My mother is suffering from the final stages of COPD – the new fancy diagnosis of tragic emphysema. A heavy smoker from the early age of 21 she scoffed the reports in the early 1960’s of smoking dangers. I remember one evening when she and her friends were having a gab fest and the house was blue with smoke. The topic of the latest smoking ‘scare tactics’ arose and they all jokingly reached for another cigarette laughing that it made them so nervous they had to have another fix immediately. After all, they were invincible. Pre-war brides; they were raised during the depression and experiencing affluence that their parents could never have imagined…..new homes with indoor plumbing, husbands with good jobs, 2.5 children, 2 cars and groceries on the table. Nothing could touch them. Cigarette companies preyed on these women and no lawsuit against the companies can begin to pay for their suffering.
Sadly, at age 85, my mother is facing the fate of her love affair with tobacco complicated with asthma and allergies. What makes it even worse is that the only part of her body that is failing --is the lungs. Her mind is sharp as a tack, and if she were able, she could work circles around me. It is so painful to watch her fight for each breath. Anyone who has had asthma can understand the lung spasms – but imagine dealing with it every minute. She has asked God to let her go many times, but in his wisdom, for whatever reason, she remains strong in every way but those poor lungs.
She had a fairly good day yesterday and was able to join us at the barn to watch Abigail take a lesson on her new horse. Memories that we will cherish.