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Passions in Poetry

The Time of Your Life

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Poet deVine
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Hurricane Alley


0 posted 01-17-2004 11:30 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine


The woman who shared a cubicle with me retired a few weeks ago. Do you think of ads with active Senior Citizens traveling the world, volunteering, taking time for their grandkids?

That's not the case here. For years she smoked (her name oddly enough is Sharon! At one time we had 3 Sharons in our department). About 10 years ago, she was diagnosed with emphysema and lung cancer. One lung was removed and the other one was left to breathe for her as best as it could.

About 2 years ago, we noticed that it took her longer and longer to get to her desk from her car (big parking lot, lots of stairs, no elevator).

In the last year we sat next to each other and her condition was more visible to me. She would get up every morning at 5:30. She would get ready in small increments - resting in between. Sometimes, she said, coming to work was the only reason she got out of bed! By the time she got to work, it was about 10 a.m. She would walk into the cubicle, sit down and literally gasp for air for about 15 minutes. I knew that I shouldn't talk to her during this time as she couldn't answer. After she began to breathe easier, we could talk.

To go to the bathroom would take her almost 20 minutes. To go to the cafeteria to get a sandwich that she ate at her desk, it would take her almost half an hour.

So she retired. We were not able to do anything too big for her and had to keep the emotional level low as she had trouble breathing if she got upset or sad.

And now? She can sleep in if she wants. But there is no way she can travel. No way she can putter in a garden. No way she can take up golf. No way she can have all the grandkids over for pizza. No way she can do anything but get out of bed each day and make it through....

Why am I telling you this story? Several reasons. There are some dear people here who still smoke. Please stop if you can. You are only shortening your life or taking away the quality of it later on.

If you think you've got all the time in the world to do all the things you're putting off, you're wrong. Time has a way of ticking by too fast!!

And last, because the people we care about most deserve to have us in their lives for a long time. Right now? I'd like you NOT to reply to this. Turn off the computer. Go find a member of your family or a special friend. Take them out to lunch. Or to a movie. Or pick up the phone and get in touch with someone you've missed. Go hug a tree. Play with your dog. Write a real letter. Buy yourself some fresh flowers. Don't forget to breathe!!!
Masked Intruder
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Near golden sunsets


1 posted 01-19-2004 06:03 AM       View Profile for Masked Intruder   Email Masked Intruder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Masked Intruder

Well, seeing as it's five, and all my family are on both ends of the country, and I'm in the middle.  And all of my near friends are either in Weston, Lawrence, Manhattan, or NYC, and I'm not.  I'd say that either gives me the option to go hug a tree, or go smoke a cigarette.  Now, I don't want to go against the idea of this post, because I love you to death for caring enough to write it; but, it's flipping cold outside, so I'm not going to go hug a tree.  But, honestly, give me two more days, and I'll let you know if I'm done smoking or not.  But, of course, there's always the part where the doctor goes, "We'll need you to make another appointment to check something else out."  And, then I'll just get mad and smoke more; give them something substantial to work with.  But, that's not the answer I'm expecting to hear, so I'll just shutup and let you know in two days.

-*-*-

Immortality is my illusion.

Masked Intruder
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2 posted 01-19-2004 06:04 AM       View Profile for Masked Intruder   Email Masked Intruder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Masked Intruder

Oh, PS: I forgot I wasn't supposed to respond.

-*-*-

Immortality is my illusion.

Poet deVine
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3 posted 01-19-2004 08:55 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

It's ok. I read it with one eye closed!

Two days must seem like a long time right now. I'll hold your hand cybernetically if you like. And I'll be waiting with you to hear what he has to say. I'll do a little praying (I'd do a Shaman dance but the last time I did that it got to 10 below in Maine and Vermont and the gas in Nan's Jag froze).

Could you put the cigarette in your mouth and not light it?
Sunshine
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Listening to every heart


4 posted 01-19-2004 11:54 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Sharon, I put off responding to this out of respect for your request, but this has bothered me for those two days so close both your eyes as you read this.

I lost my father to emphysema.

Mother to cancer.

Brother has emphysema.  He is two years younger than me, and I thanked God that my brother made his 50th birthday this last year.

It IS a tad cold to go and hug a tree...but I know what you meant, and I realize we can't change the lives of those who will do what they want to do.  All we can keep doing is just what you did...

let them know we'd rather they not.  Because they mean THAT much to us.

