Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lobster, Donuts, and some thoughts from Erma Bombeck.

     It was my Mother that introduced me to the works of Erma Bombeck, while I was in high school.  I couldn't connect in the way that she did, with her tales of motherhood and her trials and tribulations with it, but I knew my mom did.  We read her books and columns regularly.  I lost my mom last week and a high school friend reminded me of a piece by Bombeck entitled "If I Had My Life to Live Over", while expressing her condolences.  I found it very apropos, so I copied it, in it's entirety, next. 

If I Had My Life to Live Over, by Erma Bombeck

Someone asked me the other day if I had my life to live over would I change anything.
My answer was no, but then I thought about it and changed my mind.
If I had my life to live over again I would have waxed less and listened more.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet, I’d have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
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 invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.
I would have eaten popcorn in the “good” living room and worried less about the dirt when you lit the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored.
I would have sat cross-legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television … and more while watching real life.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband which I took for granted.
I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream.
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 a day.
I would never have bought ANYTHING just because it was practical/wouldn’t show soil/ guaranteed to last a lifetime.
When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now, go get washed up for dinner.”
There would have been more I love yous … more I’m sorrys … more I’m listenings … but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it … look at it and really see it … try it on … live it … exhaust it … and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.
      As you read this, I am preparing to bury my Mother, and I think it is the coolest thing, that she had none of these regrets.  I never remember her turning away a friend who needed a kind ear, dinner could wait.  She never met a donut she didn't like, and we got to spoil her with them often, especially the last 3 years.  Housekeeping was never, ever, the number one priority on her list, and I loved her for that.  She was one of the best listeners I knew, but if she did comment, she told you straight up, how she felt.  She marveled at her pregnancies and the miracle of birth even after 10 of them.  She was a partner in my Dad's business and for years did the billing and bookwork for him.  She wore silly hats, just for the heck of it.  I'm not saying that she ate a lot of lobster, I'll only tell you that I've already received a call from Maine, wondering about the drop in consumption in this area, and it's only been 5 days.  My sister "She-who-shall-not-be-named" swears both donuts and lobsters are on sale at Wegman's this week.  I think they are suddenly heavy on inventory.  I cannot be sad at this time, knowing that my mother lived her life so well, for so long, but I can learn from her example, and so can you.  Stop worrying about the few extra lbs around your middle (I think that's where the soul is, so let's beef it up for the journey).  Listen deep.  Eat more ice cream, Maple Walnut was mom's favorite. Lastly, in memory of my mom, and to keep those Lobstermen off my back for a while, offer up a lobster or two to her, and don't skimp on the butter.  As you eat it, you'll feel how I feel about my mother, how sweet it is, and how you'd love to have it around more.  I miss you Mom, say hi to Dad, Glenda, and all the rest for me.  
My Mom and I at the Beer tent at the St. Mary's festival


Anonymous said...

This is just to funny nd ironic as I have been absorbing my favorites from Erma Bombeck most recently and it just struck me how very connected I continue to feel with mom because of this. Siblings do indeed think alike...You can xount on me to help the lobster industry especially if they are on sale and not sweating the small stuff like house work! Meter Maid

cdyarger said...

I shall try harder to live my life to the fullest, the way your mom did. What a great lady. I will miss her very much!

Anonymous said...

brinkka2011 says: wonderful points altogether, you just gained a new reader. What would you suggest in regards to your post that you made some days ago? Any positive?