Cigarettes: A Short Story

Words: 515
Pages: 3

I vividly remember sitting on my grandmother’s lap on a cold, Sunday morning. Madea, I call her, smelled of cigarette smoke and peppermints, a scent that was ever so comforting to me at the time. I snuggled close, and I pressed my head against Madea’s chest to hear her breathe nearly non-existent breaths, which were accompanied by a wet cough. She rocked me back and forth in her favorite rocking chair; the eerie sound of it is etched into my brain. I gazed into her tired eyes and asked, “Madea, why do you smoke cigarettes?” If anyone knew my grandmother, they knew she was a great multi-tasker. Without hesitation, she could give you a piece of her mind, drink her morning coffee, and smoke a cigarette all at once. She responded, “Baby, my nerves are bad.” Quickly and with attitude, I snapped, “My nerves are bad too. May I have one?” Madea, amused and surprised by my question, responded, “Chile’, cigarettes are bad for you. They make you sick.” That day …show more content…
It seemed as if nothing could faze her. She was “the rock” of our family. She never told anyone about her illness because she did not want anyone to worry. However, we all had a feeling that she was sick. As time passed, my grandmother’s condition grew progressively worse. She lost her ability to walk, and she could no longer feed herself. The doctor expressed to my mother, “I regret to inform you, but your mom has stage four lung cancer. She does not have much time to live.”Madea refused to undergo chemotherapy because she did not want to lose her long, silver hair. She was unaware of the fact that not every treatment causes alopecia. Madea also believed it would make her more sick than she already was. As an alternative, the doctors agreed to provide her with morphine to help manage her pain during the days leading up to her final hours. She did not want to suffer. Madea passed away on a cold, December night. It was a week from