She always looked so cool holding that cigarette.
Her voice was low and smoky, her clothes were chic on her slim frame and she was always so nice. To a kid, she was a role model. I was that kid. She was the wife of a first cousin of mine and I always liked hanging out with her.
Her kids were close to the same age as my sister and me, so we’d do fun things together too. But I’ll always remember how that cigarette some how complemented her total outfit.
Who knows how many packs she smoked a day? She was what they used to call a “chain” smoker. Back in her ‘day,’ smoking was very common. You smoked because you wanted to stay slim or maybe lose weight. It was a substitute for eating. You smoked because you wanted be a part of the crowd. You smoked because everyone else smoked. My gosh, even the airlines reserved the back of the plane for those who needed a smoke in flight.
We’ve learned a lot since then.
There will be a memorial service for my cousin this weekend. She was fortunate enough to live a long life before the lung cancer advanced and ultimately took her life. But it was a long and tough fight along the way.