Photo by Christine Suson
I’m holding onto the last string of my life. By the time you read this, I’m probably dead. So here I am using the scant sliver of strength I have to tell you the thing I regret most.
I’ve been living my life addicted to smoking: A habit I shouldn’t have engaged in. I thought I needed it to get away from stress. But this simple means of relief turned into something I couldn’t live without.
It felt like ecstasy when I belched the fumes of death. And as the smoke dissipated, so did my pain.
I’m ready to share this part of me which I should have told you a long time ago.
It all started when I was twelve. My peers, teachers and parents expected too much from me. They all expected perfection, just like how my other siblings were. I couldn’t take the pressure. That’s when I discovered smoking, naively thinking it was a solution.
The first few times were horrible, but as I got used to it, I craved for more. I felt like the void inside me needed smoking to fill it. The feeling of picking up a cigarette and a lighter assured me that everything was going to be fine. It enlightened me in my darkest times.
It did not end there, unfortunately.
I finished three packs of cigarettes a day. Imagine how many packs I have emptied out in more than 23 years.
I couldn’t blame myself for it. It stimulated me. It kept me sane. It protected me from the harsh reality I knew I couldn’t survive from.
However, when I met you, I knew I found the one. The one to inspire me. The one to end my agonizing acts. But despite all this, the habit crawled its way back to haunt me.
You gave me all your love and it saved me from my fraudulent salvation. I never thought I would be able to stop but you didn’t give up on trying. You didn’t give up on me. It gets me thinking that I must have something good to have you as my husband. No matter how long I stay up all night wondering, I can never seem to come up with a decent reason. But for whatever it was the person up there saw in me, whatever you saw in me, I am forever grateful.
I’m almost to my limit. I want to tell you how much I regret keeping the fact of having lung cancer from you. Yes, I have lung cancer. I really should have told you this a long time ago, even before you proposed to me. I never expected that I would make it through the wedding. And when I did, I thought I had more years. But I guess I was wrong.
Just as I got the news that we were having a child, I was told that it was either me or the child that will live. I chose our child, of course. But I guess the decision wasn’t up to me.
We’re both going to die.
I truly am sorry for my shortcomings. I can never forgive myself for the things I have done.
I don’t expect you to forgive me but please do remember this, avoid the smoke that killed me. It’s not the only way to escape reality. But I guess that’s where I had it wrong. Maybe I didn’t have to escape reality. Maybe I should have just faced it and lived. Maybe then I would still have a future with you and our child, our precious child, our could-have-been.
This is not a farewell my dear but only an until-next-time. Despite everything, you are still the best thing that has ever happened to me.
I am sorry I couldn’t be yours. Not now.
I love you. So much that it hurts.