This past week my heart was shattered; one of my all-time best friend’s mother, Alice Hammond, passed away this past Friday. The past several days I have been having memories flooding through my mind. The hundreds of nights that I lay my head down in Mrs. Hammond’s house and ate at her dinner table, while spending the night with Staci, will never be forgotten. Year after year of lying on her living room floor flipping through the Sears catalogue making Christmas Lists; the long walks that Staci and I walked back and forth to the swimming pool; the telephone prank calls Staci and I made (until Mrs. Hammond would catch us); and the list goes on. Staci and I were inseparable back in-the-day, and the two of us were either at my house or her house. Mrs. Hammond felt like a second mother to me during my younger years. Maybe that was because I felt so at home because she reminded me so much of my mom. She was a kind, gentle lady. She disciplined us without rage or fury (not to say we didn’t get in trouble – because we did – like with the prank phone calls)! She was a true Christian lady in all aspects of her life. To know Alice Hammond was to love her. She was an awesome mother and grandmother; and her children re-paid her with their love and respect during her final months of her life, ten-fold. I was reminded of a poem I heard once titled “The Dash” written by Linda Ellis. It refers to the dates on your tombstone; your birth year, the dash, and your death year. The point of the poem is that the dash represents our life. It represents all the time that we are alive on this earth and how we live our life. It represents our words, and our love and affection. Or, it can represent the lack and absence of it all. When we are dead and gone what people will remember about us the most is our “dash” and how we lived it. Mrs. Hammond’s “dash” was lived to the fullest; and she will always be remembered as a loving, giving, respectful, Christian lady. When people stand at the foot of YOUR grave and look at YOUR dash……. what will they remember about YOU? Think about it! Until then….. I’ll see you around the town.