In honor of women’s history month and in memory of Erma Bombeck who lost her fight with cancer.
IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER – by Erma Bombeck
(written after she found out she was dying from cancer).
I HAVE THE CHANCE TO LIVE MY LIFE EVERY DAY – by Dixie Negley
(written by Dixie after she found out she was living with cancer.)
Inspired by Erma Bombeck
(Erma): 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.
(Dixie) – I agree wholeheartedly, (you can and will be replaced someday) I retired from work as soon as I was eligible and sleep each morning until my body says it’s time to get up. (the world will wait for you!)
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
-I started giving away those pink candle things so someone else might take the time to enjoy them.
I would have talked less and listened more.
-I have shared my experiences with others who are in this trial and together with my GOD encourage each other.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.
-I can’t say enough about my cob webs or the dog hairs on my couch, but I am so blessed by all the friends who still want to come for a visit despite them.
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.
-My TV trays are permanent furniture in our living room, (I usually have a craft project on the dining room table).
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
-I was never fortunate to know any of my grandfathers, but that has not stopped my husband or myself from sharing a legacy with our grandkids (soon to be six!)
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
-I try to let him know often just how much I appreciate him being the head of our household and an example to our sons in how to be Godly men, husbands, and fathers.
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 can’t change the past but I can enjoy today. I am thankful that I have hair again, even though it is gray, and I’ve even had a haircut. Let the wind blow as I sit in the treehouse with my grandkids having a picnic.
I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.
-I just learned this past year how to drive the riding lawnmower and have found a new love (even when the wind blows my hair) It’s never too late to pick up a new trade.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.
-I cry when I’m lost in a good movie, when I lose a good friend, or lend tears to the support of a friend, but mostly I try to absorb the giggles of my grandkids as they play hide-n-seek, listen to their breathing while I hold them as they sleep, hear the delight in their voices as they share their schoolwork with me or argue which one can talk to me first on the phone. Grandma’s sewing room is where the magic starts and it usually starts at that moment with something sparkly or sporty. I cherish the family around the table reminiscing of growing up and hearing of pranks played out without my knowledge until now (it never hurt me not to know).
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
-I still shop at the thrifty shopper (my favorite store), but still try to be practical (wool for my rug braiding, dress up clothes for Princesses, or spare boots for walks just in case they forgot to bring theirs) and I have instructed my family never to get rid of my cutco knives, (they are guaranteed to last a lifetime of the knife and can be resharpened)!
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.
-I am thankful that I did cherish every minute of my pregnancies and thankful that God chose me to carry such a precious cargo. I look forward to going home to Heaven and seeing our son Daniel who is already there waiting for his mom someday. (I feel that God is holding him and rocking him until I can take over someday.)
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 sorry’s.’
-I don’t wait for an impetuous kiss, I go after them along with a hug, we tend to get washed up more to make cookies or grandma’s bread, someday they will make them all by themselves for grandma. We never part without an I love you (something that was passed down from my family growing up). Saying I’m sorry and asking for forgiveness is a humbling experience that everyone should experience.
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!
-Cancer should never be an exclusive club of living like there may be no tomorrow, everyone belongs to this club, cancer just wakes you up sooner to this realization. Here’s a newsflash to you all WAKE UP, that’s all the invitation you need!
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.
I hope no one minds me using Erma’s writing to spin off my own thoughts on the same subject. I just know I can’t change the past and am very happy looking forward to each day that I am given. God has always been very good to me and know that He has me and my situation in His hand and wants me to enjoy the time He allows me. I sure have a clearer perspective on life these days and as you can tell my grandkids are my best medicine! Have a great day to all my friends and God Bless you and help you make some good choices. Dixie p.s. Erma I hope you are in Heaven and someday we can write together, thank you for your inspiration.