that cannot be found anywhere else.

    If it were me, I would have taken a small slip from the rose ... but don't tell anyone.

  4. Jayme, you are such a great writer. I always take away some pearl of wisdom from your posts. I wish I could drop by the campground!

  5. Sadly, I have tons of photos of cemeteries and headstones in my files...I just never post them. There is just some kind of beauty in them.

  6. Have always enjoyed peaceful cemeteries. Our mom took us on picnics to one in southern Illinois which was reputed to have the largest oak tree in the state. the story was that traveling gypsies lost a child, buried it there and planted the oak tree in remembrance. I agree with your thought-provoking message at the end.

  7. There is a poem entitled "The Dash" was written by Linda Ellis. It is an inspirational poem about treasuring the time that we have on earth. The title of the poem refers to the dash in a gravestone's engraving between the date of birth and date of death. Linda Ellis is a poet, author, and worldwide speaker. "The Dash" has been printed as a hardcover book.

  8. I thought I was the only person on the face of the earth who loved cemeteries, too. And for the same reasons that you do. Remember my grandpa that you visited with me? He was a Methodist pastor and one of his churches had a cemetery behind it, going up a big hill. It was perfect for playing in when I was a kid, esp if my cousins were there cause then we would play hide and seek. Even as a child I would walk through the cemetery, looking at the markers and wonder who those people were, what kind of lives they lived, why so many of them died so young. (I didn't understand about modern medicine back then.)

    Spring Mill St Park has a pioneer cemetery in it, and I am trying really hard to remember the statistics of ages in it. Something like 2/3 of them were children, and the average age was like 13 or under? I wish I could remember exactly. You would really enjoy it.

  9. Jayme.. I love this post. I may even write a bit on my blog about the dash! I never even thought of cemeteries in this way... thanks for the eye opener!

  10. Thanks for the reminder to make the most of my 'dash'!

    That's also the name of my one part of that is very easy!

  11. How did I miss last years camping post? So glad you put the link to it. I love old cemeteries and often make up stories about the residents. BTW I am planning to camp a couple nights by myself this summer. Never have done that before, and your old post makes me want to rethink it:)

  12. I am a cartified trainer for NILMDTS so I'm very familiar with infant loss - but three losses is more than I think any woman should ever have to bear.

    And one of my sons always liked to go to the cemetary and read headstones and look at stars. He says it's a peaceful place.

  13. I just love your soul, Jayme. That's so corny coming from me, but it's just the simple truth.

    Best post ever,this one. Yes indeed.. what are you doing with your "dash".

  14. I know my dash is full~! I try to live everyday like it's my last day.
    I love cemeteries.. When I was younger and my dad was still alive. I took my tape recorder that had a microphone on it and we went to the family cemetery in Marion, Ohio. Dad told the most marvelous stories about some of the people in this cemetery. I'm so glad I have it all on tape.. I love hearing his voice and his stories.. Memories are something we should make daily in our lives.
    Have a Blessed Day~! ta ta for now from Iowa:)

  15. Your Canadian FriendJune 23, 2011 at 10:45 AM

    LOVED the link Jayme...

    xo Chris

  16. lovely. and sad. i like cemetaries for the same reasons.

    and i love camping but have weird serial killer phobias too;)

  17. Gosh! You stopped me in my tracks today - went onto YouTube to catch the vid and felt my thinking being rearranged. Thanks for posting the link!

  18. Oh my, what a profound post...happy memories and reminders that we truly are indeed blessed to have woken up this morning and to have people that love us!
    How blessed and so happy you had such a wonderful time on your trip!

  19. So beautiful, thanks for sharing.

  20. I love cemeteries. We buried Danny and Doug in a little one just down the road. The next time you are here we will visit. It has some really old ones and the children ones always make me sad.
    Hope your pictures went fab! xoxo

  21. There is something about graveyards -isn't there? I kinda like them myself (for reasons your shared), but I haven't been in one "just to browse", lately... I've been there recently to say good-bye - too soon, too often.

    It does make you think.

    I so love the words you shared on the DASH. Live it!!

    Very profound. Thanks for sharing.

  22. So true but so easy to forget.

  23. I enjoy your thoughts and I myself love old cemeteries.....they do make you think

  24. I love that you are another "old soul". I grew up right next to a graveyard on top of a mountain in PA. My Aunt was the unofficial "grave yard keeper". I spent many, many summer days there with a book-propped up against my Uncles tombstone reading while she weeded. I must have been a tad lazy beacause I don't remember doing any weeding! lol

    There are some fascinating graveyards around here too...several that have the old tintype cameos in sepia that are attached to the fronts of the graves. If you are interested I could take some pictures and post them. GREAT post...and what fun to meet a blogging friend. "Your" boy looks really cute and happy! xo Diana

  25. Love this! My Gramma used to take us as little kids to the cemetary. I have always found them very peaceful.
    Don't think I can do the camping though!
    My last camping experience was beyond horrible.

  26. I too love the peace of a cemetery. My dad and brother are buried at Fort Rosecrans and it a national cemetery that is high on a hill overlooking the pacific ocean. I was planning on taking a picture of it one day.There is one spot that shows the grave markers and the Pacific and it is so beautiful.

  27. Right there with ya (but NOT stalking you in the campground)! We have some awesome old cemeteries on our backroads. I've taken many pics but never find time to post (nor words as sweet as yours). Thanks!

  28. I'm usually a lurker that enjoys your blog so much! I love cemeteries too and recently blogged about my memorial day trip to the family cemetery - to me it feels like home :)
    Blessings, Patti

  29. There is also an old cemetery in the Spring Mill State Park in Mitchell IN, as well as the old village and working gristmill were you can get fresh ground cornmeal. Several really nice (and some really tough) hiking trails and caves and an Inn to dine or spend the night. Plus camping grounds and swimming. If you are ever down this way it is worth the gate fee! Give me a holler if you ever end up in this neck of the woods!

  30. My road trip yesterday took me back to my hometown and the cemetery where my brother is buried. "Cemetery Lover" is on my description list too. As I looked across the sea of graves at the National Cemetary it's overwhelming. So many lives. When he died in 2002, the cemetery had just opened. Now it's more than half filled. My generation now is going, many in middle age...not war at all but life has taken it's toll.

  31. Well, that puts things into perspective. The poor Sousley family. Law. You need to name your rose bush after them.

    Did you go to the Rib Fest? We were so near it on Sat. evening and I wanted to dash over and run through the ribs, calling out for Aibileen.

    I'm glad the camp was good to you.Thank you for linking back to my favorite post ever of yours. I'm about to take a look...

  32. Oh, my, Word, I just love cemetaries too! When I drive and see one, I can't not think of who they were what was their life like? What was their story? Its peaceful and full of God's grace and beauty knowing HE knew everyone of them and counted the hairs on their heads. Sometime we need to take a bag of circus peanuts, ice tea and make a day of it. And Aaron....what a doll.He is so handsome. Wish we lived closer!!

  33. That was really good, Jayme. I feel so sad when I look at gravemarkers and see that little children passed away young. I can't even imagine the sorrow the parents feel. Thanks for the reminder to make the most of 'today'.


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