Stop, Drop it, and Breathe

March 5, 2009
By Michelle Yan BRONZE, New York City, New York
Michelle Yan BRONZE, New York City, New York
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

About a month ago, I was sitting in the living room, doing my homework, and seconds later, something caught my ears. A commercial started playing; it was one of those smoking commercials. It showed a guy'a guy that needed a tube placed down his throat to speak. Although he was able to speak, he didn't sound like a regular person'he sounded like a robot. When the commercial was over, I looked over at my brother.

He stared at me and replied, "That's going to be dad."

The way he said it, it felt like sarcasm but with a pinch of reality in it. I wanted to look for my dad and see if he was okay. But, where was he? Outside, smoking.

Ever since I was born, my dad was always that one person that was like my backbone'a backbone I've never really thought about, until now. Ever since I was born, he would always tell me stories about how happy and fun I was when I was younger. He would show me videos of myself when I was as young as 2, crawling on the floor with my diapers on, up until the moment I was walking down the aisle with my three inch heels, sparkling tenderly, leading me to receive my 8th grade diploma. He would always spoil me and my brother with all of the latest technology and work very hard to feed the family. Not only that, but deep down inside, I can see that all my dad really wants'is what's best for me. Yeah, I want the best for him, too, but he should know the second that cancer stick is lit and the puff of smoke is drifting into the air, he's the only one that'll be able to put it out.

I must say that the feeling I get is not hatred, but fret. I understand that smoking is really addictive and I know how deadly it is. I've seen commercials of the effects people can get from smoking, like their legs being cut off, having a tube thrust down their throat, or experience the unappetizing-to-look-at surgeries. Based on that, I'm pretty worried that will happen to my dad and I definitely don't want him to go through any of those things because he doesn't deserve it.

How could such a caring father be involved in the addiction of smoking? It's unclear to me, too' As a matter of fact, it doesn't make sense at all, and because I have no idea what the answer is my heart shatters, literally, into a million pieces. Heartbroken, my tears start to water up my eyes and rush down my cheeks, massively. And to be honest, I never really took my dad's smoking seriously enough. It was obvious that he was smoking, but it was just the thoughts floating in my head that seemed to be inconspicuous.

I remember when I was about 9, my friend and I were talking. In between our conversation, we were discussing our fathers' smoking. She told me that her dad had stopped smoking because he didn't want to harm her when she was still developing in her mom's stomach. Later on that day, I asked my mom if my dad did the same for me'obviously, he didn't' He wouldn't. Not even for me, or anyone else. Not even for him. But that wasn't the only reason for making my tears falling endlessly. Something that hurt me even more was on my 10th birthday. That was the day I wished my dad would stop smoking. Wonderful, that sure made me start believing birthday wishes could come true, strongly. I might have been young, but age didn't change the strong sensitivity I had towards my dad's smoking.

One night, the thoughts in my head were spinning and I decided to go to hit the sheets earlier than usual. I closed my eyes, and I saw the sky but with no stars. I was trying to fall asleep but then I heard my front door open and that could only mean one thing'my dad going out for a smoke. My mind started to play a movie about how life would be like without him. I really don't know what to do if that really happened because my family wouldn't be complete if he wasn't here anymore. Thinking about that stops my heart, and it really hits me on how important he is but also how severe smoking could possibly damage him.

I cried myself to sleep that night.

He doesn't know how worried I am when he gets headaches often. He doesn't know how I feel when he has red eyes, bad teeth, and that stinky smoke smell in his breath. He doesn't know how scared I am when I have to translate all the letters about diabetes, asthma, and high blood pressure. I remember one time, I was in my room and my dad gave me a letter to translate for him. As I read the letter, he started making his way outside to smoke. For some reason, something signaled my tears to act if my eyes were Niagara Falls. I hurried to the bathroom so no one was able to see all my tears or hear me crying and blowing out my stuffy nose. I washed my face and practiced fake smiles in the mirror and then I went out.

He still hasn't come back yet, I thought to myself.

Seconds later, the door opened; then slammed. The footsteps I heard grew louder and the smell of smoke came near and then my dad asked what the letter said. I told him it was about his health; dealing with high blood pressure, risk for diabetes and asthma, and changes in his vision. I looked up. Expressionless, I gave him the paper and he went out to the living room, quietly. It seemed like he didn't want me to see his reaction but all of this is just too much to ignore'and in a way, a bit hard to believe.

If I could say all of this to him in person, I would. Trust me. I don't want to watch him spend the rest of his life going through all of this and not be able to do anything about it. It's just too hard and too much filling up my chest. No matter how many pretty please with billions of cherries on top, asking him to stop isn't going to work'I know that. But, it's about time I see a change in him. It's about time that I, at least, start getting the ability to dream about my dad quitting smoking. And, it's about time I start trying to make my 10th birthday wish come true. I know it isn't going to be easy, however, slowly but surely, he should be able to make it. Maybe a little time and support will start us off on the right track. My dad deserves a better life than this and I will do my best to fulfill that because I'm no longer daddy's little girl, I'm his big girl.

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This article has 4 comments.

Nicole. said...
on Apr. 5 2009 at 9:03 pm
Nice job! :)

Miaoru said...
on Mar. 27 2009 at 2:33 pm
Miaoru, Sunnyside, New York
0 articles 0 photos 57 comments

mabez26 said...
on Mar. 21 2009 at 12:13 am
goodjob!! :]

alexlai! said...
on Mar. 20 2009 at 12:01 am
ooooh, good job michelle!

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