Contemplating on where I wanted to lean into this month was super challenging for me. With the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the 21st Anniversary of 09.11, and the transition of my uncle; all that has been on my mind for most of this month is life, death, purpose.  What are we doing with our DASH? I have heard many speakers refer to “THE DASH” within their presentation and it is the tiny line (-) between the year you were born and the year of your death. Linda Ellis wrote a poem called “The Dash” back in 1996. ‘Linda explains how the dash seems insignificant, but that it actually represents the time a person spends alive on earth.’  Linda was inspired to write “The Dash” by her co-worker’s wife who was terminally ill and wrote a letter reflecting that she spent most of her life worrying about life, instead of living it.  This poem immediately inspired many listeners as it was shared on a syndicated radio show in Atlanta, GA.

How are you living your dash? What does your dash say about you? What is the purpose of your dash? What are you going to be remembered for? How will you be eulogized?

Though death is a sensitive topic that many do not expose their children to it because of the pain that immediately gets associated with death. God had slightly different plans for me. At the age of twelve, I woke up at 5am to babysit my neighbors’ children before school and learned that evening that my mother gained wings and my dad gained handcuffs. As I reflect, I don’t recall, even in the middle of this tragedy, what death fully meant except that person went to heaven. I do remember that I spent most of my day being angry with my mom for leaving us, leaving me. How could she leave her twelve-year-old about to become a teenager by herself? How could she do this to me? What am I to do without a mother? How in the He!! am I supposed to get through life now alone? (Which is what we were told of why our mom was not home) When we were taken to our local police station in the middle of the night to be told of the news, I immediately felt three things:

(1) a sense of fulfillment for the story I was living now made more sense.

(2) a sense of ownership of becoming a mentor/mother figure/protector for my younger sister. 

(3) a sense of responsibility/guilt/regret for not going home with my mom the night before. Maybe if I did, she’d still be here, I would have had that one on one time with her, and I would have been able to say I love you one more time.

The night prior, all I remember is I refused to go home with my mom because I was angry at her for something I could not even recall the day after, let alone heading into 38 year later.

How are you living your dash? What does your dash say about you? What is the purpose of your dash? What are you going to be remembered for? How will you be eulogized?

I learned a valuable lesson on April 12, 1985. LIFE GOES ON! Through lose, we live. Through lose, we celebrate life, birthdays, anniversaries. Through lose, we go to school, work, church. Through lose, we honor what we loved most about them. Through lose, we live out the best thing they loved about us. 

I spent much of my life to my mid thirties “living” with my armor up to battle the next adversity, knowing that life can shift at any moment. That it only takes one second to change your life. And sometimes, we have no say to that second. That if we ‘survive’ that second, then and only than do we have power over the next second forward. 

Me “living” meant me “living’ in my purpose.  My purpose was to honor my birth Mom by being successful, having a successful job, owning a title, earning rewards, accolades. Being able to take my siblings on trips, travel the world, buy a home, live out loud as how I envisioned my mom would have been able to live if she was here today. So much so that when I no longer was holding those positions, those titles, being able to travel at a whim; I was at a loss. Who was I if I was no longer “X”? What was my value in life if I no longer can afford the gifts onto others?  What meaning did I have? I spent a few years in a state of an identity crisis that on some days took my self-esteem, my self-worth, and the significance of why I was here became distorted at times.

How are you living your dash? What does your dash say about you? What is the purpose of your dash? What are you going to be remembered for? How will you be eulogized?

Did you know I lived this mindset for almost my entire lifetime?!?  I was today years old, when I uncovered that PURPOSE has NOTHING to do with your title, your work, your accolades, what you own, where you travel, what you can gift to others. NOTHING AT ALL!! Here I am at 49, learning this!! AND what a shift it has given to me!

PURPOSE is TOTALLY Y.O.U.R “DASH” however it does not include your jobs, success in anything that is materialistic!  PURPOSE has EVERYTHING to do with WHO YOU ARE! What about you that your loved ones love about you? What are the ‘things’ others come to you for? What do you do daily that brings you joy?  What immediately makes your heart smile, your mind at peace? What drives you to get out of bed? Who encourages you? Who inspires you? Who do you think about the most? 

