Without Grandpa

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As a child my dad use to say “upside down” while lifting us up by one leg, “fudge cake” while bouncing us up side down… nearly giving us a concussion on the floor below, “airplane” while spinning us in a circle, and “body slam” while throwing us down on the nearest soft surface (usually the couch) all in quick succession. These body slams were something we greatly look forward to, as you see, my dad was in the US Navy and when he was home he was fun and involved.

Now that I am an adult I know he was trying to make up for lost time. He would take us to Busch Gardens and crabbing in the middle of the night. As a teenager, I dreamed of the day he would walk me down the isle in his perfectly tailored Navy uniform. I also looked forward to the day when my dad would “body slam” his grandchildren. Unfortunately, my oldest was 1 year old and my middle child was just weeks old when their grandfather passed away from lung cancer.

He was a smoker all of his life, and on his death bed he reminded me that smoking stole my children’s grandfather from them.  They would never know about the body slam, or be able to absorb all of his knowledge. While he laid in his hospital bed, he made me promise that I would make sure my mother quit smoking. Well, lets just say, that has not gone well. In fact 12 years later and she is still smoking.

But every year on the Great American Smoke Out (the third Thursday in November), I have hope and I spread the word because if I can give one grandfather to their grandchild all the chatter will be worth it. We all know the dangers of smoking so I will not be the Debbie-downer here; but over the years I have learned quite a few stop smoking tips.

The best and simplest being from a local physician, calculate the number of cigarettes you smoke per day. Subtract one cigarette from your daily routine everyday. This is NOT the fastest way but it is the most effective. Whether you smoke and want to see your grandchildren, or its a loved one that you share this tip with because you want them around for your kids, its worth it. It’s too late to get my dad back for my kids but I do encourage our loved ones to quit. And I talk about my dad often and this coming summer we plan a trip to our Virginia Neighborhood, we plan to visit all the places my dad took us, and of course his Navy ship.