Debbie Ann H.

Orlando, OK

My father, William Ervin Holmes, started smoking fingerless cigarettes when he was 12 years old. He came from a family that smoked, so he picked up the habit! He continued until about 10 years before he retired. My mother, Mildred Joann Burkey Holmes smoked also. My brother, Robert Lee Holmes, started when he joined the Navy and continued until he was in his 50s. My sister, Donna Kaye Holmes Westmoreland was around her husband that smoked. I tried it when I was a teenager but didn’t see what all the fuss was about! They taste awful and left your clothes and hair smelling terrible — not to mention how bad your breath smelled! My father was 66 when he died of brain cancer. It started in his lungs and they almost got rid of it, but it traveled to his brain. My mother promised my father on his deathbed to stop smoking, but she died of cancer when she was 70. My sister died of cancer in her 50s and last year in 2016 my brother died of cancer! So… I’m all that’s left of my family! I miss them every day, especially on holidays! If they had only listened to me, we could still be together as a family! Now my family, me, my husband Don Holmes, my daughter Dedra Holmes and my son Delon Holmes, won’t be able to spend our holidays with their grandparents or aunt and uncle! My dad and mom will NEVER be able to see how well my children have grown up to be adults. All because that cigarette was more important to them than the future of our whole family! I’m so glad I married a good man! By the way, if you’re confused by my last name, I married a Holmes! My husband’s parents were smokers also and they have passed also. My husband swore he would never smoke and he hasn’t. Our household is a no smoking household! I thank God that my children never picked up that nasty habit of smoking! Our family is devastated by the loss of our family members! If I could reach all the kids out there today, I would beg them not to start smoking. Their lives depend on it to not start smoking! Smoking stops with me! Thank you!