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Our Differences

   I guess with cigarettes it is either that you love them or hate them. I don't believe there is a middle of the road. If you are addicted to them they are closer than a friend. right in you front pocket or at least close within reach. You eat , you reach for them. You drink, again your hand fumbles instinctively for them. You experience any stress and you feel the instant need to smoke. I know all of these things because I live with and love someone who has smoked for 45 years.
          I have never smoked but I can remember when I was a lot younger I found or somehow obtained a cigarette. I snuck out back and pretended to smoke. Funny how of all the things in life some things of insignifence stand out as if it happened yesterday. Anyway, there I was standing behind our house leaning up against the cool cinder blocks pretending to smoke. I was feeling so grown up and powerful. Why I only smoked that once I don't know because I still remember that feeling. It felt really good, or maybe it was just the adrenalin from my little secret.
        My husband Benny smoked when I met him but I sure didn't know then what I know now or I probley wouldn't have married him. Now I love him with all my heart but we have been through some hard times partly because of him smoking. When my children were small he smoked in the house. I didn't know any better. Thank goodness none of them had asthma or breathing problems.
       Because of him being a smoker my life has been changed. I have endured riding in the pouring down rain with the window down cause he had to smoke. I have seen him buy cigarettes when we needed milk. I have smelled smoke and smelled like smoke. I have seen him angry and almost frantic when he was out.
       Today after 28 years of marriage and many heart attacks, severe lung disease,along with constant shortness of breath he still craves cigarettes. He quit about 2 years ago but the desire still remains. He will never be over them, his love for them and his addiction to them. He is in a hospital bed now struggling for breath with each coughing spell. Now he has ekg changes which is probley the beginning of another heart attack. If he were offered a cigarette right now mabye he would take it even though I hope he wouldn't.
       Now that I have said all of that, here is the rest of the story. I am greived and my heart aches for what I have lost and what I am surely going to lose. I realize that I have certainly been blessed. I have been married to him for over half of my life. I have lived with him longer than I lived with my Mom and Dad. He is my everything. He is my best friend and the love of my life and now I stand at a crossroads. What will happen of course I can't say for sure but I have a pretty good idea. I dread the thought of having to live alone. Even as he has been in the hospital I sit at home sometimes just me and the dog and I don't like it. Benny became disabled in 1993 and since then day in and day out we are together. Now that our comfort is threatened I am afraid, Afraid of being alone and  taking care of myself. I have depended on him for too many things. He washes my clothes and keeps my house clean. He holds me when I am lonely and comforts me when I am sad except for now because he dosn't realize my fears. I can't tell him that. I think of all I will lose. The gentleness of his embrase. The reckless abandon of his laughter. The warmth of his skin. The scent of him. 
His crazy thoughts which are so different than mine. He is thin while I am fat. He is friendly while I am reserved. He is strong when I am weak. He makes me laugh. Despite our differences He is everything to me.
      I hate Cigarettes.


  1. *Big Hug* I'm sorry to hear this sad news. Reading your post i began to have tears in my eyes, I feel for my Robert the way you do Benny. I never want to be without him and the thought is Fear, and all the things you feel too. I'm sad for you too. My prayers go out to you and your benny. keep painting, I enjoy them so much.

  2. Hang in there Angela, God's got you wrapped up in His armsand will hold you forever. I have a sister who has smoked since she was in her mid teens and still smokes. I pray for her to find a way to stop.

  3. Ohhh my heart aches reading this. I have often thought of what life would be like without my husband who as far as I know is healthy. I smoked up until last December 20 and decided to quit. I feel for you and him. I just lost a friend to lung disease. I lost my father, my step mom, my mom to something else.

    I quit because I always felt that some day I just would and I smoked for forty plus years. I quit before I had any signs of problems (I've always been active and love hiking and walking).

    I could so relate to your feelings in this post and also his addiction.