A Remembrance to a Smoker Or Why to Vote YES on Proposition 56

by on October 24, 2016 · 17 comments

in Culture, Election, Health, Life Events, Ocean Beach


Bob Curry – before chemo.

By Judi Curry

Seven years ago you left to go who knows where.  The time of diagnosis and death was so very short.  Sunday will be your birthday; cut short by the 3 packs a day you smoked for 30 years. Diagnosed with lung cancer after stopping smoking for 34 years, it still got you in the end.

I remember the day when the diagnosis was made, and I remember you saying that if you knew smoking would still get you, you never would have stopped. Your craved that cigarette for some 60 years, and often substituted Irish Whiskey (what else?) after dinner. What you really wanted was a smoke along with the Irish.

They have raised the legal age now that a person can buy cigarettes to age 21.


Bob during chemo with Buddy.

I know you would have said that it doesn’t make much of a difference.  Cigarettes are easy to come by and even more easily addictive. And you probably wouldn’t be surprised to know that there is ANOTHER ballot measure to raise the taxes on cigarettes and, once again, it is being fought by Big Tobacco with very persuasive advertisements as to why to vote no on Proposition 56. They are using the same tactics they have used for years – Doesn’t solve problems; only treats 13% of the smokers; Insurance companies profit; cheats our kids schools, etc.

On the other hand, even though the “yes” on Proposition 56 have statistics in their favor, “Saves lives; protects kids; fights cancer; only affects those people that do smoke” there is not the money behind the campaign as there is on the opposite side.

I wish I could tell people how you suffered from lung cancer; I wish I could tell them how you fought for every breath; I wish I could tell them what it was like to fall asleep and have the oxygen tube slip out of your nostrils; I wish I could tell them what a struggle it was for you to talk; to take your next breath.  I wish I could tell them what the chemo did to you as the poison was dripped into your body; I wish…..

You are missing so much, Bob. We now have 13 grandchildren – four that are greats! Cody got married Thursday and he is the skipper of one of your favorite party boats! All of your grandsons are driving. The twins have earned Bachelor degrees; one has his Masters’s and is working as a social worker while the other twin is in the Master’s program and will graduate next year. You have two grandsons that are seniors in high school; you have one granddaughter that is in her Sophomore year at Humboldt State. Buddy, your dog, has passed away – your probably know that because I hope he is with you, Ole Pal and Shalom, but you have never met Shadow, my dog now.  You have missed so much because of that dammed cigarette.

Do you remember the time that you were driving down the freeway with your jacket flapping out the window to get rid of the cigarette smell so I wouldn’t know you were smoking? (As if I didn’t smell it in your hair!)  Remember when I pulled up a long side of you?  Smoking even led you to having to tell lies to me – and yourself.  And for what?

RIP, Bob.  After the ordeal of dying from lung cancer, you deserve all the peace you can get.  If only you had known.  I hope it’s not too late for the others!


{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve October 24, 2016 at 10:42 am

Cigarettes don’t affect everyone the same way. I have a step uncle that’s been smoking a pack a day since he was a teenager and he’s 82 years old, still smoking.


judi October 24, 2016 at 11:02 am

So are you advocating smoking? And lung cancer usually isn’t diagnosed until it is Stage 4. Are you sure he is ok?


Gristmiller October 24, 2016 at 2:16 pm

A push of the “like” button for you!


judi October 24, 2016 at 2:18 pm



Debra October 24, 2016 at 4:04 pm

I agree with Judi. And as far as I am concerned, Nicotine is a dangerous, addictive drug. Therefore, you should be required to have a dr.’s prescription to purchase cigarettes, right?


Linda Carlin October 24, 2016 at 5:31 pm

Thanks for writing this Judy. Yes on 56.
Sorry you lost Bob. I also became a Cancer widow 7 years ago (Multiple Myeloma)


judi October 24, 2016 at 6:23 pm

Thanks Linda. It is difficult, isn’t it.


Will October 24, 2016 at 7:46 pm

Addiction is one of the great curses on mankind. I hope that one day the scientists can find a cure.

But I can’t understand why we have to feed the government’s addiction to our tax money? Just think how much money your husband would have sent to Sacramento under the current scheme, or this proposed one! And all those tax burdens wouldn’t have ended his addiction, they would only have made you two poorer.


judi October 24, 2016 at 7:55 pm

Money is a “driver”. If the cost of cigarettes were higher he would not have smoked so much. There was only so much money to go around. If he still wanted to go fishing every weekend; if he wanted to go camping every weekend; if he wanted to go to a play every weekend, he would not have smoked so much. As far as I am concerned, EACH cigarette should cost $5 – and be taxed on top of that . We, the people are paying for the healthcare of those that have cancer. The tobacco companies show no remorse, and don’t give a damn about those that are addicted; those that are dying, etc. They put more and more money into advertising to lure people to start this horrible habit. I am not a smoker. I will not pay the extra tax. Let those that are smoking take the burden for a change.


Ro McPhaul October 24, 2016 at 7:56 pm

R.I.P. Bob and love to you Judi.

My brother smoked for 20+ years and in April was diagnosed with Stage 4 laryngeal cancer. After surgery, he is now cancer-free, but will forever breath through a hole in his throat. He speaks by forcing air through a valve inserted through his trachea into his esophagus and out through his mouth. Because his entire larynx was removed, his has to rely on the vibrations produced in his esophagus to speak. Thankfully, he can speak. But if only he hadn’t picked up that first cigarette all those years ago. Cancer robs families of their loved ones, significantly alters survivors lives. Please if you haven’t started, don’t; if you smoke, quit.


judi October 26, 2016 at 7:13 am

Thanks, Ro. My heart goes out to your brother. He must be very strong individual – as you are.


KIP of Voltaire October 24, 2016 at 10:03 pm

beef, pork & chicken need to be overly taxed also. animal flesh is way more detrimental to the earth than a small minority of idiots who want to die prematurely due to self indulgence. climate change/ global warming is the issue of the day – as it has been for the last 30 years- so if 90% of the population (the meat eaters) could care less about saving the earth and just want to make it harder for the idiots to buy their cigarettes , it just don’t make no sense. we need less people on mother earth & if smokers want to smoke and die off…bully for them. now you flesh eaters on the other hand…think about it!


Zen October 24, 2016 at 10:24 pm

Wonderful I article. I already voted by mail for 56.


Candy October 25, 2016 at 12:08 pm

Judi, I’m so sorry about Bob. Thanks for writing this article. I’m voting yes on 56.


Gil Field October 26, 2016 at 2:27 pm

Great article …. thank you. We miss Bob at SDVFP.
I lost my dad at 73 after he smoked unfiltered Camels for 60 years …. he was actually very lucky to make 73, but he has missed out on meeting my fabulous wife and his grandkids entirely.
Thanks for your words.


Judi October 26, 2016 at 4:08 pm

Thanks Gil. I know what you mean about his missing out. And the sad thing is that the grandkids are missing the best part!

BTW – enjoyed your interview with KUSI.


Gil Field October 27, 2016 at 4:23 pm

Thanks. Last minute opportunity.


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