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