Wednesday, January 13, 2010

- Food For Thought by Erma Bombeck

Growing up, I remember reading Erma Bombeck in Montreal's West Island newspaper, the News & Chronicle (now called simply "The Chronicle"). She was funny; a great read, and who knows? Maybe she helped form my funny bone way back then.

"From 1965 to 1996, Erma Bombeck wrote over 4,000 newspaper columns chronicling the ordinary life of a midwestern suburban housewife with broad, and sometimes eloquent, humor. By the 1970s, her witty columns were read, twice weekly, by thirty million readers of 900 newspapers of the USA and Canada.

"Often called one of the greatest humorists America has produced in the last 50 years, Erma Bombeck was a product of the American midwest. A journalist at the Dayton Herald in Ohio for four years, she quit to raise a family.

"Bored as a housewife, she began to write humorous columns for a local newspaper. Her old employer, the Dayton Herald, then hired her to write a regular column, and soon the columns became syndicated. In addition to these writings, and the several collections in book form of her stories, she was a correspondent on the ABC news show "Good Morning, America".

"In 1971 she moved with her family to Paradise Valley, Arizona. By 1985, Erma Bombeck's three weekly columns were being published by 900 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada, and were also being anthologized into a series of best-selling books.

"She was also making twice-weekly Good Morning America appearances. Bombeck belonged to the American Academy of Humor Columnists, along with other famous personalities. During the 1980s, Bombeck's annual earnings ranged from $500,000 to $1 million a year.

"She long had an interest in cancer research, and was active in raising money for treatment of children with cancer. In Houston Texas in 1992 she received the Cancer League's "Laughter is the Best Medicine" award; five months later she herself was diagnosed with cancer.

"She survived breast cancer and a mastectomy, but kept secret the fact that, like her father, she had been diagnosed with adult polycystic kidney disease in 1991, enduring daily dialysis.

"Erma went public with her condition in 1993. On a waiting list for transplant for years, one kidney had to be removed in the past year for pain, and the remaining one ceased to function. 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."

This is a beautiful piece of Erma's, written towards the end of her life. Great musings for all of us. When I read this piece for the first time, I went to the china cabinet and took out 4 lovely crystal glasses we had received as a wedding gift. We'd had them for at least six years and they'd never been used.

One by one, they were all broken, but I never grieved over them. I figured they were meant to be used; they were, and we enjoyed them while we had them.

Read this, and see if it does not influence you to do something differently today, even if it is a small act on your part. Remember, life is short!

IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER    by Erma Bombeck

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

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or 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 have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

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 sat on the lawn with my grass stains.

I would have cried and 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 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 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!!!


  1. Your blogs are so refreshing and thought provoking. I wish I could write as good as you. I only have 2 blogs up so far but not as good as the way you write.

    Hope you are doing ok ...


  2. So true Wen!!! I remember her well and remember reading what she wrote toward the end of her life.

    Bye kiddo,

  3. How are you doing? I have only followed your journey from a distance – you are an amazing woman, definitely powered by Spirit, and bringing healing to yourself and many others at the same time! Wow!


  4. We listened to your CD right away in the car ... by the end of the first song (Waiting) my girls (8 & 4 yrs old) were singing along with the chorus. It was so cute ...

    My favorite songs are No. 1, Waiting and No. 11, God's Got His Eyes on You. Thank you so much again for singing for us and being an inspiration to us all!!!

    God bless you Wendy!!


  5. I'm praying for you every day. When (not if) you are feeling stronger, I'm going to throw you a party you'll never forget!

    Love, Marianne