Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Poet - Erma Bombeck - 'If I had My Life to Live Over'

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 when reading - 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 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 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.

• In memory of Erma Bombeck


Erma Louise Bombeck (February 21, 1927 – April 22, 1996), born Erma Fiste, was an American humorist who achieved great popularity for her newspaper column that described suburban home life humorously from the mid-1960s until the late '90s. Bombeck also published 15 books, most of which became best sellers.

Erma Bombeck wrote over 4,000 newspaper columns chronicling the ordinary life of a midwestern suburban housewife with broad, and sometimes eloquent, humor.

Erma Bombeck was born in Dayton, Ohio. She grew up in a working-class family. Her father, Cassius Fiste, was the city crane operator; her mother's name was also Erma.

In 1942, Bombeck began to work at the Dayton Herald as a copygirl, sharing her full-time assignment with a girlfriend. She completed high school in 1944. While in college she began to write for the university publication, The Exponent and she graduated in 1949, with a degree in English.

In 1949, Bombeck also converted to Catholicism, from the United Brethren church, and married Bill Bombeck, She remained active in the Church the rest of her life.

Doctors told the Bombecks that having a child was improbable, so they adopted a girl, Betsy, in 1953. Erma decided to become a full-time housewife, and relinquished her career as a journalist. Despite the former difficult diagnoses, Erma Bombeck gave birth to a son, Andrew in 1955 and she stayed home for the next ten years.

She continued writing and by 1969, 500 U.S. newspapers featured her "At Wit's End" columns, and she was also writing for Good Housekeeping Magazine, Reader's Digest, Family Circle, Redbook, McCall's, and Teen magazine. Bombeck and her family moved to Phoenix, Arizona, to a lavish hacienda on a hilltop in Paradise Valley.

By 1985, Erma Bombeck's three weekly columns were being published by 900 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada and were read by over 30 million readers, She was also making twice-weekly 'Good Morning America' appearances. Bombeck belonged to the American Academy of Humor Columnists.

Erma Bombeck was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease. In 1996, she was brought to a San Francisco hospital for a kidney transplant, which was performed on April 3. However, she suffered complications following the procedure, and died on April 22.

Her remains are interred in the Woodland Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio, under a large rock from the Phoenix desert.

I read Erma’s columns during the years of raising my children. She always gave a very amusing slant to typical everyday family situations and I could relate to so many of her stories. She had such a great sense of humor that she was able to capture with words.


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