Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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08/10/2005: "Sad News"

Last night I went out for a beautiful light wind sail with a couple of friends and it was relaxing and fun, as I hadn't been out sailing since the day before my big trip. I came home feeling mellow and right with the world only to get a phone call from my sister Traci telling me that my aunt Susie had just died. This was a big shock, as she was only diagnosed with lung cancer last month. She was my dad's sister, a strong woman with a great sense of humor and a lot of love in her heart; I still have unopened emails from her in my inbox and I feel so terrible about it.

She was a long time smoker, which isn't a criticism at all, just a simple fact that frightens me because so many people I love were or currently are, smokers (even I smoked for a few years in college). One of the people I love most in the world only has a couple cigarettes a day but lives with a smoker who smokes in the house. He's very stubborn and just gets pissed if I try to nag him about it. After all, we all have our unhealthy habits, myself included. I've lived "hard" (euphemism) for many years and have only recently started to treat my body with a little respect.

But smoking is evil, it kills people, and maybe there is nothing we non-smokers can do to convince the people we love that they need to stop...but fuck it, I'm not going to quit trying.

Replies: 6 Comments

on Wednesday, August 10th, Jim L said

Don't ever quit trying. My father died of cancer when I was twelve and was an addict. When I'm feeling particularly blunt I tell people that "apparently he loved cigarettes more than his children, do you want your loved ones to feel the same way?" I find it hard to be around smokers due to this unresolved issue which I've made a choice of keeping unresolved.

on Wednesday, August 10th, Elise said

I'm sorry to hear that Jim. I know first hand how terrible it is to lose a parent to cancer, you never really get over it.

I'll keep trying but ultimately it's the choice of the person doing the smoking to stop.

on Thursday, August 11th,">kasia said

While reading that post i rfealized that i was actually smoking a cigarette! i put it out immediately. i don't smoke very often, much less than i used to when i was at the university, but it's still two much, i guess. i will quit one day. soon.

on Thursday, August 11th, Elise said

Yes, quit if you can! It usually takes quitting many times in order to actually do it so you should start right away. There are a lot of programs that try to help. Also Kasia, your English is very good!

on Thursday, August 11th, marja-leena said

Sorry to hear about your loss, Elise.

It seems that the generation of my parents were almost all smokers, especially the men, before we knew about how deadly they are. My father quit cold turkey, announced, when his brother died, in my teens. thankfully.

Before the days of no-smoking restaurants etc., I would not allow smoking in our home, which meant some close family members were annoyed at me for having to go outside. Now it's pretty accepted, at least in this part of the world. Some places are still bad, like Italy and Spain. If you aren't used to smoke, it's hard to go back to a smokey environment, kaff, kaff.

Sorry to ramble, but keep up the encouragement towards smokers to get help to quit.

on Thursday, August 11th, Elise said

I went to school in Spain and I remember that people would come up to me and ask me for a light and when I said that I didn't have a light, they looked at me like I was either crazy or lying...but that was over ten years ago so maybe things are changing overseas as well?

I have become so sensitive to smoke that if someone who has been out on a cigarrette break comes into my office, the smell actually makes me physically sick.

I am encouraged by the fact that some friends of mine who were longtime smokers were able to quit a couple years ago and have never started up again. It's never too late.

I hear that since Peter Jennings death a few days ago the number of people who have joined the American Lung Associations program to quit smoking has increased by 50%!!!