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Evelyn Runyan 1930-2020

"Can I see it? The urn?" Imagining some ornate decoration, I barely recognize the box, an unassuming cloth-covered cube. It's surprisingly heavy for such a small container. I've never seen anything like that before.

We put Grandma Evelyn in the ground today. It was her 91st birthday. This poem was shared at her service.

THE DASH the poem by Linda Ellis I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning… to the end. He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years. For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them 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. So think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged. To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before. If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile… remembering that this special dash might only last a little while. So when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?

© 1996-2020 Southwestern Inspire Kindness, Inc. All Rights Reserved. We invite you to share the poem. Please include this credit line: By Linda Ellis, Copyright © 2020 Inspire Kindness,

Grandma Evelyn spent her dash with people and with things. We have many things by which to remember her and many memories of hilarious circumstances. She loved dolls and painting and crafting. She would lead my Girl Scout troop in crafts at holidays. She loved people and she spent the time, even doing small meaningless things. She showed me how to make a Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing. She helped me make cake pops for Amelia's birthday. She made little nameplates for holidays. (It was a big deal when the kids no longer sat at the kid table, but we mixed kids and adults.) She sang with us when we visited her at her home--This Land is Your Land, Oh Christmas Tree. She loved us until the end and knew who we were. These are just some of the things I remember as her granddaughter. She was a complicated person but she loved in her unique way.

"It's water, Phil!"

"Your mother thinks that woman is a man!"

"Boil it longer!"

"I'll have a latte, hold the milk."


"I love you."

Like a page turning in a book, a new chapter has begun. We love you Grandma and Grandpa. And thank you.

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1 Comment

Jen Willett
Jen Willett
Jul 17, 2021

Beautiful tribute Addie. 💜

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