How are you living your dash? What does your dash say about you? What is the purpose of your dash? What are you going to be remembered for? How will you be eulogized?

You are NOT loved more from your creator by what title you hold or how many accomplishments you have achieved in your career.  You are NOT valued more based on achievements nor the size of your home, the materialistic contents in or outside your home. You are not getting a special ‘living’ section for these accomplishments in heaven. 

While we are here on earth, know our “DASH” is ours!! We own it! Whether it is for a day or 100 days! LIVE IT! LEAVE your mark! LOVE out LOUD! Our creators did not make us to live this life alone. Your creator made you out of love, to love and be loved. 

When I think about my Uncle Giorgio who recently transitioned, I immediately think back to how he made me feel, his smile, his laughter, how he always gave a warm embrace, a genuine hug. He and my aunt were together for 59 years, yes 59 years!! Married at 16 & 22. A beautiful family full of siblings, cousins, three sons, 2 daughters-in-law, 3 grandchildren, countless additional family & friends who my Uncle touched in his lifetime on earth and will continue to impact and inspire from above for generations to come! THAT is LIFE! THAT is a BEAUTIFUL BLESSED LIFE! THAT is THE GIFT of LIFE!

LIVE LIFE NOW! LOVE NOW! Every single one of us deserves to be loved like you are the only one in the world. Every single one of us deserve to live a fruitful, joyful life of giving to others through your kindness, your heart, and your love. 

We all know personally, or through someone else, what grief feels like. We know it is part of life. We all will have to embrace it at some point along our journey. …SO, I ask you one last time.

How are you living your dash? What does your dash say about you? What is the purpose of your dash? What are you going to be remembered for? How will you be eulogized?

When it is my turn to be eulogized, remember how I made you feel, did I inspire you? Did I encourage you in a tiny way? What did I love most about you? What did you love most about me? Take all of that and live your life giving those memories, those thoughts, those feelings, those gifts, those blessings out to the world. Celebrate life. Celebrate my life. Laugh. Tell Stories. Don’t say good-bye. I will see you again when it is your turn. Pay it forward.  

Do all of this, Ask all of this of your loved ones. Know and believe that the spirit of your loved one will live within you for as long as you want them to be. It is an eternal life. Honor them. Remember them. Pray for and with them.

I hope my words encouraged you a little more to do “the things” – whatever that you have been dreaming of, wanting to do, wanting to say.  Take that leap. There are no rejections – ONLY redirections. 

You are the creator, the writer and the director of “YOUR DASH”.. now let’s see your Block Buster!

P.S. ((grieving is not easy – I have a free “marykim” 7 steps on grief I’d be happy to forward you or someone you know. These are the 7 steps that have carried me through all the grieving in my lifetime. Send me an Instagram message: GRIEF and it is yours)) 

Mary Kim Farkas is a single mommy to her nine-year-old son, Desiderio with Down Syndrome. Desiderio is the light in her soul, the joy in her heart, and the inspiration behind her fight. Losing her birth parents at a young age did not deter her in believing that love can make the world go ‘round. Mary Kim is a champion of abuse by people she trusted as a child. Her drive, determination, and belief that this is not the way life is supposed to has allowed her to carry on because she had to. Growing up in an Italian American household instilled strong family values. The power of prayer in one’s life was learned at a very young age. It is the core reason why the power of faith is strongly rooted into her heart, soul, and purpose in life today. 

Mary Kim Farkas’s gift is to see the light and the silver lining in any situation as she firmly believes tests become your testimony. What one may perceive these are scenarios to break you, Mary Kim thrives on knowing we are given these not to break us but build us to be the person God created us to be.

Mary Kim Farkas is living a purpose driven life with integrity to aspire and with intent. Sharing her testimonies of life to not only break generational curses, stigmas, and abuse, but mainly to let others know they are not alone and that they too can decide to become a champion despite the adversities they endured. Mary Kim is also passionate on advocating for her son’s Down Syndrome and Differently-abled community. 

Follow Mary Kim Farkas on her quest to “Embracing Life Enriched with Joy”

“Living a Purpose Driven Life with Integrity to Aspire and with Intent

 Email: marykimfarkas72@stasiameinsgmail-com

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