Aug. 7 - ABC News Anchor Peter Jennings died today at his home in New York City. He was 67. On April 5, Jennings announced he had been diagnosed with lung cancer.
"[He] was weak and he smoked over 9/11". Hell, so did I. I'd cry, I'd smoke, cry some more, smoke some more; disaster and destruction is the perfect stage for an addicts performance.
Cigarettes are the bane of my existence. Honestly, I love smoking most of the time and times like this...not so much. Or, times like earlier this year on vacation with my sisters' family, my niece Hanna asked me if she thought that "maybe today is the day you'll stop smoking. Do you think today can be the first day you finally quit?" I smoked that day, albeit it far less then I normally smoke, but still it stings everytime she asks that. Peter Jennings died at the hand of his addiction, a nasty reminder of what I know I need to do having just spent the weekend celebrating Hanna's 9th birthday: a weekend of giggling girls, sunshine and watching falling stars. She still took the time out of her special weekend to enquire about the smoking status and she wanted to know why I started in the first place. I claimed that it was a different time, "it's what we did back then." I knew she sensed the bullshit factor in my voice. I couldn't say that being a geeky art chick and hardly ever in trouble, I just wanted a rebellious outlet. What's worse is that my younger niece, Aimee (6), is damn curious about everything and wants to try it. Her questions are far more inquisitive, "how does it make you feel when you smoke?" "What does it tastes like?" My response to her is that they taste awful, I feel like crap when I smoke, and you don't and won't ever want to be a slave to an addiction (other than chocolate, heh) but, I don't feel like crap (90% of the time) and the exhilaration of that first smoke of the day is a tingle and a thrill to my senses that I've grown accustomed/addicted to.
Peter Jennings was a smart man with an addiction, and I'm a smart woman with an addiction. Weakness is in all of us and when we succumb to it, we succumb to the very nature of our individual humanity, tempting fate, taunting our destiny and no one has won that fight, ever, so I might as well smoke. Insane, huh? Our achievements as humans are as remarkable as our own stupidity, that aside, my sympathy goes out to Mr. Jennings family and friends and I'll continue cutting down on the death sticks, weaning myself from my daily habit, so that one day I can actually say, "maybe today".