Yesterday marked the anniversary of Erma Bombeck's birth. Born February 21, 1927, she brought humor to American women (and men) for years through her books and newspaper syndication. Erma Bombeck had kidney disease and died following a kidney transplant in 1996. She left us laughing most of the time. While she was ill, she reflected on her life and gave us these important words:
IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER---
-by Erma Bombeck
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 grass stains, and enjoyed it.
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’ and more 'I'm sorry.'
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!!!
I have these words of Erma's on a little plaque, always kept in my desk drawer when I was working:
"When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.'"