Letter to my patron saint

Spiral stairs in Saint Istvan Basilika in Budapest

FYI for those with an alternate calendar of the saints: Erma Bombeck died 19 years ago this week (April 22nd).



Dear St. Erma,

Any time I’m asked what it is that I do my mind goes blank. I have no idea. Perhaps I do nothing? I wrote a list to prove it isn’t nothing.

Recent Accomplishments

I made space for my children’s novel by not cleaning my house for almost two weeks.

I have had no wasted leftovers for weeks or possibly months. Family survives because I eat everything they hate at lunch or repackage it so they don’t see it coming.

For the second year running I have convinced my husband to help me clean up the part of the pasture where the animals eat hay all winter. He finds the idea of tidying a pasture irritating and ridiculous. It’s one of those things he wouldn’t want his friends to know. And yet, I have prevailed.

I did not swear where anyone could hear me when I saw the state of the garage/storage space.

I took the emergency brake off a trailer transport then rushed out and laid down in front of the tires. With the truck snugly on top of me, I was able to hold down my fears of bad-people-disasters and allow my 11 year old to bike to school from his grandparents’ house. He is angling for a weekly event. I am costing out the tractor trailer rental from now until June.

I have given up gray. I’ve developed an allergy to nuance so am going back to black and white. All questions will have a yes or no answer. Having dispense with gray, I stepped on a scale to see if I was as light as I felt. The scale didn’t respond appropriately so I threw it out. I thought you would approve.

If you have time to pass this on to my mother, here are two things I’m actually proud of:

1. I’ve learned to love some of the kids who made me crazy when I first started doing the PE classes.

2. My relationship with one of my kids – the one who has caused me the most head scratching about how exactly they got from their odd little planet into my stomach in time for delivery – has blossomed this year. In trying to make things better for them at school (and not finding answers anywhere else) I figured out how to help because I had to. It has made all the difference. The relationship I used to feel guilty about not knowing how to improve has become a source of great joy for both of us. The common interests I thought we might never find are many and lovely.

I’m re-reading some of your best quotes. This one is my meditation for the day:

“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart.” (Erma Bombeck)

St. Erma of the Bombeck, pray for us from your spot at the everlasting dessert bar.


2 Comments to Letter to my patron saint

  1. Dad says:

    This is a gem!

  2. St. Erma of the Bombeck is my kind of dessert saint. Amen!