Thursday, August 11, 2005


Last night I watched part of a special on ABC that was a tribute to Peter Jennings. It kept making me think of my dad, who also died from smoking. They were even the same age..born in the same year (1938). Both otherwise strong and healthy men, had it not been for them smoking. I always thought it such a shame that my dad worked hard all his life, and never had the opportunity to do anything that we all might wish for, once we retire, like travel, or at the very least live our golden years in relative peace. Instead he slowly suffocated, and even attached to oxygen, couldn't take 5 steps without his chest heaving uncontrollably, leading him to stop and try and catch his breath. He couldn't even eat comfortably without getting out of breath. He had an awful death..partly because it was a slow and uncomfortable one. And as I try to write this without totally losing it, I am left with one painful thought..that it isn't fair. He was a good man, with one horrible habit that ended up killing him.

So I watched last nights special, and saw another great man fall to this habit, and thought of others I know who have also died due to smoking, and I am left to wonder what it is that young people today don't get. Young people who smoke that is. In their early to late 20's, embracing this habit like their will be no consequence. Peter Jennings had quit smoking a long time ago except for a short relapse...but it didn't matter, it was the smoking in his younger years that killed him. So by the time you think you will "wise up" and quit...guess's too late. Don't get me wrong, it's never too late to quit, but the sooner the better.

I'm not even the kind of person to normally preach to anyone, I usually live by, "to each his own," but I truly don't think anyone wants to or deserves to die the way they will if the smoking catches up with them. Young women who mean a lot to me (my sister & sister-in-law) smoke. I respect their life choices, but I can't help thinking of my dad, and fearing I will have to go through the same thing with them someday..which just makes me sad, because I wish wish wish it wasn't such a hard habit to kick, so that they would. For my benefit and their own. I worry about them, and all young people who are putting themselves at risk, and shortening their life. You deserve better.

But anyway..sorry to run on, but it's one of those things thats always on my mind, that I'm glad I finally got off my mind and down somewhere a little more concrete. It helps.

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