As I look around at all of the sad faces and tears being shed, I cant help but wonder-what was I thinking? Was it really worth it? The sheer lack of color and strong emotions was enough to be overwhelmed. Have you ever looked into your son or daughters eyes, knowing you have let them down and knowing that you cant make it up to them, the moment has passed you by? Have you ever taught your kids that there are consequences to your actions and every decision you make needs to be a good one because you don’t get a second chance at life? It all seems meaningless and empty now.
Watching your family and ones closest to you weep for you at your own funeral has to be the hardest thing I have ever done. Knowing decisions I made consciously affected everyone in the worst way. How selfish, how shallow, how self serving. I went to work every day to provide for my family and now I leave them to fend for themselves-why? Because I could not kick a habit that ruled half of my life. At least I didn’t suffer, the cancer came quick, the pain was minimal, the embarrassment was worse than anything. I didn’t have a chance. I leave my family to suffer in my absence. I paid money for this. This is definitely the hardest thing I have ever had to do!
I have many blessings today, far too many to count and surely more than I recognize each and every day-a lovely wife who means more to me that the world itself, an amazing son that has taught me many lessons in life including the most important-humility, a beautiful daughter who keeps me on my toes daily, another princess who is excited to see me every time I walk in, and a 2 year old son who wants to be like his dad-a healthy family that supports me and loves one another-a beautiful home, a great job, and another day to live. The biggest blessing god gave me was a son with the courage to save my life. The courage to discourage me from continuing tobacco-the courage to question his father in the best possible way-the courage to stand up and say dad I want you to be here for me years from now. Those words-talk about being feeling small, talk about being selfish and talk about learning humility.
It took my 11 year old son asking me to quit to wake me up-my wife tried, my parents tried, my sister tried- all for not-Chew was too good. How small you feel ….
The quit is on! I told my son: “this is going to be the hardest thing I have ever done”, boy was I wrong again. The pain, the struggle, the cravings, the anger, the insomnia – all nothing compared to having to watch your own funeral. All nothing compared to letting your kids down. In my house we raise winners. We raise kids that do whatever it takes, to try and try again until you succeed and not to let anyone tell you otherwise, to work hard and we teach character-character I not only lacked but couldn’t teach. I must formally thank my son Alex for allowing me to avoid what would have been the hardest thing I have ever done. I have him to thank that I don’t have to feel the pain of watching my loved ones grieve-I am here to write this acceptance speech. I have him to thank that I am a father again leading by example.
Quitting-the hardest thing I have ever done? nah-the hardest thing was letting my family down, being selfish and depriving them of time and money spent on Chew – that was by far the hardest thing I have ever done.
Thank you Alex-you have given me more than you will ever know and I will always be grateful. Thank you to my family who helped me kick the habit while not kicking me out of the house. Thank you to this site which was a great support. Thank you to all who wrote me, kept me accountable and congratulated me. It can be done-when you want it and when its worth it-there is nothing that cannot be done. Today is a great day to be alive.
Lets enjoy the Hall!