Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Elephant in the room


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 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 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 children and not worried about 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. Don’t worry about who doesn’t like you, who has more, or who’s doing what.
Instead, let’s cherish the relationships we have with those who DO love us.
Let’s think about what God HAS blessed us with.
And what we are doing each day to promote ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, as well as spiritually.
Life is too short to let it pass you by.
We only have one shot at this and then it’s gone.
I hope you all have a blessed day.
Written when she knew she was dying.....................

I can remember the first book I read of hers " If life is a bowl of Cherries ".  It was my Mother's and because I was the type of kid that would read anything - I couldn't wait to get my hands on it - and I fell in love with her. I was probably too young to get most of it - it was way before I was a Mother myself most definitely but her style of writing was such that anyone could enjoy her.  She made me laugh, she made me cry, she made me think.
Every now and then I take out an old folded up piece of paper from my wallet and I read her words..............the words I've typed above.
Such wise words spoken from the heart of a lady that knew her time here on earth was almost over.
AND I realized I have not heeded one word...............
Not one word.

When the kids were little they bought me a candle.  An elephant candle because I used to collect elephants.
" Used " to being the operative word here.  I know longer collect them and yet that candle sits in my home as pristine as the day they bought it for me.  Much like Erma's sculpted rose candle I suppose.
I have no idea why - but I suppose it has something to do with the fact that they bought it for me and once it's burned down, it's gone.
Many years ago we had a flood - and I lost all their childhood mementos - ALL of them - their little outfits - their handprints - christmas decorations they made for me - home made Mother's day gifts - and I still get a pang in my heart when I think of it - it's actually palpable - it's a quick jolt that I can feel - so this elephant candle sort of took on some kind of mystical power - it represents their childhood.

BUT  I don't want my kids going through my things one day - and finding this precious gift - still intact - it was meant to be lit.

Thanks Erma.........................I've packed the candle - but it'll be lit the first time I have the kids over for supper in the new house, in their honor.  The perfect decor for my first dinner.
I do not want to be an old lady with an elephant in the room.

You'll have to excuse the odd sentimental posts for a little while - with this move all kinds of emotions are running rampant in my heart.

Sharing with!!!
I Should be Mopping the Floor                          Common Ground                        Adorned from Above
French Country Cottage                                    My Turn for Us                           My Romantic HOme


  1. Suzan, you made me cry...again! I think we all have in our hearts a sculpted rose candle still unlit... Hugs, Cristina

  2. You know looking back it's easy to say but let's be honest it's a lot harder to practise when you can't move because there is a laundry full of dirty washing :)

  3. I wish it didn't take us all so long to realise this. It is only as we get older that we can see how pointless it is to 'sweat the small stuff.'

  4. Great post. Erma is one of my favorites. Her writing is ageless.

  5. Suzan, I loved Erma too. She was very wise as well as witty. I used to be one of those people who wouldn't burn the candle, but as I have gotten older I have definitely learned to stop and smell the roses. Wonderful post, sweet friend. xo Laura

  6. Suzan, what a lovely post and so true. Yesterday there was a news story on about a 31 year old mother of 2 who has ALS and was told by her doctors she has less than a year to live. She went sky diving yesterday. She spoke about how she cherishes each day and wants to fulfill some her dreams before it's too late. Thank you for sharing and inspiring.

  7. Thank you for the beautiful reminder Suzan! You touched my heart today....xxoo Carol

  8. Erma was a wise woman and so are you!

  9. Wow! What a beautiful post Suzan! I think Erma Bombeck was a very wise woman and great writer. These words of hers should be read by every one so that we don't leave any white elephants behind when we're gone. By the way, I think that elephant is really beautiful when it's lit. I'm so sorry you lost all of their childhood mementos to a flood but you do still have the memories and your children and the elephant. Blessings to you.
    Pam xo

  10. What wisdom is packed in this post, Suzan. I think we all wish we'd read this years ago - and paid attention.

  11. Poignant post, Suzan. I am sorry to hear about the loss of your cherished momentos. I understand how heartbreaking that would be.

  12. Lovely, simply lovely. With tears running down my cheeks you have reminded me of all that really matters. Thanks Suzan. Thanks for posting that piece by Erma. I remember reading that some time ago and like you I did not pay heed to those words. No time like the present.

    I am sure that packing is an emotional roller coaster of sorts. I trust that your new home will welcome your wonderful spirit and allow you to live what Erma regretted.

  13. I love those words. I recently heard a short explanation of Rick Hansen's theory of how our brains are wired for the negative thoughts as a defense mechanism to protect ourselves but we can teach it (over time) to focus on positive responses. My apologies if I am misinterpreting the sentiment....but it is in this vein that I say..... at least you don't have to worry about packing up even more boxes with pieces of your lives that you and the children have long outgrown..... the precious memories are already stored safely in your heart and your memory. And there is even room for more memories as they are created in your new home.

  14. Thank you for this post. We really do need to "stop and smell the roses". It is cliche but life really is short. We need to take the time to enjoy it and the ones we are going through it with. I am going to go hug my husband!!

