I know she didn’t want it to happen, her body consuming itself to advance those conquering cells. She like all of us thought that we had all the time in the world. My 45 year old sister June was diagnosed with cancer in August 2009. She was dead the following April. I spent some time with her as did my other 7 brothers & sisters. We all pushed her around in the wheelchair while she smoked. A couple still smoke but I had a six year quit going so I didn’t feel threatened by her smoking. I did feel that it didn’t matter when she got to a point that the suffering could surely not worsen. Her breathing was already labored & joints aching so bad she could hardly get in the chair to go outside. But she perservered & smoked till the end. I’m sure if we had denied her smokes she would have been angry at us. She was already bitter at her station in life. She was next to youngest & there were 7 older that should have gone before. I couldn’t argue with that cause I may have felt the same way.
Our Dad nicknamed her “Gabby” because June had always been a talker but she would only listen now. There were no smiles no sparkle in her eyes. I think she lost them both the day she got the news. They did all the standard treatments trying to slow it down but to no avail. It really was too late. We watched as the weight fell away & the skin tightened over her small frame. A skeleton with gray parchment skin. I could have laid her beside all those that I have seen suffer from this affliction & unless I had personally placed them there I would not have been able to tell them apart. In the end we’re all the same.
We all end up the same unless we take control. Until we realize that we do have the strength to quit. Until we realize that urges aren’t painful & that they are not a command. Until we realize that we don’t HAVE to smoke. Until we realize there’s nothing to fear. Until we resolve to make a sincere commitment that will change our lives & promise ourselves that we will protect it at any cost. It takes all of these things & more.
I wasn’t there the day she quit smoking but I know it was a sweet release. I miss June…her children miss her too.
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