Advice from Erma Bombeck: A favorite post from the past

This week I’m joining Chari at Happy To Design for Sunday Favorites. It’s a party for sharing a favorite post from the past … I first shared Burn the Pink Candle! on August 5, 2010.  As the busy days of Summer begin, you might enjoy reading it for the first time — or again.
A few days ago, I opened this drawer


and I saw it …


Strange … I’ve opened that drawer many times over the past few weeks and never noticed it before. Seems like I remember reading something once about a candle shaped like a rose.  I was curious, so I Googled it. (What did we do before Google?) And I found what I remembered … I’ll let you see it, too.


If I Had My Life To Live Over

by Erma Bombeck

The following was written by the late Erma Bombeck
after she found out she had a fatal disease.

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 sorrys” …

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.


Oh, my … There it was.  The “pink candle sculpted like a rose” that I’ve had “forever” — and never burned. I don’t even know where I got it; it was most likely in an auction box from the estate of someone else who never burned it! I do know that while I’ve had it I’ve lived in at least three different residences in two states.  And never burned it …


It was time for that to change! Right then, I pulled out a favorite doily and placed it on my dining table.


Then I opened a cabinet and took out a crystal bowl with an etched rose design. (Of course I had to use something with a rose on it … This was a special occasion, and the “theme” had to be perfect!)


Then I filled the bowl with water … and gently placed my favorite (and only!) pink candle sculpted like a rose.


Then I did it! … I lit the pink candle sculpted like a rose!  And savored the moment …


… and repeated it again before the day ended … and vowed to use this special candle in next week’s tablescape.


Now I have a challenge for you … Do you have a “pink candle sculpted like a rose” (or some other shape) that you’re waiting to burn “someday?” What are you waiting for?


Go burn that candle — and let’s enjoy TODAY and be thankful for it!


* * * * *
Click HERE if you’d like to see the pink candle tablescape.


  1. Erma Bombeck was a very funny, and very wise woman. This was a great post. I seem to burn all my candles, though. I don’t wait on them. xo,

  2. A beautiful sentiment.

  3. Wonderful! I may not have any unburned candles, but in getting ready for my daughter’s wedding next month, I’m guilty of forgetting to live in the moment — to savor the special time that this is — because I am so caught up in my danged “to do” list, and my mild panic attacks!

    thanks for the nudge in the right direction!

    (And now I have to go look up Dior Tabriz to see just what china you fell in love with!)

  4. Susan, I have always loved this poem, and this is the perfect reminder to do just what it says. I saw two candles in the other room in a bag that I had completely forgotten about. Guess who’s going to burn them?

    Thanks so much for your sweet and loving comments on my blog. It has been a rough go, but the Lord is faithful to see us through. Thanks for your prayers, too. They are much appreciated.



  5. Hi Susan!! So nice to meet you. Thank you for following. I will follow you too. I love what I am seeing on your blog but don’t have time right now to explore like I want. I’ll be back….and I LOVE this post! 🙂


  6. Fantastic post! I love that Erma Bombeck piece. I don’t think I have a pink rose candle but if I did, I’d sure burn it today!
    Loved your last post too. Gorgeous tablescape!

  7. I LOVED Erma and I miss her…Oh Yes, I do have those “Special” Candles around “Somewhere”!!! I promise you “When I find them they are GOING TO BE Light”! and I will think of you My Dear Friend, and Erma, and all the Very Special people who make life worth living! Thank you for the beautiful post!

  8. Susan, I miss Erma so much. She was always “right on”. As for burning your pink candle..good for you!! I used to put things away and save for company, etc., but when I retired I decided to use all those things and go places I had put off visiting. I finally realized that it’s so important to live in the moment and enjoy life. I guess learning that lesson comes with age, LOL
    Your post is such a sweet reminder to live life to the fullest.
    Hope you’re having a great Memorial Day weekend and thanks so much for your sweet comments on my post.

  9. Hi Susan…

    Such a sweet post, my friend! I’m so glad that you shared it with us for the Sunday Favorites repost party this week! I loved Erma Bombeck and remember reading this piece that she wrote! How lovely that you had a pink sculpted rose candle! Isn’t it funny how it just “jumped out” at you when you opened the drawer? I’m so glad that you had a chance to enjoy the pretty flickering light…it looked gorgeous floating in the crystal bowl!

    Thank you again for joining in with the Sunday Favorites party…this was such a treat!

    Warmest wishes,
    Chari @Happy To Design