I have nothing wise to say today about hitting Day #28 smoke-free. The cravings are less frequent, but their intensity has not diminished. This past weekend I was at a workshop and instead of being in the company of friends who'd successfully quit, I was with those who enjoyed their cigarettes. I could have had a puff. I could have stood outside the doors with them instead of being stuck at a table with ladies I didn't know.
I want to join my buddies for just one cigarette. No one would find out. The woman across from me asks what I do for a living. I begin telling her about my website, my blog, and my dream of becoming a published novelist. She tells me about a poem her young niece wrote as a tribute to our soldiers in Afghanistan. An announcement that the next sessions start in 3 minutes cuts short a very interesting conversation.
I'm caught up in the presentation on covert surveillance techniques and don't entertain a single thought about smoking until the next break. I longingly watch my buddies slip outside. I follow them, watch them through the glass doors, turn away and finger a red MADD ribbon on a display table. A framed photo of a smiling toddler catches my eye. The baby looks so much like my grandson.
"My daughter's boy," the woman behind the table says. "He was killed by a drunk driver." My heart leaps, my eyes moisten.
"I've been volunteering for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for the last 11 years--since it happened. I talk at schools. I talk to prisoners."
I stare at her, wondering from where she gets her courage.
"He lived with my daughter in our basement. I remember him calling up the stairs in the morning, 'Grandma, are you awake, yet?'"
A nicotine fix is the farthest thing from my mind.
"I remember tiptoeing in to see him as he slept. I remember thinking, 'I love you so much, I don't know what I'd do if something happened to you.'"
The workshop ends and I pull up to our cabin. My grandson greets me with a gurgle and a 5-toothed smile. I think of the stories that I would not have heard had I been on the other side of those glass doors.
I have nothing wise to say about being smoke-free. There's nothing I want to complain about. On a scale of 1 to 10, my pain is infinitesimal.