I lost another member of my family last week. I started to write a post about it, but stopped when I realized that my feelings were too dark and depressing to continue.
Ed was a first cousin, the son of one of my mother's older brothers. I never spoke with him in person, other than in passing at my daughter's wedding in California years ago. However, in the years since, we both took the opportunity to correspond when we could and I felt as tho I had gotten to know him just a little bit.
He did not have one of those terribly long and protracted agonizing months of suffering, thank the good Lord, and his pain was made somewhat more tolerable with drugs. Towards the very end he was talking about arrangements to go into hospice care.
I was reminded of a post that Judy, one of my blogger friends from many months back, published in May of last year. Judy was battling breast cancer for not the first time, and her posts were all over the charts on the emotional scale.
She chose to publish what Erma Bombeck had written after learning that she was dying of cancer. Here it is ... ...
If I Had My Life to Live Over
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 for 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!!!
Ed is now resting peacefully. Judy, I sincerely hope that you are continuing to wage your fight against this debilitating disease that threatened to overwhelm not only you but your whole family and affected those of us in the unseen blogger world who care about you. I know there are many out there who join me in this wish.