Thursday, October 08, 2009


February 6, 1947-October 3,2009

In memory of Mrs.Paula Burris Porter,dearest friend and cherished Tea sister. Tea Society members have been invited to honor Paula on this blog during the coming days. To begin our tribute, I wanted to share the following poem which was read yesterday at her funeral.

The Dash
by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her 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
That she spent alive on earth
And now only those who loved her
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 can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And 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 spent your dash?

© 1996 Linda Ellis


willow said...

I'm sad to hear of the passing of your dear friend, Rebecca. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family.

Natalie said...

We will miss Paula so! When we met for teas together, and Paula started in with, "Now, girls...", we knew that a story was on the way and that we'd end up giggling or hoorawing in happy, unladylike fashion. I learned to listen for those two little words.

A few years ago the tea society spent a weekend in Louisville. Wasn't it fun to stay up late-late-late together with Paula in our cozy B&B suite, to talk about everything in the world. Wouldn't you know, we all gathered in her part of the suite; she was a magnet!

Hugs to you, Paula, and I hope we shall all meet again someday,


Betsy said...

Oh, I'm so sorry! loved the poem!