After you died, I recall telling my friend as we walked down the street that I was never, ever going to smoke. I thought you died of cancer because you smoked two packs of Viceroy’s a day. But I know now that even though it does cause cancer, you can get that disease whether you smoke or not.
I did start smoking around the age of 16. I quit the first time I got married because that husband didn’t like smoking. I started again after the divorce. After I married the second time and when I found out I was pregnant, I quit again. After I had Casey, I started again, got pregnant, quit, started again, got pregnant and quit and started again. Casey would always bug me, “Mom that stinks.” He’d wave his hands making the smoke go away.
I’ll never forget one day when Ruthie and her first husband Russ were over. I started to light up a cigarette when Ruthie said, “You may not want to do that.”
“What are you talking about?”
They told me the news that Russ’s cancer was back. It was the look in their eyes that did it.
I didn’t light up and quit again—pretty much for good. I made a childish attempt to prove a point and make husband #3 mad by smoking. It was disgusting and I realized I was only hurting myself.
Russ lost his battle with cancer. And I will never smoke.