Friday, July 8, 2011

Our Lady of The Respiratory Assistance...

As I pondered my fate right after I quit, I was in the drug store check out line 
when I noticed the tiny elderly woman standing behind me. Our Lady of the 
Respiratory Assistance. She had tubes in her nostrils and was hauling 
around a heavy canister of oxygen on a little wheeled cart. 
She reeked of smoke. 
Abject terror mounted inside me as I realized how close to her condition 
I actually was, while being younger by decades-maybe. You can never 
tell with chronic smokers. In a raspy, failing voice, she asked for two 
cartons of the cheapest generic filtered brand. It was the most frightening 
mirror I’d ever stared into. She was never going to quit. Seeing her 
stopped me from buying a pack. Hearing her convinced me that I could 
never go back.  Whoever and wherever she is, I’d like to thank her. 
I’m sure she doesn’t realize how much she helped someone that day. 
But I'm not buying her a pack of cigarettes.