Last week at a business meeting I suggested to someone that they should quit smoking. Its not like they WERE smoking at the time, it was a general ‘poke my nose where it doesn’t belong’ comment.
I’m a reformed smoker, and I don’t much like being around it, but I don’t lecture people and I don’t tell them what to do with their life. And I certainly don’t do it in a business environment. I crossed a line.
But there’s a back story.
One of my best friends and mentors died last week. She had lung cancer that had spread rapidly.
She, like me, was a smoker back in the day. She quit about 15 years ago, but still, she probably smoked for 25 years. We had lunch together a few weeks ago, now she’s dead.
My only sister also died exactly the same way, she was 46.
My sister loved to smoke. She was good at it. She looked good doing it. She lived a full and rich life, but death by lung cancer at 46 is horrible, no matter how big a life you’ve had.
When I was a smoker I understood the risks. Intellectually at least.
But I had never watched someone I love die in front of me. I don’t ever want to spend time on a cancer ward with someone I care about, EVER AGAIN. But I know I will.
And to be honest, I even fear it will happen to me.