131: Sooner, Rather Than Later

M’s papa, my dad, is a great man who loves his family.

When I was a kid, dad’s career took us to several cities throughout the Northeast and the Midwest. Mom must have spent years packing and unpacking, but she consistently performed her magic and transformed each new house into our home in record-breaking time. Coincidentally, our new house usually became our home at the point in which dad’s sweet smelling pipe had infiltrated the air.

But dad smoked cigarettes too. It’s funny that I don’t really remember seeing or smelling dad smoke cigarettes – but I knew he did. (The cigarettes, he smoked in the garage – the pipe was smoked in the house.)

At some point in my childhood, I began to worry about what the cigarettes were doing to my dad’s lungs. Scary stories about lungs coated in tar and cancer acted as catalysts to my long discussions with God about looking after my dad’s lungs. Oh, how I prayed that He would keep them healthy.

It didn’t help knowing that Dad’s smoking habit had begun long before my sister and I were born. Our concern was for good reason, and Dad knew that we were worried about him – but he didn’t stop.

That is, until something happened.

That “something” was not a health scare – it was a person. A tiny person. Dad quit smoking because of M.


So here we are 16 years later, and M smokes cigarettes. I worry and pray for so much more than just his lungs. My prayers for him span much wider than my childhood prayers for my dad, but they come from the same place. I love them both so much.

If M gave up everything but cigarettes – oh, how happy I’d be.

M, each night I pray that God looks after your lungs, your heart, your brain…your entire body and everything that makes you…you.  I also pray that you find “something” that makes you stop doing all the things that worry those who love you – sooner, rather than later. Love you, Mom


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