Light Notes

Moved to tears

Erma Bombeck published more than 4,000 syndicated columns from 1965 until she died in 1996. I don’t know how she did it.

My wellspring of creativity has run dry.

I’ve tried every trick in the book — writing with my left hand, taking a walk, and eating Mexican food. (The last one was my idea.) So far all I have to show for my efforts are scribbles only a pharmacist could love, a blister on my big toe, and an insatiable craving for Beano.

Maybe my writer’s block is due to the pressure to tickle a funny bone at a time when tears are tickling my mascara.

Oh, it’s nothing serious in the big scheme of things. Just a mother untying her apron strings — again.

Our daughter, Traci, has moved from Washington state. She’s tied to her military husband more than to me.

That’s a good thing.

And over her lifetime there have been a lot of good things:

Her birth. I cried.

Her first step. I cried.

Starting kindergarten. I cried.

High school graduation. I cried.

Leaving home and leaving us with her huge dog. My husband cried about the dog food bill.

But tears didn’t end there.

Traci married the perfect guy. I wept with joy.

Even so, Eddie — or I should say the U.S. Army — frequently moves our daughter and the grandkids from one end of the country to the other.

This week, they left for California.

I’ve been crying again.

So the other day, I went to my bookshelf to retrieve an old favorite—one that often makes me smile. It’s a collection of Erma Bombeck’s best columns; the book is Forever Erma.

Her many columns usually elicit chuckles. But every so often, even Erma cried, too.

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