Courage (AKA Fannie)
On February 13, 2016, our darling Courage died at home after struggling and struggling to quit and STAY quit. She was severely asthmatic, she would quit for a while and then go back to smoking, I am not sure how long the longest time was that she stayed quit but, I do believe, with all of my heart, that she had quit with a real commitment this last time. Sadly, it was too late and she was found by her family on the couch at her home. Her mother had died a few months earlier and her husband and children were rocked to the depths of their beings. She and I texted, emailed, and called regularly, she was my friend. Her phone number is still in my cell and her email address is still in my contacts. I would get so frustrated with her when she went back to smoking. I was so worried about her asthma and I kept telling her that COPD is not just emphysema. She had a real scare just before the last quit and went to the hospital ER where they gave her IV steroids, a nebulizer treatment, and stabilized her enough so that they felt she could go home or she refused admission. That was a few days before her death. I had not talked to her more than once after she got home but had texted her and emailed and then I heard that she was dead. I could hardly catch my own breath. She was a beautiful woman, inside and out. She was loving and supportive and always wanted to extend a hand to anyone who needed it. I still cry over that loss and I still cannot believe it she was only 54, she worked from home and could smoke any time she wanted, that was probably very detrimental to her quit. I am sure that her profile is still on here and her struggles were palpable in her blogs.
I recently found out that her daughter is pregnant and that Fannie would have become a grandmother to a baby boy in October of this year. She would have so loved to be a grandmother. Her daughter, her two sons, and her husband had their worlds turned upside down and I know that Fannie would NEVER have hurt any of them on purpose. Had she been able to see the future, I am sure she would have found the strength to stay quit. I miss her, her family misses her, I know there are people here who remember her and miss her. My darling friend, I hope that you are aware of all of the love that is with you and that you will be watching as that little boy enters this earth. I hope that your beloved daughter will feel your presence and your love. I am so sorry that your quit was such a struggle. I promised Ari that I would stay in touch with her after you died and I am keeping that promise. She was so angry at first but I believe that she has forgiven everything and I KNOW that you were very proud of her for quitting smoking long before your death.
To all of you who are struggling, please, please, please think of the consequences of continuing to smoke to you and to your beloved families. Think of THIS family too, your EX family, we have lost people in the 3 years and 3 months since I quit, I know in my heart that I could very well have been one of those people. I miss you dear Fannie, I still remember when you offered to help my daughter move into her apartment in Brooklyn, when you offered to introduce her to some people her age. How I wish I had taken you up on that, just to have had the chance to give you an in person hug. I felt as though I had failed you when you started to smoke…every time, this last time, I could not stop crying, I did not think I would EVER stop crying.
Whenever a member of the EX Community stumbled and fell, Fannie felt more and more convinced that this was an impossible journey for her. “If someone with almost a year fails, how can I possibly make it? I have to stay away from the site for a while, Ellen, it makes me think of smoking.” “You know when I quit I was using the nebulizer four times a day, I could hardly walk to the backyard, now I am feeling MUCH better, I always smoked at the beach and beach weather is coming.” At one point, her husband bought her a pack of cigarettes because he said she was so miserable that he couldn’t stand it. Her husband smoked cigars and one of her sons smoked cigarettes…not in the house but she said she would look outside and see them at the garage door and want so much to be with them. She was way too young to lose her life and her kids are way too young to have lost their mother.
Don’t smoke, don’t give your money, your life, and your health to big tobacco.