Monday, June 15, 2009


or Allow It To Melt In Storage?

Yesterday morning I came across a file I had saved several years ago on my computer. The document was simply named "Erma". Since I don't KNOW any "Erma's" I decided to open it up to see just what it was I'd tucked inside.

To my surprise it was a gently penned lament made by the well known humorist/writer Ms. Erma Bombeck. Written after she discovered her life would soon end, she wrote with heartfelt abandon about the changes she would make if given another chance to live out her life.

The message behind her words are easy to understand...


If I had my life to live over, 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 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.

~Erma Bombeck

Blessings to you as you understand the value of the one solitary life you've been given...Rebecca


Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I remember it well. I remember my sadness when we lost Erma Bombeck. She was funny and delightful. This is a wonderful and enlightening post, Rebecca.

I have a few regrets...and I cannot live my life over...but I can do my best from here on. We can only go forward..each day is a gift and once opened..we cannot go back and be surprised all over again. Make good memories because you may never pass this way again..

Thank you for reminding us by sharing Erma's wonderful reminder of what is important.


Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

P.S. I am looking forward to good news and the wonderful progress of Greg...many are praying for him...

joanne said...

Thank you for that great reminder...I love Erma and miss her sweet stories...;p

Anonymous said...

This is so true with just about anyone. I think we are all guilty at times of thinking we are the center of the universe.
We have a childhood friend now who is dying of Liver Cancer. It gives a wake up call & reminds us of our mortality BUT we soon forget & get caught up in "life" again.
Life ... I am so glad you are in mine Rebecca....

Eclectic Chic Style said...

I remember this as well and actually have a coffee cup that has "almost" the same version on it to remind me in the morning to slow down and enjoy everything and everyone. Thank you for sharing it with us, I love it.
♥ Teresa

Melinda said...

This brought tears to my eyes. It takes something like the loss of someone great to make one realized how short life really is.

My Pink & Cream Cottage said...

Wow what a beautiful post, OK so I have to admit I have never heard of this Lady before but boy does she sum it up perfectly & I thank you for giving me the wake up call! I was taking to my Mum this arvo & was told that my Dad had another 2 heart attacks last week & as Im sitting there listening to this news I was thinking to myself of the biggest guilt I feel & that was leaving my home land & moving to Australia. I cannot change that but I can *pray* now for my Dad, something which is very new to me, another gift you have given to me.
I have also been praying for Greg & your family.
Blessings to you my beautiful friend....

Lyn xxx

Jennifer Chronicles ( said...

I love that poem. She is dearly missed. Years ago, I had a pink rose candle that I kept on the back of the toilet. This was when L. and I were married. For years after he left, I was struck by that one burning question - what would have happened if I'd burned that candle? Certainly, the heat would have melted and collapsed all the petals. But, not burning it certainly made no difference. What I think these days - even a tiny light can illuminate a dim world, and the courage and hope and faith it takes to let go of the pink sculpted candle - maybe all that is needed to save something or someone. This reminds me of the perfume, valued at a year's worth of wages, that Mary Magdalene spilled on Christ. Great post, Beck. All your stuff is great.

A Southern Rose said...

I remember reading this years ago. Thank you for putting this in your post today. I really needed to hear this right now as we are going through so much with the loss of my little step brother last week. It was a week ago today that he died in a house fire. It has been a very hard week for us all. That is one reason that I haven't been posting on my blog. I feel like I'm at a stand still. Thank you so much for this post today. It has opend my eyes to many things this morning.
Hugs to you,
Lee Laurie

blushing rose said...

Oh, how I remember dear Erma ... she was wonderful & I loved every word to receive from her.

How poignant & profound your point today, Rebecca.

I, too, say these things over & over & bleed for those that suffer. It is so difficult to not be able to take away all the hurts in life for everyone ... BUT I know that our good Lord can work miracles ... when I am not successful in doing so.

Life is so short ... mortality is real ... tomorrow may never come. My personal experience of having lost my child SNAPPED me/us back to reality about life, family & God. God showed us to treasure every single second He has awarded us & to change our ways ... we did & are so grateful for the 'light He cast to awaken us'.

Love to you, dear Rebecca ... & deep gratitude for this post.

Lifted prayers for your Greg & family members.

I hope you will read my post today, it carries a powerful message.
TTFN ~ Marydon

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME said...

I always remember Erma and have read this article several times. Since I have been faced with the shortness of life myself it means even more to me. I have learned to use my "stuff" and not save it. To call people when it comes to go for the ride in the convertible, just because...I never thought I took life for granted, but then a changing day comes and now I KNOW I don't take life for granted.
Beautiful post.

Secondhandrose said...

Yes, I have read this before and was delighted to read it again here. I hope I don't end up saying I would have spent less time sitting at the computer!


Andrea said...

Such moving words of wisdom! And they are very timely for me since I just celebrated my 50th. I want to hold Erma's "If's" and grasp them with my heart.

God is so good and gives so many opportunities each day. They are most often right before us, yet we look the other way without seeing them.

Thank you, dear friend, for sharing. And, Rebecca, thank you so much for your kind comments and your prayers for me. I greatly value your encouragement and friendship.

God bless.

In Christ's Love,


Sue @ Not the Good Scissors! said...

To put it simply...AMEN!
xxoo, Susan
P.S. Rebecca, I can always count on you to put things into perspective. You are an angel.

Sandra said...

Oh girl, i'm crying here. What a beautiful post. What a beautiful reminder to us that we should stop and enjoy life. Enjoy our kids because they will grow up and move on. Enjoy each and every little moment in our lives. Oh gosh, i'm crying. You wrote such an inspiring post today. Thank you.

Tanza said...

Sweet ~r~,
Ooohh I soo remember this and wonderful Erma..Soo touching and yet soo true.. It is always amazing to me, in our (dying bed), which I hate that term, so I say on our (waiting bed to heaven)..sounds soo much nicer..we have soo many regrets.. Things that mattered most, mean little, amd the things that should of mattered most slipped by,thoughtlessly at times.. Ooohh to live with regret.. It makes me stop and reflect on those thoughts today, and I thank-you for reminding me to slow down, and appreciate what I have and who I have that matter the most..
God is good, and loves us to pieces no matter our short-comings..Know I'm praying for you and yours at this time too.. You always pull at my heart strings..Have a happy day ~r~..
hugs and love ~tea~xo

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Rebecca, I love this post and have seen it before, but such a blessing to read it once again and really think about what it means.
Erma had it right, and we have the ability to make this a challenge each day and make changes where needed. Life is too short.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful essay once again. It is an inspiration.
Blessings to you talented friend.
Love, Celestina Marie
Now I think I'll take the rest of the day off!! XO

~~Deby said...

Whew.....this touched me on so many many levels right now...
and you know...I have that CANDLE you have pictured...and NO I have not burned it...was this lesson for me?

Barb said...

Hi sweet Rebecca, this is so good and very timely.

Ron and I don't save anything...except money for a rainy day. I learned long ago to enjoy my life and live it now, now, now!

I drink my morning tea from a proper teacup and saucer and drink my juice from a stemmed crystal cannot believe how it sets the tone for my day. I am blessed!


June said...

OK deary, you've brought tears to my eyes again with this one. You seem to do that to me a lot. I love your heart. You have a way of making me take another look at how I'm living my life. You are good for my soul.
Big Hug,

Moments of Grace said...

Erma Bombeck lived in Centerville, Ohio--about 20 miles from where i lived. She was a constant attraction in the Dayton-Centerville area and so well loved. Everywhere she went she left joy and laughter. I don't know if she knew just how much joy she brought to all who heard her speak. The Dayton International Airport has a tribute to her in one of its walkways. What a wonderful person she was.
I have read these words of hers before and, as always, they remind me that the simple things in life are not only free, they are the things that really matter.
Blessing to you for this lovely post.
In Grace,

Sue said...

Thanj you for sharing this Rebecca, Erma Bombeck was one of my most favorite authors, she always had a way of making us really stop and take a long hard look at ourselves, and she has done it again here in this writing. i so enjoyed reading this post. Please know your family is being prayed for.

old*cottage*station said...

Oh Rebecca.. this is the prettiest post I've ever read. How beautiful and true. We always seem to forget how special each and ever day is and the people in our lives are. Thank you for putting this in your blog. It brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. Kindest thoughts, Debbie old*cottage*station

old*cottage*station said...

Hi Rebecca,
Not sure if my 1st post went through to you. Thank you for this beautiful post. It really is so very true. We should treasure the moments because we only have such a short time to live. Isn't it true that "Life is not measured by the breaths we take but the moments that take our breath away"... the simple things in life are sometimes the things we take for granted. Your posts are so lovely. Thank you for them. Kindest thoughts to you, Deb

Linda said...

Thanks for posting those adorable Love is.....newspaper clippings. I collected those when I was a teenager. I wonder where they are! I am sure that they are around somewhere.
Thanks for sharing so much of your lovely home.
I pray that your brother in law will be ok in the long wrong. God has answered so many of my prayers. Prayers work! Take care!

Anonymous said...

OMG! I love your website! Not only are there so many beautiful graphics to view (such detail that I love), but the reading is so inspirational and uplifting! I praise God for our renewed friendship! Karen H

Rebecca Nelson said...

To Karen H...

I've come to believe this in my life...

That when the Spirit of the Lord speaks to our souls we NEED to listen. He's brought you to my heart and mind a thousand times over the past 17 plus years...

True friendship lasts forever...and I'm sooo thankful you and Mr. H are back into our lives.

God is good...and faithful!


Rena said...

I just saw this post of yours from last year, it's so touching...and so true! I'm sure we could each add several lines of our own, huh?
"Live each day as though it were your could very well be."


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