How 2 Love Our Cops

The Dash

It’s there on the headstones, barely noticeable. A birth date; a death date. And a little mark in between. The dash – so simple, so seemingly insignificant. Yet it represents a life. It represents relationships. It represents values and words and actions that left a mark on the world.

Last week I attended a memorial service for a beautiful girl with spectacled brown eyes. There were about 2,000 young people with me who dressed in purple, and wiped their eyes as their friends talked about this very bubbly, very fun person whose life was cut short by a car accident.

Her dash represented seventeen years.

Her dash represented a survivor whose father committed suicide just four years earlier.

Her dash represented love and friendship and faith.

Her dash made its mark on many lives – at least 2,000 of them.

What will my dash represent?

This morning I watched a video of the funeral of Chris Kyle, the Navy Seal Sniper who gained worldwide recognition through his bestselling biography, American Sniper.

His dash represented 38 years.

His dash represented a warrior whose devotion to country and service for God ended the terror of many wicked enemies.

His dash represented a man whose love for others brought laughter and security.

His dash made its mark on thousands and thousands of lives.

What will my dash represent?

Will my dash leave a mark? Will that mark be positive?

What is my life about, and who makes my life worth getting up for in the morning?

Will people remember me in the sunshine or in the music?

What will be the consequences of my life be?

My young brown-eyed friend left her mark at seventeen. So few years to make such an impact.

My fellow countryman, Christian brother and military hero left his mark all over the world at 38. His years continue to make an impact through the lives that he touched.

What will my dash represent?

Lord, give us wisdom to choose lives that leave the world better than it was before

The Dash.

About Victoria Newman - "A CHiP on My Shoulder"


  1. Natasha on February 18, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Wow, this was truly amazing. Not only was it heartbreaking to read of such loss, but it was also inspiring! Thank you Vicki.

  2. Kathryn on February 18, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Thank you for writing this Vicki. I was deeply touched and read it to my entire staff at the office this morning. I will likely never look at a grave marker the same again. It is a good gift to be reminded about what truly matters and how we each leave our mark one way or another. May God give us wisdom indeed.

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