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Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Great American Smokeout Day

Today is the 36th Great American Smokeout Day sponsored by the American Cancer Society.  The year of origin for the Smokeout Day was 1975 when I was still smoking about a pack of cigarettes a day.  I started at age 16 for the sole reason of being cool.   The day my mother found my cigarettes stashed in my closet was a very uncool day.  I can still hear her screaming at me.  My father, who was a smoker from age 15 to 52 and who died at age 62 of a two-pack a day of Pall Mall's related death, laid out the ground rules.  No smoking in the house and no smoking in front of your mother; that lasted 2 years.  I then smoked to age 21. 

My quitting had nothing to do with the Great American Smokeout; I quit 3 months prior.  It had to do with a woman.  I had met Pamela, my wife of 35 years, five months before and I was still smoking.  I decided to relocate to Pittsburgh where she lived.  On the several day trip from Miami to Pittsburgh, with a stopover in New Jersey to visit my parents, I caught a horrible cold.  Every time that I caught a cold, I would stop smoking.  However, this time after the cold was over I had one cigarette and it tasted horrible.  The desire for a cigarette was gone and I haven't had one since. 

Now, for the interesting part.  Unbeknownst to me, Pamela hated cigarettes and the harm that they caused. She never said anything during our 4 dates in Miami nor in the almost daily letters that she wrote until I moved to Pittsburgh.  After I moved to Pittsburgh, she told me that she really wanted this relationship to work and didn't want her dislike for cigarettes to impact our future together.  She said that she prayed about it every day from the time that I told her that I was moving to Pittsburgh until after I arrived.  She said that she left it in Lord's the hands.  After I arrived, she quickly noticed that I stopped smoking and inquired why.  I told her about the cold and that I tried to resume smoking after the cold, but the taste and desire for a cigarette were gone.  The Lord works in mysterious ways at least he did for Pamela and me.  So, take advantage of today's message on the Great American Smokeout.  If you are still smoking, quit as was revealed today that President Obama quit, but it took 5 years.  The other option, pray about it, worked for me.

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