Monday, January 5, 2009

A Momentous Anniversary

It's hard to even remember Howie this way, but at one time he used to smoke nearly two packs of cigarettes a day.  He couldn't eat, sleep, poop, drink, watch tv or have sex without his accompanied cancer stick.  He used to stand outside in minus 10 degree weather (in shorts no less) in order to get his fix and we spent nearly $150.00 a month on cigarettes!

He smoked for 20 years, a vice he picked up in his teens, much to the chagrin of Mamaw.

It never bothered me, in fact there were times that I thought he looked pretty damn cool.  He had a way of holding his cigarette and taking a deep inhale that made him look so sexy. *licks lips*  But I could have lived without his ash breath, that was less than appealing.

After we got married and started a family, I started to worry about him.  I would think hard about how life would be without him and I started to pester him about quitting. 

At first I asked nicely.  "Hey babe...would you mind cutting down by a couple of cigs a day?" Nothing.

Then I got factual.  "You know, lung cancer is one of the deadliest killers." Nope.

After that came the whining. "Pleeeeeeeese, won't you quit.  I'm getting worrrrrried about you.  I don't want you to get siiiiiiick." Nada.

Finally, I had to pull out the big guns and take him on a long trip to Guiltville (Population 1).  "Pst, hey Birdie....go tell your dad that you really want him to live long enough to walk you down the aisle when you get married.  And do it while you're crying.  What? You can't cry on command?  Come here and let me enlighten you to the joys of an indian burn."  That one finally got his attention.

It also didn't hurt that he watched his step-father gasp for his last breaths of life after having succumb to lung cancer himself.  

He decided to quit and while Howie can be really hard to persuade, once he makes up his mind, you can bet on him succeeding.  He saw his doctor who prescribed him the Chantix pill.  It worked!

This month marks his one year anniversary of being completely smoke free and I couldn't be prouder!  Today, I can't even imagine him smoking.  It's so in the past and I have a lot of confidence that he will stick with it.  He WILL be around to walk Birdie down the aisle someday.  And the kids will never know him as a smoker.  

Someday, I'll show the kids a picture of their dad from when he was 25 and I'll say, "can you believe your daddy used to smoke?"  And they'll be like, "more than we can believe he used to have hair!"

12 comments:

  1. how wonderful! congratulations!

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  2. Happy Anniversary Howie!!!

    My cousin was a chain smoker for 50 years...til she got lung cancer. Only then, did she quit. But, of course, by then it was too late.

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  3. Good for Howie!

    My mom still smokes and has early stages of emphysema.

    What kills me is when I see young kids smoking now - WHAT????

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  4. I quit smoking 4 years ago this past October. Howie must be so proud, because every year I feel better about myself for it!!!

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  5. Congratulations Jamie!! Well done!! I know that Howie is super proud of himself. First, because I always tell him how proud he should be and second because he realizes how big of a victory it is! He doesn't even seem to struggle with it, which makes me feel like he's kicked it for good!

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  6. Yay! Way to go Howie!!!

    Can he teach my parents how to do that? I can't tell you how many times they've fallen off the wagon. (my mom is currently on the wagon - no clue about my dad.)

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  7. Have they tried Chantix? I know a lot of people don't like it but if they haven't tried it, it's worth a shot! It made Howie kind of wired so he gave up caffeine while he took it. Now he's off of both coffee and cigarettes! He took the pills for three months and felt a big difference. After the 6 month mark, he said he didn't even want to look at a cigarette.

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  8. I fell off the wagon after a pretty successful round of Chantix. Unfortunately, my second time with it was not nearly as pretty or successful.

    Did you know they don't let pilots take it because of the depression it can cause in some people? I found that pretty interesting in a morbid sort of way.

    Bravo to Howie! (a year already, good gosh I remember when you said he was quitting)

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  9. Wow, I've never heard of the pilot thing. Although I did hear once (from one of Howie's friends who is a pilot) that they don't allow two Christian pilots to fly at once. Because if the rapture were to occur, there would be nobody flying the plane. So, in other words...anytime you fly somewhere you are being piloted by one Christian and one heathen. :-)

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  10. Licha, hon. I don't know if you know or remember this. But Howies success with the Chantix and you sharing his story with me is what gave me the inclination to try it for myself. And come March, I will be one year smoke free. After 16 years of smoking. Whenever I see that commercial now, and think about how I used to be a smoker, I think of you and Howie...naked. :P

    Seriously, though...thanks for sharing his story. It made a difference in another's life...hell five peoples lives if you count DH and the kiddos. Congrats to Howie and ROCK ON!!!! ~Sandy

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  11. Whoa, Sandy!!!! That's beyond awesome! I knew that you were giving it a try but had no idea how successful you'd been! Props girl!

    Howie's going to be so tickled when I tell him. And don't picture us naked. Instead, picture us with boobie tassles and a thong. Both of us.

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