elizabeth B.'s Story

Alabama – When I was 4 my father would put something in his mouth, I thought blow on it, and put it in the ash tray. When he put me in the car, he’d light one up, at first it smelled kind of sweet. Not long after, I felt sick to my stomach. He would be just driving away, and I am trying to puke quietly so he wouldn't spank me. Every time he put me in the car, he spanked me, because I puked everywhere. I was little girl. When my father asked me what I wanted for my birthday present, I would always say "daddy stop smoke". He giggled and continued to do it. It was about that time when violent abuse started. He would drink out of his mind, and think we did not brush our teeth. However, to get to the end of this, we were placed in the fine system of foster care. Away from my dad, I did not know that men did not smoke that smelly thing. So, I asked my foster father where his smelly thing is, and he told me that it is not allowed in the house. I never asked again. We lived in the home for the rest of our lives, as we waited for our father to pick us up. We were told at the age of 12 that my father died. So, we went to the funeral, and it was my sister’s birthday. I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, and she told me our daddy. I felt hopeless, and sad. He never stopped, but his body killed him at the age of 52. He had liver cancer, and stomach cancer, brain cancer, and bone cancer. From November 1981, until Feb. 1982 he never saw us again. He went to the hospital on the Army base, and died there. In 1990 I had my daughter, I promised her that I would never subject her to anything to end my life and shorten hers by allowing smokers around her. However, that was not easy because my husband at that time would not stop smoking. So, it caused another reason for me to take her and keep her away from the smoke. Eventually I raised her on my own. She promised not to smoke around her little baby. This is what gave me hope. That my wish finally did come true and that I was able to stop the smoking chain from ripping families apart.

 

View Stories Share Your Story