A. P. Stanley
Since not much is happening health-wise, or interesting-wise, I've decided now is the time to elaborate on a miracle that happened to me over two years ago. I have told approximately two dozen people this story, so if you've already heard it from me, feel free to stop here. If you haven't heard the it, you may want to read on because it is really a true story.. So many times I have started to share it with someone, and then stopped, thinking that they would consider me a nut job. YOU may think I'm a nut job, but here goes anyway.
You may not consider this in the miracle category, but if you knew what a chain-smoker I was for 41 years, you might rethink it. Yup, that's correct, 41 years. It all started with innocent puff on my then-boyfriend's cigarette. I smoked one cigarette, turned totally green in the face, and was sicker than a dog. The next morning I bought a pack of cigarettes and smoked non-stop for years. Evidently I was predisposed to being addicted to nicotine.
I remember times when I would rather spend my time on break at work smoking instead of eating lunch. When the phone rang, I lit a cigarette. When I got in the car, I lit up. Believe it or not, I smoked through both of my pregnancies (which I realize now was seriously crazy, but back then, it wasn't even considered a dangerous thing!) When I was expecting Dan, I was a secretary at Northwestern Bell, and on my desk sat a bottle of Rolaids and an ashtray. Can you imagine that? We were allowed to smoke at our desks!! When I worked at Sue's Hallmark at Lindale Plaza, the District Manager was a smoker too, and she allowed me to smoke in the back storage room (with all the cards and gift items that we sold). Can you imagine how some of those products smelled after sitting in an area where she and I smoked ALOT.
There were times when I worried about getting old and perhaps having to go to a care center. I wondered if my kids would find one where I could still smoke. I even dreaded the thought of perhaps having to go to the hospital for a few days for some medical procedure, and wouldn't be able to light up. The first thing I did every morning was to have a cigarette, and the last thing I did before going to bed was the same thing. There were even times when the urge was so strong, I would get up in the middle of the night and I would have two or three cigarettes. I used to smoke in my house and sometimes I would go to bed and smoke while reading. When Lon would open the door to come to bed, the air was absolutely blue with smoke. Whenever I would wash my walls, the brown tar residue would actually run down in streaks. Then the last several years, I would go out and sit on the swing on the deck, or go down to the closed-in patio, to smoke because even I was getting sick of the house smelling so bad.
If I left home to go somewhere, and realized I had left my pack in the house, I would either turn around and go back to get it, or stop at the first gas station I came to and buy one. If a snowstorm was predicted, I made sure I scurried into town and bought a carton. I guess you figured out by now that I was severely addicted to nicotine.
Here's where we come to my "miracle". Around midnight on October 25th, 2011, I woke up with a terrible pain in my chest. It felt like my lungs were crushing my heart. I laid there for a minute, considering the fact that perhaps I was having a heart attack (Ya think?) I was 100% sure that my years of smoking had finally caught up with me and I was really going to pay the price, big time. Probably, a rational person would have reached over and woke her husband up and said, "Call 911!" But I laid there quite calmly, and this thought ran through my mind. "Lord, if this is a heart attack, I just want you to know that I am spiritually and emotionally ready to meet you face to face." I felt this strongly and thought those words with all my heart. I wasn't scared or panicky.
As I laid there, I felt the strangest, light tingle ripple through my body from the top of my head to the bottoms of my feet. My NEXT thought was "What the hell was that?" (sorry, God). It took me a minute to realize that the terrible pain in my chest had disappeared. I started to laugh, because it was so cool and so amazing. I tried to lay still because the laughing made the bed shake, and I was afraid I would wake Lon up. Then I thought, "You really can hear me! It is true that you listen to people, and you really did hear me!" I replayed what had happened over and over in my mind until I fell asleep.
When I woke up the next morning, I was still amazed and thrilled about what had happened in the night. What an experience. God had heard me. I sure dodged that bullet, right? But then something really weird happened. I went to have my usual morning cigarette, and the thought that God had stepped in and given me a second chance, kept me from lighting up. In fact, the thought of smoking made me feel ill. I could not believe that something I had done for years was suddenly abhorrent to me and I found that I could not make myself put a cigarette to my lips! It felt like it would be a slap in the face and a major insult to God, to go back to my old ways. So I didn't. I just stopped.
My family was shocked about what had occurred. I was the mother whose children had begged her to quit smoking. I was the grandmother whose grandchildren had begged her to quit smoking. And I couldn't do it, not even for my most loved ones. Then this happened.
I admit that I tried to smoke one more time. About six months later, I found an old pack of cigarettes in a coat pocket. No one was home, so I snuck out behind my house, managed to light up, and took one puff. Talk about choking and coughing, and what a sickening taste. I stubbed it out, broke it in two and buried in the yard. That's all, folks.
Okay, so some of you think I am a crackpot, a dingy, a weird old lady, etc., but I am so grateful that I got to experience that wonderful moment 2 1/2 years ago. It really made such a difference in my outlook on a lot of stuff. So, take what you want from this post. But remember, all of this is true.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL