On June 26, 1998, after fifteen years as a smoker, I quit. Dad and I were attending one of my class reunions and I made the decision once the party ended, I would quit. I smoked almost an entire pack of Marlboro Ultra Ultra lights, save two cigarettes. For the next week, I would light a cigarette first thing each morning, then immediately put it out. By the end of the week I was out of cigarettes and no longer had the desire to continue that morning ritual.
Half way through that first month, I begged my sister for a stash of emergency cigarettes; you know for those days. when the thought of taking a drag seemed to be the only way to relieve stress. She obliged, but thankfully, I never used them. I had a better reason to stay smoke free; I was pregnant with my first child, the boy.
My husband and I had been married for seven years, but had been trying to get pregnant for five. We used basal thermometers; taken tests to determine viability, checked sperm counts; changed our diets along with all the other weird folk tales and stuff people tell you to do in order to get pregnant; yet nothing worked. Completely giving up hope of ever getting pregnant and a fertility totem later (a story for another time) I found out I was with child. Ending this nasty habit was a no brainer.
Today, thirteen years later, when I look at my boy, the first thing that comes to mind is not how much I love him, but rather how he saved my life. Would I still be smoking today, hacking, unable to breathe? Probably. Would I still be married Dad? Maybe. Would my life be better than it is today? A million times no. The boy owns my heart. There is nothing he can do or say to change that. He’s mine. He saved my life, enriches my days and gives me hope for a brighter future. Today as he celebrates his twelfth birthday I celebrate thirteen years of renewed life. God gave me the best damn looking kid on the planet and saved me from myself in the process.
Happy Birthday Bay, momma loves you!