  15. Well said...great reminder!

  16. What a beautiful post Suzan! So much for all of us to think about. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Hear, hear! The truest of words by a wonderful, wise and witty lady! Her message lives on, as it has inspired many to practice what they preach, grass stained, flat haired, but kissable, nevertheless!

    Thanks for stamping this post with 'priority'.


  18. Suzan how sweet. The candle will be perfect in the new house when you have the kids over. What a great treasure to pack and take with.

  19. How lovely Suzan! Erma Bombeck told it like it was right up until the end...and through you, even after that. Thanks for some great reminders!

  20. Lovely and very moving post. I always insist on using the good china, thinking it makes us happy and if we break it, it's not like we lost somebody. Tomorrow my parents are visiting and I'll make a point to give them a big kiss, remembering your post and winking secretly at Erma.

  21. I am grateful for older and wiser wemoen in my life, who really help me in my daily walk. One of them told me (as a first time mom): the days are long but the years are short.

  22. Suzan this post is so beautiful and honest. It brought tears to my eyes and made my heart melt. Amen, I understand every word you said. I too have always adored these words of Erma Bombeck. The elephant candle is pretty. Now it will forever be remembered by many because of sharing the photo on your blog.

  23. I think that his is a great post Suzan!!


  24. Erma was a national treasure. I wish she was still with us :(.

    It is certainly understandable why you wouldn't want to burn the candle, especially after tragically losing all their childhood mementos. That must have been so difficult for you and your family.

    Moving conjures up many emotions...some good, some sad, but most just about where we've been and where we're going. You will make new memories in your adorable new home with your adorable family Suzan!

  25. This was so good! I loved every word! Hers- yours! Such wisdom!

  26. Loved this post Suzan! I remember reading this years ago... and Erma was so right on. Thanks for the reminder.

  27. Oh Suzan. I can just feel your emotions sweeping through your heart. It is amazing how the memories seem to flutter up whenever you begin to fill another box with your treasures to bring to your new home. I remember that so clearly when we moved here. Thank you for the sweet reminder from Erma. She was such an amazing woman. are you. ♥ xoxo laurie

  28. Great posts Suzan, I think we all need to realize we are not here that long and we should live life to the fullest. I loved Emma - she was amazing.Don't work to hard this weekend. Did you get the house?

  29. that opened up a whole can of beans for me. Tears and all. I read Erma in the 70's and laughed myself silly but somewhere deep inside I kept her wisdom of words close to my heart.

    The elephant is like the "use the good china" thing....don't save it for another, enjoy it while you can........'cuz tomorrow may not come.

  30. It's funny, Suzan. Lately, I have been pulling out stuff and USING it- stuff that I deemed too precious to use- too afraid of breakage to use- too formal to use- WHAT THE HECK! I am going to use it and enjoy it...unlike the 20 boxes of GOOD towels that we unwrapped at my mother's house while she used tired old limp towels for herself---because she wanted to SAVE the good ones. Not me- Not any more-

    Good for you- Good for you for lighting that elephant...Now the jackass in the room? That is a whole different thing- xo Diana

  31. Awesome post, Suzan. Really touching and made me think. Thanks for sharing, and good for you. XOXO

  32. Love this Suzan! You are so right and clever!

  33. Erma's awesome. And so are you. :)


  34. Suzan - beautiful post. I have been dreading going on a Girl Scout outing this evening with my daughters (I know, but it's cold!). Thanks for putting it in perspective. Good luck with your move and thank you. Suzanne

  35. Wow. This one really got me. Erma Bombeck was a gem of a writer. You've really channeled her with this post.

  36. Thank you for a wonderful post. Tearfully I will send it to all my friends. Beautifully written.

  37. Growing old(er) does have its rewards. It is sad, however, when we realize that we should have stopped to savor a great many things which will never come our way again. The good thing is that in now recognizing this, we are all the more acutely aware of the graces bestowed on us with each new dawn.

  38. I remember reading was everywhere when Erma died. I have not heeded that either, although I do burn the candles.But so many other things I don't do!! We need this reminder every now and then! Packing up is always so bittersweet but try and enjoy as much of each day as you can!

  39. Wow, a lesson for all of us. Thanks for sharing your treasured candle with us. It looks very beautiful.
    Blessings dear friend, Ginger

  40. I first read that because my mom had it as well. You won't believe how many times I've said to someone, "burn the candle shaped like a rose". That line means a lot to me because I found a rose shaped candle in my mom's attic that had melted out of shape. Why was it kept instead of burned? That's why I eat off the good china every day.

  41. Such wise words, and I need to remember to heed those words, too. Thanks for the reminder!

  42. In these past 3 months I have done nothing but wish I had of savoured more moments and treasured the time I had. I would have held on tighter and made him feel loved and wanted more. Our life plays like a movie in my head each night and wish I could turn back time. It is a lovely post Suzan and like others I had tears rolling down my cheeks reading it. When I was packing it was a very emotional time, and now I treasure the time I have with family and friends and do not take these moments for granted. And now I am going to go light a candle my son gave me years ago, that has never been lit. And think of where I want my life to go from here. hugs Tobey


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