The Death of My Guardian Angel

March 10, 2008
By
I don’t blame her. I can’t blame her. She was young and unaware of the consequences of her actions. The day was August 4, 2005 and my grandmother had no idea that this day would be her last day on earth. My grandmother, Carole Elizabeth Pharris, died at the age of sixty-eight on August 5, 2005. Her death changed my life and gave me the strong opinions I have today about tobacco use. Grandmother, as I called her, died of cancer from smoking.

My grandmother was born on March 17, 1937 in Arkansas and moved to Dothan, Alabama thirty years later. She was an incredibly intelligent woman who graduated with a double major in chemistry and biology from Wake Forrest University in 1958. She was a registered Cytotechnologist and retired as a health inspector for the state of Alabama. My grandmother was a strong Christian, a wonderful artist, and an amazing woman. I could only see one flaw; she was a smoker.

Grandmother began smoking and became addicted at a young age. When she started smoking people had no idea what emphysema was and that smoking could cause yellowed teeth and make a person age faster. She was cutting her life short and had no idea. She attempted to quit many times with hypnosis, pills, patches, and gum. She tried everything she could but there was no use; her addiction was too strong.

Once my grandmother was diagnosed with lung cancer everyone she was close to was affected. My grandmother tried chemotherapy, but the treatments had no effect on the cancer. The cancer eventually spread to her stomach and brain. Grandmother tried to fight the cancer and looked into many therapy options. She even looked into using tarantula venom to stop or at least slow down the disease. She eventually lost her hair and withered down to almost 85 pounds. The hardest part of losing my grandmother was realizing that she was actually dying right in front of me.

During the time she was sick, I was able to better remember and appreciate all of the times we shared together. All of the little things we had done now seemed so much more important. Our sporadic trips to historic places, courtesy of my grandfather, her teaching me how to play spades on the computer, and sitting on the old musty rug in their living room playing a Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer board game in the dead of summer were the memories that I instantly cherished the most. Suddenly, just sitting in the driveway and coloring the pavement with sidewalk chalk had such a greater impact on my life than I though it ever would have.

Two years have passed since her death. Through losing my grandmother, I have gained a better perception on how I want to live my life. I am a stronger person, I try to live each day to the fullest, and I have a strong sense of my opinion that anyone who chooses to start smoking today is an absolute idiot! I lose a lot of respect for the people that decide to start smoking now because they know of all the potential effects smoking can have on them. I appreciate my grandmother for helping me find myself even though she was not here. I appreciate the lessons she taught me and the impact she had and still has on my life. I can’t blame her for her death; I love her; she was my grandmother and my mentor through her actions. She is still with me, watching over me, and protecting me from making choices that I know will harm me. She is my inspiration and my sense of right and wrong. She is my guardian angel.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback