Life lessons from Erma Bombeck

la la la…

I have few words of my own today. Instead, I’m going to paste this (and probably be infringing on copyright, but I’m sure it’s been passed around in email at some point, and that’s copyright infringement too…) I vaguely remember having read an Erma Bombeck book when I was younger, (I used to read whatever was lying around the house, which is how I managed to read Clan of the Cave Bear and the Valley of horses, explicit sex and all, in grade 5 at 11 years old…) and I think my mom had one or two of her books. Anyhow, I read this on some website today, and wanted to paste it here. I have no idea why.

One of columnist Erma Bombeck’s last pieces, written after she learned she would die of cancer:


…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.

…burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

…talked less & listened more.

…invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained or the sofa faded.

…eaten the popcorn in the “good” living room & worried less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

…taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble on about his youth.

…shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I never would have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased & sprayed.

…sat on the lawn with my kids & not worried about grass stains.

…cried & 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 9 months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment & 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 for dinner!”

There would have been more “I Love You’s” and 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 stuff. Don’t worry about who doesn’t like you, who has more, or who’s doing what.

Instead, let’s cherish the relationships we have with those who DO love us. Let’s think about what God HAS blessed us with. And what we’re doing each day to promote ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, as well as spiritually.

Life is too short to let it pass you by! We only have one shot at this and then it’s gone. I hope you have a blessed day!



  • samuraipunch

    July 20, 2000 at 10:38 am

    That’s a pretty cool clipping there 🙂
    Wouldnt happen to know if she did any writing, writing would you?!


  • scottobear

    July 20, 2000 at 11:40 am

    That’s a terrific clip, and a very valid perspective. I don’t know if you’ve read any of her books (mostly comrised of columns, sort of like Dave Barry) but there’s an intelligence and good humor that passes throughout.

  • artyste

    July 21, 2000 at 3:17 am

    I know this is WAY late.. but I take exception with the part about laughing and crying LESS with TV and more with life… watched properly, TV *is* life. And if it is causing you to laugh and cry, then it is powerful enough not to feel guilty about.. IMHO. However, Bombeck was a goddess of humor and inflection. Long live her memory.

    • Jenny Lee Silver

      July 21, 2000 at 6:09 am

      😉 I don’t really watch TV anymore… not having cable has cut a huge hole in my tv-time. It definitely depends what you watch, though, the same as films. X-men was a great social commentary about tolerance disguised as a superhero flick… 😉

      • artyste

        July 21, 2000 at 10:03 am

        Well, I’d hope so.. the comic has been about that for years.

        • Jenny Lee Silver

          July 21, 2000 at 10:28 am

          indeed. 😉 the tv cartoon didn’t go into it quite as well though.

          • artyste

            July 21, 2000 at 10:29 am

            BTW… I missed ya! 🙂

          • Jenny Lee Silver

            July 21, 2000 at 10:55 am

            Yah, missed seeing you around too! Trip was good?

          • artyste

            July 21, 2000 at 10:57 am

            Heh.. I’m not entirely sure.. I’ll get back to you on that one.