Hugs, K

Ringo
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Saluting with misty eyes


5 posted 01-19-2004 07:23 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

Sharon- I would love to respect your wishes and NOT reply to this, however, I too much need to put in my 1/2 a nickle.
I lost my father almost 6 years ago to brain cancer, and I think one of the reasons I was able to get through the pain so quickly is because we didn't part without the other knowing the other's feelings. Although I don't remember ever hearing my father tell me that he loved me, he didn't need to... especially that last year.
the last few months of his life, he was unable to really do much away from the house, however that did not prevent me from going to him and listening to all of his stories again (and even hearing some new ones), and watching college basketball with him (he died the first day of March madness) which I wan't too fond of, and just sitting there having coffee as we didn't talk. And when the end came, I knew that he loved me, and he knew that I loved him. NOT because we said it. Rather, because we showed it.
Sharon, you did indeed give a lifetime of advice in this post, and I would wish you the success of having everyone on here listen.

Cause in my dreams it's always there
The evil face that twists my mind
And brings me to despair.

Bec
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Sunshine Coast


6 posted 01-20-2004 06:52 AM       View Profile for Bec   Email Bec   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bec

My gramps died on nan's birthday, when I was 16. But before he died, with the help of various family members, he wrote each of his grandchildren a letter. I've moved house seven times since he died, and each time it's one of the first things to be unpacked.

It's almost 10 at night, and I'm in my jammies, so I don't think hugging a tree is a good idea, my lease doesn't permit dogs, and my family are scattered all over the place, so I'll hug my Pooh Bear instead.

"I'm not crazy I'm just a little unwell"~ Matchbox 20

Michelle_loves_Mike
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7 posted 01-20-2004 07:54 AM       View Profile for Michelle_loves_Mike   Email Michelle_loves_Mike   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Michelle_loves_Mike

I lost my father this past october ('03),,,The man I remember,,,tal, strong, knock heads, tough,,,,,,was a small frail man,,,all within a year,,,,he had several problems,,,,details spared,,,,but, I didn't get to say good bye...In some ways, I'm glad,,I didn't have to see first hand, the accounts I heard,,,,,on the other,,you can imagine,,,,,,,,
Michelle

I wish all could find the true happiness I have found,,in the eyes of Mike

Mysteria
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8 posted 01-20-2004 01:44 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

Quitting smoking was about the hardest thing I think I ever had to do, seriously!  I had smoked from age about 15 I think until 3 or so years ago (sometimes over a pack a day.)  Unless you are a smoker it is hard to understand, so imagine giving up the one thing you love the most forever, as it a the same type of a loss.  It is like dieting, or any other habit only the stats on the addiction of this one are staggering and right up there with heroine.  

You have to WANT to do it, or it simply won't work. I quit everytime the cost went up, but started again.  I bought every single device imaginable to quit to no avail.  One day, my granddaughter said something that she obviously had heard my son and his wife discussing, and repeated it, and that was what caused me to want to quit and I did that very day.  We were waiting for a bus, and she looked over and said, "Oh Gramma, look at that man, he won't live to see his boy graduate, isn't that so sad?"  Well, she didn't say graduate right, but I got where it had come from and what she meant as a tear escaped my eye.  My son hated me smoking!  Well I went through sheer hell I have to tell you. The good news is that only lasts for about 3 days tops.  Like MI I didn't care if it was 15 below zero, I found a place to go for that smoke, and a non-smoker will not understand that.  Now, I get sick if I walk behind a person smoking - no lie - it bothers me that much!  However just like any co-dependancy, at one time that cigarette full of all those chemicals was probably my best friend, and guess what?  There are days I still miss smoking, go figure.

You can be concerned all you want for your family, friends, and loved ones, but until they themselves can actually see what they are doing to themselves it won't be life changing.  They don't want to hear it, and if you bug them trust me they will only smoke more and tell you it is a free country.  I too had lost my Mother, and many relatives to cancer, and the day they died I smoked even more!  Yup, that smoke was a friend alright!  

Life is about choices, and I personally made a good one.         I don't bug anyone to quit anymore and figure they will when they want to, or are able to, and sometimes that might be never.  So I guess we just have to just love them now for who they are, and what they do.

Cigarettes in Canada are $8.10 a package today but let's say an average of $4.00 over the years (fair?) So for me, here is what I came up with:

I smoked 14,240 days @ $4.00 a package = $56,960  As a shopper I am actually shuttering at what I could have bought with that amount of cash.

So what could you have bought with your money that served you better?  Sneaky, but the only way I could equate the loss of health was through money, the route of course to all shopping!
 
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