The Dash of Stan the Man Musial

Whenever a personal hero of mine passes, I am reminded of a poem. Stan Musial died a few days ago at the old age of 92. For those who don’t know, he was a man of character, integrity, and humility. He was a continuing bright light in all of baseball both on the field and off. 

He was a gentleman, and left quite the legacy and example to follow for those who play sports.

Deaths like these remind me of this poem, ironically written by an athlete himself. What dash am I creating? How will people remember my dash? Is it reflecting Christ? Is it a Biblical example? I pray and hope so. It reminds me it doesn’t matter how long you live, but how you live in the time God has given you.

So with that, here is possibly my favorite poem of all time. It doesn’t have perfect pentameter, nor does it completely rhyme. But poetry is more than just meter and verse. It is an expression of thought, and this he does quite well.

The Dash
I have seen death stare at me with my own eyes in a way many cannot know.
I’ve seen death take others but still leave here below.

I’ve heard many screams of mother cries but death has refused to hear.
In my life I have seen many faces with many, many tears.

After death has come and gone, a tombstone sits for many to see,
But is serves no more than a symbol of a person’s memory.

Under the person’s name it reads the date of birth-and the date the person passed,
But the more I think about the tombstone the only important thing is the dash. 

Yes, I see the name of the person but that I might forget,
I also read the date of birth and death, but even that might not stick.

But thinking about the person, I can’t help but to remember the dash,
Because it represents a person’s life and that will always last. 

So when you begin to chart your life, make sure you are on a positive path.
Because people may forget your birth and death, but they will never forget your dash.

~Alton Maiden (Notre Dame football player)

What does your dash look like?


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