As an author, a poet and an avid blogger, I constantly study other writers to learn different styles and formats.
One of my favorite writers is the late Erma Bombeck. She was well known for her very popular newspaper column, her 15 bestselling books and her heartfelt poetry.
I remember my own mother reading Erma’s newspaper column in the early 1980s. The column, about the humorous life of a suburban housewife, was read by 30 million readers twice weekly. Erma died in 1996 after an unsuccessful kidney transplant.
My number one favorite Erma Bombeck piece ever is this poem she wrote once she found out she was dying from cancer.
When my life gets overwhelming and hectic, when I’m not spending as much time with my family as I know I should, when I feel like I’m missing the important things – I read this poem and instantly return to a place of love, forgiveness and peace. I feel grounded.
This is beautiful. Enjoy!
IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER by Erma Bombeck
(written after she found out she was dying from cancer)
I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.
I would have eaten the popcorn in the “good” living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television, and more while watching life.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderful growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
When my kids kissed me impetuously, I never would have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”
There would have been more “I Love You’s.”
But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute… look at it and really see it… live it and never give it back.
Stop sweating the small stuff. Don’t worry about who doesn’t like you, who has more, or who’s doing what.
Instead, let’s cherish the relationships we have with those who DO love us. Let’s think about what God HAS blessed us with. And what we are doing each day to promote ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, as well as spiritually.
Life is too short to let it pass you by. We only have one shot at this and then it’s gone.