Erma Bombeck (1927-1998) was a 2-times-a-week newspaper columnist and author that was just plain part of my growing up years (the 60s and 70s). I was a newspaper lover/reader/fanatic and she was one of my go-to, gotta-read parts (along with Dear Abby and Ann Landers).
She was wry, witty, warm and insightful and I came across this newspaper clipping and I don’t recall when I might have torn it out of the newspaper, but it was in an Ann Landers column and she has been dead since 2002, so, I have had it awhile. I wanted to share it here. It made me smile…and *sniffle*, too. Because I certainly get it more than I would have when it was first written or even back when I tore it from a Denver Post Ann Landers column. Oh yes, I understand it better now…
If I had My Life to Live Over by Erma Bombeck
If I had my life to live over again, I would have waxed less and listened more.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet, I’d have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
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 invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would have sat cross-legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television – and more while watching real life.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
I would have eaten more ice cream.
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 a day.
When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”
There would have been more I love yous, more I’m sorrys, more I’m listenings, but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it, look at it and really see it…try it on…live it…exhaust it…and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.
Baaaaa-waaaahhh, sniffle-sniffle. Omygoodness, get a grip. Thank God it is never too late to live right.