I had stopped by Goodwill on Friday to say hello to him, the one who always says "Hi, Sweetie!"... always a nice thing to hear when you are fifty-ish. :)
He and hubby would swap Viet Nam war stories as I checked for teacups and saucers.
He always thought it so funny when I'd be chatting with my daughter on the cell phone... asking if the grandchildren need a certain book or toy or some other inexpensive item.
He'd always laugh at me and say his wife loves to find bargains for the grandkids, too.
Money is tight so I hadn't been there even to browse these past two weeks.
And then there was Friday.... the obituary taped to the front door... my friend's picture and his life all in two small columns... cancer diagnosed the previous week... pneumonia last weekend... death on Wednesday... I never got a chance to say goodbye.
I came across this writing by Erma Bombeck again recently. I believe she wrote it after being diagnosed with cancer. It gives words to how I feel this week.
“IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER….
I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
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 grass stains.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
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.”