Friday, August 17, 2012

...and they laughed...and smoked ?

My list crowded the small slip of paper I clutched. Stopping to draw a line through another completed task, I paused...(yes, I write lists)
Yesterday, I attended two meetings in Jefferson, Texas.
This morning I finished errands in Longview, Texas...early...and here I sat at a doctor's appointment in Marshall, Texas at 10:30 am.
Tomorrow I am thankful for a book signing in Tyler, Texas, at Caffe Tazza from 2-6 pm, and the following day, Sunday, I attend church,in Karnack, Texas, attend a pastor search committee meeting, go home and have birhday cake and gifts (it's my husband's birthday), and be in Waskom, Texas at the library at 2pm... for my friend Patty Wiseman's book launching party, and book signing from 2-4 pm!
Love these busy days!
It didn't take long to decide on carry out and bringing lunch home for Mom and myself. (I am her caretaker. She is 84 yrs. old, she can't drive, and can't hear very well, but can that lady ever cook!)
We both enjoy seafood, and after the doctor appointment, I swung over to the mall and ordered two dinners of fried jumbo shrimp to go, called Mom, said I was bringing a surprise home... and for her not to fix lunch.
How much happiness can you stand? A shrimp dinner is the ultimate for us!!!
I talked a mile a minute to other customers, and within five minutes, my order was ready.
Sailing out the door at the mall, I noticed a group in their early 20's. All were laughing and talking and clearly having a great moment, when I suddenly saw the cigarette they each held in their hand.
This placed me in total shock. I stared, trying to decide what to do.
If I approached them and told them my opinion about smoking, they probably wouldn't pay any attention to me. I could easily be told to "mind your business."
I slowed my walk past the group and my heart ached. They appeared so happy.
I wanted to tell them about my brother-in-law. He recently was diagnosed with throat cancer. Surgeons removed, in several hours, the cancer from his throat. They also removed a spot the size of a quarter from the back of his tongue, and the little flap that hangs down your throat. He can't swallow anything, it hurts too bad. He lost over 30 lbs. He now has a feeding tube.
No, he does not smoke cigerettes anymore. He has to learn how to swallow. If he swallows wrong, the fluid will go straight to his lungs and he could drown.
A therapist comes to his house and teaches him how to strengthen his throat muscles.
My sister uses the blender and feeds him 6 times a day, through his feeding tube. Even his pain pills have to be smashed and liquified. My sister cares for him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and he will tell you he couldn't make it without God and her.
He is improving. He recently swallowed a whole pain pill, completely intact. They still have to add a thickener to his blended food, so it doesn't slide down his throat to his lungs.
We all thank God he survived the surgery. So does he.
You probably know someone like him in your own family. He is the one that is always there to help, he loves to cook on his grill and invite friends over, and yes, he belives in tithing at church.
A doctor once told me that with each cigarette you smoke, a tiny layer of lung tissue dissolves in decay. Those happy, light-hearted young people would not think that could ever happen to them.
Reality has a way of jumping at us. I treasure scripture from my Bible to make sense of everything.
Matthew 26:41, "Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
I pray you are not drawn into the programmed commercials by all forms of further their income at your own risk. Personally, I'd rather not smoke.

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