Wednesday, March 6, 2013


There I stood with my three children, on the fourth floor of the parking garage at Christ Hospital. It was barely dawn, and my husband had just been taken into surgery. Because of them, I knew what I needed to do...... 

“I don’t know where to go,” I whispered nervously,” I don’t wanna get in trouble.”

“It’s okay Mom,” my son assured me, as he lead me toward the back of his vehicle. “You can stand over here, no one will see you.”

"Are you sure", I asked apprehensively?

“Yes, Mom, I promise, they’re not going to arrest you”, he chuckled, "this is an open parking garage, look, no walls?"

I tried to smile, but had a difficult time finding any humor at all in the situation. When, I wondered, did smoking cigarettes become such a shameful act? When did the simple act of lighting one become akin to a sin?  When did I get to the point I couldn’t imagine my life without them?

All my anxiety seemed to magically melt away with one quick flick of my lighter. Ahhhh…. instantaneous tranquility…… How, can I possibly give this up? 

My mind flashed longingly back to another era….an era when smoking was not only socially acceptable, but encouraged. An era where cigarettes were not only enjoyable, but incredibly cool. An era where…….

The sound of my daughter’s voice snapped me back to reality.” Mom”, she said, holding out her hand, “it’s time to let them go.” For a moment, I stared at the nearly new pack sticking out of my purse, wondering momentarily if I should change my mind. “Just one last puff,” I sighed, in final resignation. Inhaling deeply, I allowed the of smoke to linger in my lungs, then I watched ceremoniously as the puffy gray tendrils drifted into the air. "Goodbye!" I said to my long-time companion.

 I knew it wouldn't be easy, but in honor of all those dear to me, there was no turning back......

It has been 162 days...14 hours and 16 minutes since my last cigarette:-)


  1. Congratulations on being a quitter! Great leading paragraphs...kept me intrigued as to what this story was about.

  2. Beautifully written. Love your thinking between your words and actions. Congratulations on quitting!

  3. That is AWESOME! Congratulations!!! I know a quitter too, and the hardest thing she ever did was puff that last cigarette. To this day she leans in a little closer when she is by a smoker. ;-) Stay strong!

  4. Congratulations! I'm sure that wasn't easy to do. Alternating between the scene and your thoughts added emotion and understanding to the reader about your inner conflict. Congratulations on making a courageous decision and for sharing it with us.

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  6. Way to go! I watched my dad struggle to quit several times so I have an idea of how difficult it is. Be proud! I thought it was striking, as Kari said, the way you switched between the scene and your thoughts/feelings. It grabbed my attention.

  7. Yeah! High five! Double high five! You are a quitter. There are some things I want to quit as well. You inspire me to be bold.
    AND, my tired eyes are happy. I love the new typeface. I can read your writing. And I love to read your stories, Now I can subscribe. :)

  8. P.S.
    Dar, do you know how to add a subscribe button to your blog? Then your stories will go right into my inbox in my email account.

    1. Hi Pamela, I changed my font just for you:-) I do not know how to add a subscribe button....but will see what I can do. This is all brand new to me, and I am learning a little more each day!!! Thank you for all of your encouraging makes this whole experience so much more enjoyable:-)

  9. This is the best kind of quitter to be. Congratulations and may you continue forever to be free of the smoking demon.

  10. Congratulations! Your kids will thank you.

  11. Darlene I am so proud of you!!!!! What a hard, but such a worthwhile thing you have done. BRAVO!

  12. OH.. Congrats Dar! You have honored yourself and all those dear to you by making this healthy choice. I know how hard it is! Serious Kudos to you.

  13. Wow! The more I read about cigarettes I'm impressed with anyone who can give them up. Stay strong!