I am not wanting to sensationalize this story, as it involves someone I loved very much.

A few years ago, I watched my aunt die of Lung Cancer. I was there at her bedside when she gasped for her last breath of air. She was heavily medicated to help her pain, but to watch her, you'd think you were watching someone suffocating. Her eyes had a glassy stare as she fought to hang on to what little bit of life was left in her. But finally, the cancer that had overtaken her lungs, took her life completely, and her body lay silent and motionless. My Auntie Mary was gone.

Auntie Mary was the kind of Aunt who always looked the same practically, from the time I was a small child til up until she got sick. She was energetic and vivacious, but she nearly always had a cigarette in hand. To her, I suppose because she was such a go-getter, she must have figured it could never happen to her. But it did. And when it did, there was no turning back.

I think she'd still be here, were it not for those nasty cigarettes that had her in their grasp. She was a wonderful person, but now she is gone. As much as I loved her, I will say though that she made the choice to smoke. No one rammed those in her mouth.

If you are a smoker, ask yourself why. Is it because you want to lay in a nursing home awaiting a pre-mature death as you gasp for a few remaining breaths of air? Don't think it can't happen because it can. I watched Auntie Mary die. I watched as the nurses covered her over and packed up her things for all of us. That death could have been prevented. We could have had a few more cups of tea together...a few more walks down by the river...a few more good laughs about just about anything. But now we can't.

Cigarettes are not "cool"...she didn't smoke to be cool. She smoked out of habit. Maybe the first few were to be "cool" back in her youth. Beats me. She was a wonderful adult with a bad habit.

So, to the teens (and adults) or even little kids that are tempted to pick up a cigarette. Before you do, go look at your little brother or sister, or your best friend, or your mom, or you nephew, niece, daughter or son. Find someone you love and envision watching them die. You won't want to do that. It's too much like a horror story. Well, that is what you will put someone through if you start smoking. Auntie Mary loved me. She never intended for me to see her die of lung cancer. But I did. You can prevent another horror story. Don't ever even try one. It's one of the best decisions you can make for yourself and for those you love.


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