Two weeks ago my mother turned 81 years old. This is especially impressive when you consider that she’s been a smoker all her life. Yes, I know, a doctor who smokes—you can take a second to absorb that. At the height of her habit, she smoked two packs-a-day. But the aging process has been hell. Now she’s only able to manage a single pack-a-day. It’s been hard watching her having to accept that she’s no longer able to do many of the things she used to.
Whenever I remember my childhood, I see my mother with a cigarette in her hand. Always. And always with at least a 1/4 of an inch of ash at the tip. I’ve seen her get it as long as 3/4 of an inch. It was amazing how long she could grow her ash, something of an ash erection, if you will.
I used to worry that she’d get sick from all the smoking but so far nothing. Nada. Zip. She’s one of the healthiest old ladies I know. So I’ve been thinking that since she’s been both a doctor and a smoker for the past 50 years, maybe she knows something we don’t know? Like wouldn’t it be crazy if after all this time we find out that the tobacco companies were right—smoking is the key to longevity!
I think the real lesson of my mother is, if you’re going to smoke, smoke a lot. I mean really commit. Because after a lifetime of smoking, my mother’s body is so toxic even the cancer cells don’t want to live there. There’s no healthy tissue left for cancer to feed on. Cancer would literally starve to death in my mother’s body.