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!"