Join Date: Aug 2008
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I lost my eldest brother to small cell lung cancer, about 10 yrs ago now. He was my very best friend in whole world; the one I could always count on, when I could count on no one else.
He was 42 y/o when died; been smoking since he was 13. He left behind 2 young sons, ages 8 & 9. They were the light of his life.
There are a couple incidences that really stick out in my mind about his smoking habit, in regards to "intervention" from a loved one.
My father, who was a mean S.O.B and an ogre, came home early from work one day and surprised my brother who was sitting at home smoking a cigarette while playing hookie from school. I think my brother must have been about 13-14 at the time. My father, a man who himself smoked a couple packs of unfiltered Camel's for years, made my brother sit there and chainsmoke the entire pack of cig's until he puked his guts out. Unfortunately, it was a short-lived deterent to what would become a lifelong (bad) habit.
A few weeks after that, my brother had the stupidity and audacity to be leaning up against the old man's car, directly out in front of the house, while smoking a cigarette. My father looked out the window and saw him, and then turned to me and aksed "Nota, is that your brother out there in front of the house - smoking a cigarette?"
I knew what kind of a temper my father had, and the last thing I wanted to do was get my brother in trouble -- so I stammered...."uhhh....uhhh, I don't know dad, I'm not really sure if that's him" Both my father and I knew full well it was him; it was only 30 feet away from the window, and it was broad daylight.
In retrospect, sure, I could have ratted my brother out - but in the end, it wouldn't have done any good, for just as my father's previous attempt to get him to stop by making him chain smoke til he got sick, so would any asswhoopings he might have received from my father that day have also failed.
The strange irony to it all, my father, someone who smoked for years, would give up smoking about a year after those incidences with my brother. He hasn't smoked since. That was back in 1973. My father is now 74 y/o, and still fairly strong and healthy. I remember my father sitting at my brother's bedside at Hospice, around the clock for the last 48hrs or so, when my brother finally passed away. He lasted about 8mos from the day of his diagnosis til he died.
My point to all this being, sometimes you can try to encourage loved ones to abandon bad habits, but in the end, people make their own choices in life; you can't live their lives for them, and you can't tell them what to do. I cherish the memory of growning up with my brother, but I have no guilt about not ratting him out that day. It was his choice to be a smoker, not mine.