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  • Writer's pictureSabrina Evans

How do you want to be remembered?

I know most people do not like to talk about the end of life or just things coming to an end in general. It goes against the way society operates. On a daily basis most people seem to focus on their job, money, kids (if they have any), appointments, and scheduled tasks. These are easier, more tangible things to think about , but it evades the true reality of life; that we all won't be here forever.


During the last couple of weeks of December, my dad and I had visited a few funeral homes and choose where we were going to lay my grandma Shirley to rest. As we walked through each one, we looked at each of the different head stones. From the fancy ones that looked like houses, to the most traditional design, it did not matter. They all ended up saying the same things: beloved mother, a loving son, or in loving memory of Grandma. Nothing on these headstones said anything about a job, how much money someone made, their accolades, or the possessions they had. That is because all that stuff goes with them when they are gone. That 'stuff' is always forgotten. Maya Angelou said it best when she said:




“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou



 


Before I make BinaBears, I always ask this one question to my customers first, " Are you able to send me a little message about [a lost loved one] that celebrates his/her/their life." Most people say yes, and I have noticed that they all say things about how that person who passed made them feel throughout thier life.


Stacia Smith was the grandaughter of James Anthony Kenly and shared with me a heart warming messaged that encapsulated the person Mr. James Kenly was. Here is her message:


"Ok well a little about my grandfather. He passed on his 63rd birthday. He was such an amazing man. Everyone in the community knew him. He always put God first and his family immediately after. He was married to my grandmother for 37 years. They didn’t have any children together but shared 6 children from previous marriages. My grandpa loved to laugh. He was funny and silly at heart.

He was full of life and corny jokes. He was such a hard worker. He worked hard at a cemente company and even harder at the church as a Deacon. He was family oriented and spent most of his time with his family, Either cooking, fishing, or at church. & he had an amazing relationship with his siblings. He was a praying man, but short church services were his favorite lol. He treated every single person the same and loved us all. If he’d yell at me then he’d yell at you. If he fed himself then he would feed you. He took care of so many people. He was truly God’s gift to the world. 💜"


 

It was a gift to be able to read how this man was able to bring so much laughter, love, joy, to people who knew him. That is what life is all about, celebration and spreading love. That is why I make these BinaBears.


In America, we get so caught up in this rat race of chasing our dreams, climbing the latter of success, and making more money so we can do more and buy more. But that is not the root of life or the purpose of human existence. We are built and wired to feel and express emotions that can shift cultures, and change hearts. We are designed to be in loving relationship with others, and we aren't meant to be alone. We store both good and bad memories, and our own body keeps score of the emotions felt with each experience whether they are negative or positive. That is why Maya Angelou's quote is more than just a good thing to say. It is the blueprint of humanity to feel and connect with one another in a way that establishes legacies of love, truth, laughter, joy, peace, and freedom. That is how I want to be remembered. How do you?




In loving memory of James Anthony Kenly. We celebrate your life.





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