>I was just going through my Mailbox Monday post and stumbled upon this post by Mommy Katie. It hit very close to home. You see, my mom started smoking at the age of 14 or 15, and died on July 25, 2009 from COPD and Emphysema. Her death was 100% preventable, had she been able to fight whatever the demons were that caused her to start smoking. My kids will grow up without my mom in their life. It breaks my heart, and I miss her so much sometimes that it takes my breath away. If she’s lucky, my Busy girl will maybe remember reading books with Grama on her bed, or playing games, doing puzzles on gramas bed…but really, she wasn’t quite 4 when she last saw my mom. I know she won’t have a memory of my mom without the oxygen machines, the inhalers, or out of her bed. My little guy simply won’t remember, and my mom died 13 days before Baby B was born.
Last week, my mother in law was diagnosed with COPD and the beginnings of Emphysema…she, too, has been a smoker for over 50 years and its taken its toll. It’s been a really, really emotional experience for me as it is bringing up so many feelings and memories from my mother’s own illness, and also just sadness- for my mother in law, because the road in front of her will absolutely be tough, for my husband and the rest of his family because the pain of watching someone you love go through this is so great.
Also, for my kids, especially for Busy girl- mostly because she still remembers watching my mom’s decline, and because she’s just got this sense for things- I can still remember the day we were driving home from a visit to my parents’ in April of 09 and she said this to me: “Mommy, Grama isn’t going to get better again, is she?”
Hopefully, the steps the doctor has recommended will help my mother in law find the strength to quit smoking for good, so that she can at least get a little better, and stick around for a long time. The idea that my children will grow up without knowing what its like to have their Grandmothers around makes me overwhelmingly sad. I have such wonderful memories of both my grandmothers, and I feel so blessed to have enjoyed so many years with them. Selfishly, I want that for my kids too. My Busy girl is named for my paternal grandmother, and Baby B is named for both my mom and her mom.
Why am I sharing all of this sad news on a Monday morning? Honestly, because I’m hoping it will impact one person, and make them seriously want to quit smoking. I’ll throw this right out there- I’ve smoked in the past. I have. I won’t ever pick up another cigarette, and haven’t in years. I’m fairly certain that none of my children will, either. My kids know that cigarettes make you sick. Unfortunately, they know what oxygen machines and portable tanks look like, how they sound, how they smell, and I would give anything in this world for them not to know this at such a young age. I have memories of my 2 year old playing peekaboo with my mom from behind her oxygen tank. I want memories of her reading her favorite stories to my kids, and teaching them to swim to the raft at our lake house, and of baking cookies with them, and teaching them that going overboard on holidays is a family tradition. I want her to yell at them for trying to take her picture like she used to do to all of us. Mostly I just want them to know her and remember her. For us, its too late. My mom is gone, and while her memory lives strong…
Now that I’ve poured my heart out, and am crying many fresh tears, I hope that you will consider visiting Become an Ex, or sharing the site with someone you love. I, myself, am going to go finish building paper bag ghost costumes with the kids for their baby dolls, and hug them tight.
Thanks to Mommy Katie for finding this site.