I’ve never been a smoker, but I’ve witnessed how difficult it is to quit. For all of my friends out there who are struggling with it, you have my sympathies.

My dad would have been 67 today. He died at the age of 62, ravaged with cancer they believe started in his lungs. He smoked 2-3 or more packs of unfiltered Camels a day, for over 20 years. He finally quit, but the damage remained. I miss him every day.  It’s been 1,676 days, in fact.   The cancer swept through him like a forest fire, and it took a long time to restore my memories of the vibrant, sarcastic, bushy-haired, bearded father I’d known for 30+ years, from the last weeks where his body became a fragile hollow shell. Mostly I miss being able to laugh with him about things, but the hardest moments are when I want advice, from someone who’s known me for a lifetime.   So if you can, if you can find the strength to quit, or cut back, so you can be there for your own kids, believe me, they’ll appreciate it.

5 Responses to “1,676 Days”
  1. Staci says:

    No words, just giant warm hugs!

  2. Dana says:

    I just got on nicotine patches three days ago, and I can honestly say this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I have smoked pretty much constantly since I was 19 years old, and if I could do one thing over in my life it would be to never start smoking. My maternal grandfather died of lung cancer, and it still hurts to think that I’ve been doing to my body what he did to his- and I started despite seeing what he went through. It’s a horrible habit to break, but I’m going to be completely smoke- and nicotine-patch-free by the time I turn 28 on March 8.

    I’ll be thinking about you, Jen. (((hugs)))

  3. Lisa B. says:

    Aw, hugs!! I know what it is to miss your dad…mine’s been gone nearly 19 years now, which is hard to believe.

  4. Barbara says:

    ((((((Jen)))))),

    BIG HUGS.

    I lost my ex-husband (the Father of my son) to naso-pharyngeal cancer … at age 59 … almost 15 years ago. It’s a very cruel, painful way to die. (Two packs a day of unfiltered Camels for years-and-years-and-years … way before I ever met him.)

    Thankful for posting this. I hope someone (everyone) reads your words and decides that the cost is too much. It certainly was for us.

    Hugs.

    Barb

  5. Garilynn says:

    My father died of heart disease, also made much worse by smoking. I miss him the most when I see how much he would have loved seeing my children, the ways they were quick witted like him.

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