Our good Lord in Heaven has been so good to me. When I was a young boy my dad’s smoking in the car would make me sick, especially in the winter when the windows were up. When I got to be 10 years old or thereabouts my parents sometimes would allow me to stay home when they went to visit my grandparents.
Lo and behold! Guess what! When I was about 22 years old I took up smoking too. Who would’ve thunk it? I didn’t decide to do it. It just happened. As time progressed I smoked more and more — more than two packs a day. I was in sales and some of my work was on the phone. Now that was back when calling on the phone was honorable, back before all of the harassing troublesome calls that are the normal fare today.
My wife Chris and I would go out at night and many of the places were filled with smoke… even restaurants.
It got to a point that I coughed a lot, a hacking cough that would sometimes last for several minutes.
We arose early on Aug. 16, 1979 because we were driving to Point Clear, Alabama, that day. We lived in Rolla, Missouri, so we had a lot of miles to cover. We stopped when we got into Arkansas and got some donuts and coffee.
Afterwards I lit up a Winston cigarette and it tasted terrible. I mean yucky! The proverbial “handwriting was on the wall.” If I didn’t quit there would be serious health consequences in my future.
Someone was watching out for me. I could see how my future may be if I continued the terrible habit of smoking. I made a decision then and there to quit.
I had tried to quit before without success. I would slip outside… around the corner of the house and smoke. I didn’t want my wife to catch me smoking.
This time I developed a plan. I was spending approximately $2 a day on cigarettes so I put $2 aside each day in a manila envelope. I told my sons Richard and Robert, and Chris’s son Remo, that if either of them caught me smoking, they would get the money in the envelope. That gave me another incentive to stay committed.
We stopped in the early afternoon in Meridian, Mississippi, to have lunch with my brother Larry who was stationed at the Naval Air Station in Meridian. He was pleased that I had quit smoking. Afterwards we headed for the banks of the Gulf at Point Clear.
We completed the purchase of our home in Rolla, Missouri, the following month. My sales work and the many tasks around our home and property kept me busy, making it easy to stay tobacco-free.
It’s been over 37 years since I quit smoking. I’m 76 years young now. I wouldn’t be alive if I hadn’t quit smoking on Aug. 16, 1979.
I had someone looking out for me that day, giving me a plan and the power to overcome the worthless, costly habit that I had. If I hadn’t quit I wouldn’t be alive today. Worse yet… I would have had a low quality of life in my final days.
Our good Lord in Heaven has been so good to me!