The Wisdom of Erma Bombeck

I loved Erma Bombeck. Even as a child, I would read her books and I totally identified with her sarcastic parenting. To be honest, thinking now, I wouldn’t be surprised if it shaped my parenting, and even my writing.

I read everything on the Internet tonight in a feeble attempt to avoid doing my bible study work (some days it’s just harder than others, ok?). After reading everything else, I went to Snopes.com in search of nothing but dull reading that didn’t require the hard look inside that Lisa TerKeurst’s writing does. Yes, y’all, Snopes. I was trying that hard to avoid reading anything emotional.

And on the Randomizer, this popped up:

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 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’. 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.

I knew I loved her for her sarcasm, but now I love her for her clarity when faced with her mortality. You may hear me say from time to time “When does the whole ‘growing up fast’ thing start?!” Sometimes I’m even joking when I say it. Not often.

Time to stop and snuggle, and smell the real life that takes place under all that masking of Scentsy.

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