It seems the last few days, many words and events have crossed my path that have impressed how VERY important
it is to live in today, not tomorrow and especially, not yesterday. After Erma Bombeck found out she was dying with cancer,
she had a few words of wisdom to share with her faithful readers that speak of true living.
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
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased
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.
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
Don’t worry about who doesn’t like you, who has more, or who’s doing what.
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. I hope you all have a blessed day. -Erma
My son is in the Navy in Washington State and we communicate frequently. I will share more about him in a later
column. After reading this from Erma, one morning my husband and I got up to find this e-mail...
Just had you on my mind a lot today and night. It’s 3:30 in the a.m. here, and I’m pulling an all-nighter
because we have room inspection tomorrow. I am determined to have my closet clean this time, instead of just tossing stuff
in it to pass.
The reason I’ve had you on my mind is there is a man in our class who is a 1st class petty officer, and I would
imagine he’s about your age. He reminds me so much of you, it’s uncanny. When we learn new lessons, it seems to
take him the longest to grasp the concept, the hands-on labs seem to baffle him beyond all belief, and some of the simplest
procedures seem to stump him, yet he not only passes, but aces every test thus far. He has a very calm, cool and collected
demeanor about him, and a very pleasant smile. He wears somewhat large glasses, that is, until it’s time to read, then
out come the reading glasses. He carries a sling type bag into class, the one that’s more like a soft briefcase or a
laptop carrying case, and he’s got everything anyone would need to stay organized at his fingertips. Our instructor
can’t teach more than ten minutes without him asking a question. It almost irritates me, but it reminds me so much of
you that I almost cry every time he talks. I miss you very much, and I’m so glad you raised me the way you did.
Even though I’m just an E-3, I’m the richest person on this base, because I have a zest and appreciation
for life that no one else has. I want you to know that I’m in heaven, and you gave me the tools to put myself there.
I’m surrounded by people who want more, can’t wait to get this or that, and are mad because they didn’t
get the loan for the $20,000 car they want. It disgusts me, but at the same time, reminds me how fortunate and loved I am.
I don’t think I’ve ever before scrubbed a toilet with my tears as I did tonight. You’ve taught me
to clean the lowest toilet base and to climb the highest tree, and no matter which, I’m not too good for anything or
anyone. I envy you so much, and I just hope that one day I can be a third of your stature, strength, vision, kindness and
most of all, your love for people who not only love you back, but also for those who couldn’t care less about you if
they tried. I’m so sorry for every one of your tools I left out, and every time I didn’t just take 20 minutes
to cut the grass before it was knee high. I’m sorry for every time I got frustrated when you asked too many questions
about computers, or went slower than I wanted you to go. I’m sorry for every unfinished project I started, and for every
time I didn’t have time to talk to you.
People talk about their credit and how they need to build their score up, well, this is the only credit I have that
brings me down, and I need to build it back up. All that time, I couldn’t make time for a proper relationship, and now
it’s come to a 17” screen and 88 keys. I’d give so much just to give you a big “bear hug” right
now, but I can’t, so I hope you can feel the emotion in these words I’m writing. I love you very much, and I look
forward to seeing you again.
Your Son, Paul
Parents, our children are not perfect and, many times, they do and say things that we know are not best
for them. But when we trust in God’s faithfulness and continue, as the scripture says, to “believe the best in
every person,” somewhere down the road, we WILL see the fruit of our labor...and it will be sweet! If we learn from
our mistakes and begin to live each day just as Erma has told us to do, we will create a life of constant fruit gathering!
I encourage you today...Mothers, burn the special candle and eat in the good living room...Fathers, tell your children they
are special and you love them, and don’t sweat the small stuff...Children LISTEN to your grandparents, love and appreciate
them - and let them know it!...and to everyone, don’t worry about who doesn’t like you and who has more...Live,
Love and Laugh...Make all things right...and live each day so you don’t have to live in regret.