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 sorry”. . .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
Classic post, huh?
I am quickly coming up
on yet another Hospice Anniversary. . .
I began my Hospice career on October 31, 1994
which has literally been a entire lifetime ago. . .
I had two daughters that were 15 and one who was 13
and even harder to believe a 6 year old daughter and a four year old son;
We didn’t have the Internet per se
We didn’t have Smart phones
We didn’t have the pharmaceuticals
We didn’t have the technology
We didn’t have the therapies
We didn’t have the interventions
We didn’t have the supports
we have on this new world of
N O W
People died then
as they do today. . .
Death hasn’t been eradicated
and though we have new ways to prolong and temporarily escape it
it’s still an unseen death on each of our
C A L E N D A R S
I found out early on then
what’s impossible for me to ever forget:
PEOPLE DIE BUT OUR LOVE DOESN’T
DEATH TAKES A PERSON, BUT NEVER A RELATIONSHIP
and that one day
my heart will no longer beat
my lungs won’t inhale/exhale
my pulse will be absent
. . .and I will have said
what I have said on countless other’s behalves:
TO THE LIVING I AM GONE
TO THE SORROWFUL I WILL NEVER RETURN
TO THE ANGRY I WAS CHEATED
TO THE HAPPY I AM AT PEACE
TO THE FAITHFUL I HAVE NEVER LEFT
I CAN’T BE SEEN BUT I CAN STILL HEAR
I CAN’T SPEAK BUT I CAN STILL LISTEN
SO AS STAND ON A SHORE LOOKING AT THE SEA
OR THE BEAUTY OF A FLOWER
THE TIMES WE’VE FOUGHT
THE TIMES WE’VE CRIED
THE TIMES WE’VE LAUGHED
THE TIMES WE’VE LOVED
FOR IF YOU ALWAYS THINK OF ME
I WILL HAVE NEVER GONE. . .
So maybe the biggest question that looms in front of each of us isn’t
Not what will I do on the Day I die. . .
so much as
What will I do the day I KNOW I will DIE
. . .CLASS IS IN SESSION
and YOU WILL HAVE TO RESPOND
is a RESPONSE. . .
The Bad News:
YOU ARE GOING TO DIE
the Good News:
M A K E S U R E Y O U R B U C K E T HAS A H O L E I N I T
If I had my life to live over. . .
Y O U
have the chance to fill in the blank
. . .no written exam available