OK…. you guys need resolve? Here’s some resolve for you.
My dad has been a smoker for.. about 43 years. He’s only 52. That’s right, he started smoking when he was 9… not much younger if any than some of the guys here who used to chew. By the time I was born the smoking had already taken a toll on him, and when I was 5 my dad had his first heart attack. He was only 35.
By the time I was 7, he had 4 more heart attacks. When I was 8 he ahd triple bypass surgery. I remember being in the room afterwards and being terrified of this man who was hooked up to about a million machines, and thinking that there was a mistake. This was NOT my dad. I remember a doctor telling him that he needed a new heart, but that they wouldn’t put him on a list to get one until he stopped smoking. Not even 10 minutes after that man left the room, my dad was unhooking machines and walking downstairs, going outside to have a smoke.
Since then, my dad has had 8 more heart attacks. He has been diagnosed with heart disease, lung disease, and vascular disease. All directly related to not being able to put down the cigarettes. I’ve had to watch my father die. He hasn’t been able to work in about 10 years due to illness, and now he’s at a point where he stays in bed for days at a time, because he’s simply too weak to get up. He’s 5’10” and weighs maybe, MAYBE 150 pounds. This may not seem like any big deal.. but you have to know, when I was young, my dad was about 240 pounds of solid muscle. He was the strongest person I knew.
After he had the bypass surgery, and I heard that he needed a new heart, I remember sitting on the floor next to him, bawling my eyes out, and begging him to quit. He looked me in the eyes and said no. I’ve never asked him again. I learned at 8 years old, that my dad loved smoking, more than he loved me.
So now here I am, almost 15 years later.. my dad a shell of the person he used to be. Still smoking, still killing himself everyday, and now way beyond a place where he even has a chance of being healthy ever again. People tell me to be thankful he’s still here, and I am… but what good is it for him? He takes roughly 50 pills a day, to SURVIVE. He can’t walk around the grocery store, even on good days. This man, who used to be so proud, has “accidents” because he no longer has control over his body.
I wonder if my dad is going to be there when I graduate from college, or when I get my master’s degree… I wonder if he’ll be there to walk me down the aisle, and who is going to do it if he’s not? I wonder if he’s ever going to know the faces of his grandkids… I worry about these things… some nights I can’t sleep and I lay there and cry about these things. But, then I get angry.
All of this is his fault.
He had a chance at a new heart, at a long and happy life, but he didn’t take it. Instead, he’s dying at 52, and honestly may not live to see another year…. because he didn’t have enough love for his wife, or his son, or his little girl… he loved fucking cigarettes more. He still does.
Don’t do to your kids, what my dad has done to me. It’s wrong… and when this starts to kill you, because you know it will… how are you going to look into their crying faces and tell them that you didn’t love them as much as you loved dipping?
Don’t do to your kids, what my dad has done to me.