BARBWIRE BOB – Erma Bombeck remembered


The New Year; A good time to remember Erma’s philosophy

She wasn’t a politician, never held public office, but offered advice from her heart that seemed to heal our souls and tickle our funny bones.  I heard Erma speak many years ago before her untimely death.  She addressed a newspaper audience at our annual convention at the stately Brown Palace hotel.  She confessed her addiction to smoking that likely ended her life before her time.  I’ve featured this column in past years but it is so timely every time that I read her masterpiece.  A special salute to all of the cooks of the holiday season, to the fathers, mothers, grandmothers and grandfathers, daughters and sons, who worked so hard on meals and presents to make families happy.

As we end 2023 and begin the challenges of a New Year we all can take a lesson from Erma looking back over her life as she prepared to end hers.

If I had my life to live over

By Erma Bombeck

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 sculptured 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 gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding patter if I wasn’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 realizing that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed impetuously, I would never have said,” later, now go get washed up 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!