" Hilda Kingsley: We Will All Remember How She Spent Her Dash!"


   When I first heard that Hilda Kingsley had passed away, my first reaction was simply, “WOW!” I have known Hilda for as long as I have lived in Valley East , which was since 1974. Hilda was “everywhere”. She seemed to be involved in just about everything that you could imagine and her passion for working for children in minor sports was legendary. All I could think of was WOW! I could sense a loss of much more than a friend and acquaintance. I sensed the loss of a community icon. A loss that will change the face of Valley East forever. Hilda was everywhere and now she is gone.
   I thought about Hilda again, and wondered, “How can Valley East ever be the same without her?”
   At the same time, I began to realize just how much of a difference Hilda meant to
Valley East and now it is up to the rest of us to step it up a notch and carry on in her memory. She served for so many years in minor hockey with the N.O.H.A., was a driving force behind the Consbec ‘AAA’ Midgets, was instrumental in the development of minor soccer, and volunteered with the Club Richelieu. She was also ready to give of her time to help anyone who needed her assistance, and she will be forever known as the First Lady of The Renegades Organization, perhaps her greatest contribution of all.
   Hilda was the first inductee in the Volunteer Category to the Valley East Sports Hall of Fame in 1998. There was no question as to who the first inductee would be. It had to be Hilda Kingsley. She made such a difference in the community.

   Even though Hilda was someone who always had time to volunteer to help out with minor sports, she also had time to be a very devoted wife to Jean-Paul and a loving mother to her two sons, David and Mark, both of whom are still living in Hanmer. Her greatest joys in life were her two grandchildren, Rebecca and Kaitlin.

   A lady named Linda Ellis once wrote a little poem that I think best expresses Hilda Kingsley’s life. The poem is entitled, “The Dash”. As you read it, if you knew Hilda Kingsley, think of how it is a fitting description of this very special woman. Also, think about yourself and ask if this poem could be used to describe your own life one day or to describe someone you once knew who is no longer with us.

March 14, 1946 December 5, 2008


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?

   Joseph Epstein once said, “We do not choose to be born. We do not choose our parents, or the country of our birth. We do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time and conditions of our death. But within this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we live.”
   A lot will be said about Hilda Kingsley and about how she lived her life, but the most fitting tribute of all will be that she showed us all how to spend our dash.
   Have a good week.

Written by Robert Kirwan

Many people have come up to me in recent years to say that they still remember the weekly Reflections on Life that I published in the Valley Vision Paper, which ceased publication a number of years ago. They have indicated that they would like to see them back again so I have decided to begin distributing a weekly Reflection on Life through our Valley East Facebook Group which I encourage everyone to join. For all of my previous Reflections from the Vision, you can go to the following link and you will find most of them archived. REFLECTIONS ON LIFE

For the index of Reflections in 2014, CLICK HERE

If you have any comments, please send them to me at rkirwan@infocomcanada.com 


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