Thursday, January 11, 2007

Erma Bombeck

“Loving Erma more and more with each turn of the page!” This was the text message I sent to my editor Irma Faith Pal regarding the author of the book she surprised me with last Christmas.

I haven’t had the privilege of “knowing” Erma Bombeck before Irma “introduced” her to me. What an introduction!! I fell in love with her from the first page and could not put the book down until I reached the last!

It was truly a most wonderful gift. Irma’s Christmas present did not stop at the tangible object she brought over one early morning. It went on to introduce me to a world that is as alien as it is familiar to me. Why? This is the title of the book: Motherhood: The Second Oldest Profession. Do I need explain further?

Syndicated columnist Erma Bombeck wrote a humor column three times a week for 900 newspapers from her home in Arizona. She had been writing about mothers and motherhood for twenty years. In this book, Erma celebrates motherhood – the second older profession, and the biggest on-the-job training program ever. She told of the joys and pangs, the fulfillment and the frustration, the poignancy and the pathos of being a mother.

As I read, I was amazed at how easily I could identify with the mothers Erma Bombeck wrote about. Their sentiments were also mine!!! Although I knew that motherhood transcends everything, it was still surprising how I share so much with women in another part of the world whose lifestyles, culture, and even beliefs are so vastly different from mine.

My interest roused, I looked her up in the Internet and sadly learned that she was taken away by the Big C. When she learned that she had this disease, she wrote a poignant poem that touched me so deeply I decided to share it with everyone who reads this column. Her message was very simple: let’s live our lives to the fullest and SAVOR EACH MOMENT before it becomes too late.

By Erma Bombeck

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner, even if the carpet was stained and 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 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 burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television - and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

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 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 my 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 yous".. more "I'm sorrys"... 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.

Don't forget to stop and smell the roses today! Take time to tell a loved one how much you love them, do something nice for yourself, and stop to give God thanks for all of it.