Hey girl, hey! You over there nonchalantly smoking your cigarette and brushing the blond hair out of your face with cut off denim shorts.
Why are you smoking? Have you ever really asked yourself that question? Because, I can’t think of a single good reason why anyone would smoke. None that would sway me anyway. Why did it sway you?
Pardon me for sounding like your grandmother, but you see I just don’t understand why you are taking your life for granted. I mean surely, you’ve seen the commercials and the advertisements, right? Someone must have told you the consequences, right?
Oh...you thought you were too young for that? That you are invincible? Hm. Well, I was given something that just doesn’t seem to belong to me, I mean it can’t. SO here you go. Cancer. Yep, because you see I am 32 years old, far from a grandmother’s age and I have Stage Three Ductal Carcinoma. The big C. What’s shocking is I have not had one puff of a cigarette. Not one. I live a healthy life, I’m a runner, I believe in Jesus. Oh, and I have two babies, yep two. One and three. Girls. Precious, gorgeous, vivacious girls who NEED me. I am a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend, a neighbor, a homeowner, I have a cat.
So please, let me hand this over to you, since you are the one who was prepared for this outcome, right? I mean you had to be if you were willing to light that cigarette and breathe in those chemicals, clearly marked that they could cause cancer. Oh...wait you weren’t prepared? You don’t want this gift? Then why the FLOUNDER are you smoking? Because I have done everything right. I have a loving husband, two girls that are my breath. I can’t have cancer. So, when I see you 50 feet away from me blissfully inhaling the very thing that has threatened to overtake me, it burns a whole new sense of rage deep within me.
I sit here watching you smoke your cigarette while my three-year-old giggles her way down the waterslide into the pool, straight into her daddy’s arms. I sit here watching you inhale that cigarette while my one year old blows bubbles into the water and says "Mama". I try to blink away the hot tears of pure loathing that fill the pit of my stomach. This is NOT fair. Oh, I know...life isn’t fair. So, you, you, YOU better think long and hard about what you are doing. As far as I am concerned, this cancer, should be yours. NOT mine. So here, instead of the cancer, I will hand you an opportunity for change. But you won't get this chance often. You better not abuse it. Use it to change your life. Learn to breathe good air, to cherish the people you love most, to savor the good food, to sway to the rhythm of good music. Live well, love abundantly, give back and pay it forward. And for Heaven’s sake put the flipping cigarette down.