an Ideas Page by Omar Villarreal and Marina Kirac (c)

15th November 1999

Dear Friends,
This message was sent to Marina by a dear friend and colleague in Salta, Ms Inés Amaduro. 
Inés was our classmate at Profesorado in Buenos Aires and is now a lecturer in Phonetics at the prestigious Instituto del Profesorado en Lenguas Vivas of the province of Salta.
Today, we love her even more for sending us this poem. Inés writes she´s sending
it "In honor of women's history month and in memory of Erma Bombeck who lost her fight with cancer ". 
It is intended to be sent to women but more than a man will surely appreciate it. We also believe it is a nice PEP UP message because it makes you think hard
about life.
We definitely wanted to share it with you all.
                  IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER
                  by Erma Bombeck
                  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
                  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
                  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
                  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
                  realizing 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 yous"  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.
We can use this poem obviously to practise hypothetical sentences with :
         I would have ... 
         I would never have...
         I would not have...
Depending on our audience (either adults or teenagers, since we do not believe you can do this poem with children ), we can ask them to try their hand at
rewriting the poem with their own feelings and expeeiences . Suggested titles ?
"If I had my childhood to live over "
"If I had my adolescence to live over"
In a a lighter vein we could suggest " If I had my primary school to live over"
"If I had my secondary school to live over" " If I had my days when I was
single and without a mother -in-law- to live over "
We know you will like the poem. We hope you can put it to good use in the
classroom but mainly IN LIFE.
All best wishes
Omar Villarreal and Marina Kirac