As some of you know I just got back from Mexico where we laid to rest my best friend and Godmother, Angela! In Mexico a funeral, like all celebrations doesn't last a day or two - it lasts for nine days of prayers and commissuration that marks the beginning of a new time when our loved one is with the Lord and we must continue our journey here below! Each evening of prayer we share food and drink in memory of our loved one and a toast to the new generation of children who rise to face the challenges of their times! Along with that cup of Agave or Pulque (both very strong liquors) cigarettes are passed around in fellowship! You can imagine that in the past I smoked my share with relish, but this time I was equally glad to say, "No Thanks, I don't smoke!" especially because I could hear the numerous times my Godmother chided me for smoking! I only wish that I had listened to her sooner! No, I did not smoke as I stood with groups of friends smoking away like chimneys passing the time and filling our plates with food and our cups with beverage! I admit that I thought it would be nice to take a puff and that socially the pressure was great to participate in the smokefest, but I found out that I had passed beyond that addiction within me and no longer need to feed this monster! You see, with a true quit comes an introspection and maturation, not just a sense of deprivation and sacrifice! It is a time when you ask yourself that endless question, "Who am I?" and this time you have a deeper answer to that question. Now, I am stepping out of the old Thomas into a New ME who doesn't use addictive substances to mask unwanted feelings and reflections! This whole week has been a rollercoaster of emotions both bitter and sweet and the truth is - I wouldn't have missed any of it in the least! Between tears and smiles it was ALL GOOD and Life Goes On!