During a difficult week for my extended family — with the death of two men, both in their twenties — I had the honor of attending one of their celebrations of life.
That day trip out of town to support those closest to the deceased triggered moments of inspiration and deep thinking.
The sermon during the service talked about the “Three R’s.” Typically when we hear about those it refers to the academics: reading, writing, and arithmetic. This time, though, it meant to “Remember, Review, and Refocus.” When we are faced with death, these Three R’s will help to not only deal with a death, but also to help us live our lives.
I drove away from that memorial service with some deep thoughts. I thought about my life and how I’m living it. I had to ask what is truly important to me. It was simple to answer. It’s family – always has been, always will be. At times, I get lost along the way. Other smaller things become more important, and the emphasis needs to be put back to where it belongs.
We need to remember the memories of the one we loved – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Even death cannot take away those memories, many of which we cherish. Remembering those memories and the person we lost too soon can help ease the pain of their death.
Experiencing a death of a loved one will often teach us to review our own life. We need to review our own life. With questions like, “What are our priorities?” and, “Are we living the life we want to?” we will begin to see what is important to us. Maybe we lost track of the path we were meant to live. Maybe what you want is within reach, you just had a couple detours.
After reviewing our own life, we need to learn to refocus. Many times we realize the plans we had are no longer the plans we want to continue with. Things simply do not seem as important as they once were. We begin to change our own lives for what truly matters. Refocusing our lives doesn’t hurt us, it is meant to make them better.
I want you to walk away from this post with the new Three R’s. You may not have lost a loved one recently, but you can still apply this to your life. Remember the memories you cherish. Review your own life. Refocus your direction. Just make sure you’re living life to the fullest. It truly is a gift.
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."