This morning I was big and brave enough to start cleaning out a drawer (the biggest and messiest) in my desk. It was a terrible jumbled mess of "stuff," and I found some miscellaneous file folders on the bottom of the heap. While doing a quick, preliminary look through one of the folders, I found a sheet titled If I Had My Life To Live Over by Erma Bombeck. (I think I originally got this from you, J. Thank you again.)
Many of you are too young to remember this wonderful lady. She was a humorist, writer, columnist and journalist who wrote several books. She managed to find humor in the everyday experiences of being a wife and mother. Her serious side led her to be a strong advocate for the Equal Rights Amendment for women.
Her career took off in the mid-1960s during which time she gave voice to many suburban housewives. She was a talented writer who could make you laugh and cry at the same time. Her popularity continued until her death in 1996 when she died from complications of an incurable, untreatable genetic kidney disease.
Here is the writing of her's I found today. It's a piece she wrote very near the end of her life.
If I Had My Life To Live Over
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 have shared more of the
responsibility carried by my husband.
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 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 wonderment
growing inside me was the only
chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
When my kids kissed me impetuously,
I would never have said, "Later. Now go get
washed up for dinner." There would
have been more "I love you's" and
more "I'm sorry'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.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
How many of these sentiments can you directly relate to? Dear Erma had a good handle on how life should be lived, didn't she?