This One’s For You

Okay Iva Ursano I hear you! Your approach to quitting smoking is not unfamiliar with many of us. I’m taking a chance here because I want to encourage you. Not because I didn’t hear you, but because I did hear you. So here goes.

At the age of eight I smoked my first cigarette. I stole one from my mother’s purse. She smoked Pall Mall. Yeah, non-filtered!

Yep, 1959 or 60, crazy, and that was the last time I was smoke-free for 34 more years. I got to the point where I couldn’t stand how I smelled, I couldn’t stand the fact that my dog even smelled like cigarettes. My ex-wife at the time didn’t smoke and I thought I was killing her too!

I did everything. Slow down, speed up, minimize, maximize, group therapy, therapy on my own, nicarette, the patch. The whole 9 yards! You name it, I tried it!

Yeah, that was no fun back then and through all the crises that I had in my life, I loved smoking. As a matter of fact, today, I could smoke a whole pack of cigarettes and it wouldn’t bother me in the least, but there is one thing that would bother me and that is, I don’t ever, ever, ever, want to have to quit smoking again!

So it’s really been cool that for 25 years now I’ve been smoke free. I’m not saying that for myself, although I do get the benefit. I’m saying it to let you know that I’m no different than anybody else and if I can do it, anyone can do it. But you already know that, right?

I had a one and a half to two packs of cigarettes per day habit along with 88 oz of coffee. Yeah I was flyin! I used to get 4/22 ouncer’s at 7-Eleven all throughout the day. I was working, gosh, 80 plus hours a week and it just seemed like it was okay. Hell, I needed it! I had a cigarette in my hand or my mouth all the time.

I can tell you that today, I am so, so grateful to have been without cigarettes and I heard your f-bombs and I hear you when you talk about oh, “I’ll die this way,” or “I’ll die that way,” but you know what I hope for you? I hope that you see a sad way to die and a great way to live. There’s a lot of life left yet and every day without a butt is a lifetime extended, in my opinion.

So, I have enjoyed your writing. I continue to enjoy your writing. And, what I want more than anything else is for you to live long, and write long, so I can read what it is that you put on paper with the effervescence that you use to put it there.

If you must, Miss Golden Guru, you can light one up for me, or, you can make the choice that you don’t ever want to have to quit again and this is not the last time you’ll have to have a cigarette. It’s the last time you’ll ever have to think about quitting! You can move on to something else, use your incredible feminine energy to do something more vibrant, something more vigorous, something more appealing, and when that day comes, when you smell the cigarette and you say to yourself, “wow, that sure does smell good,” you can also say to yourself, “yeah it does smell good and I’m glad I don’t ever have to quit again.” Take care my friend! Great job no matter how it turns out!


A believer in Lifelong Learning and Collaborative Wisdom, remembering Who I AM through essay, story, and poetry. Listening for narratives that nurture Life.

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