This week I have been reminded of how precious life is. Not one, but two young lives have been taken from this earth – separately, but each an unexpected and tragic loss.
It’s hard to be my positive, upbeat self when tragedy strikes, and it weighs heavy on the heart. It’s difficult to get through the night without a tear streaming down my cheek as I think about and pray for the families to find some relief from their pain. It’s heart-wrenching to talk with those who lost the most.
As I was praying with my daughter last night – praying for comfort to come – she started to tear up. This is a nine year old that has experienced more than I would like her to: the effects of cancer, death of loved ones and childhood friends. She knows that death can come at any time. She knows that even though I say I’ll be here for her tomorrow and for years to come that may not be true.
We’ve all heard the saying, “There’s two things guaranteed out of life: death and taxes.” We know that death can come at any age, and so does my daughter.
The topic of death comes up often, usually at bedtime. One of her biggest fears in life is losing me as her mama. She feels she came close enough to that reality when I was diagnosed with cancer. I’d have to agree with her; it was too close for comfort.
When we sit down to talk, we often discuss how there is no guarantee that I will be around for years to come, but that I will do everything I can to stay here for as long as I can. We talk about how precious life is, because it truly is a precious gift. We need to live that life we do have to the fullest.
We all have been given one life to live. I’ve talked to my daughter about how living with three simple rules would help us experience the way our life was meant.
- Live by the saying “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
- We should live in the moment, not live for what happened in the past or what the cards hold in our future.
- Cherish what we have: family, friends, love, laughter, and joy.
It sounds simple enough, right? Of course there will be moments in life that will be too big not to sweat, especially when tragedy occurs. However, if we can hold onto these three rules, then our life will be just that much more golden.
Be grateful for every second of every day that you get to spend with the people you love. Life is precious.
~ Mandy Hale
Angela Banker is a mother, a wife, a daughter, and a sister; she is also a young survivor, a caregiver, a supporter, and a fighter. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33, and found herself empowered to share her story to raise awareness about breast cancer. Angela participates in Relay For Life, started the Sisters Beating Breast Cancer page to inspire others, and continues to "fight like a girl" with the hope that her daughter will never have to hear the dreaded words, "You have cancer."