My spouse (whom I refer to frequently, at another site or three... as wife 2.0, since she's my second wife) does not frequent this site and would be highly unlikely to stumble upon it if I didn't point her in the right direction. I think I've sent her here in the past to read some of my previous rants and thoughts, but she just hasn't been that interested, and really, until recently, I wasn't all that talkative here any more so it probably didn't matter.
Her family most certainly wouldn't recognize me in this space. Not that I behave differently here than I would in other places, they just aren't likely to venture out into this direction on the internet and therefore aren't likely to stumble upon this space either.
No, they'd recognize me at Facebook, but likely few other places. They'd miss my other favorite forum hangouts, and any other places I might tend to haunt.
That's all neither here nor there except for one thing currently, the passing of my wife's mother, after a thankfully and hopefully relatively short losing battle against lung cancer.
My wife's mom was diagnosed with cancer back in the spring of this year. At that time she was told she had anywhere from 3 months to 18 months if she was lucky and that if she went through treatments she might be able to add 6 months to a year to that time estimate. Approximately 7 months later, her will to live escaped her and she was mercifully taken quietly while in the hospital's hospice care center. She had been able to communicate up until her final 48 - 72 hours, but then went down hill quickly and was given pain medications in doses strong enough to keep her comfortable in those final hours.
Cancer is a cruel foe. Nearly impossible to ever beat completely, especially for a lifelong smoker.
My mother-in-law found out she had cancer after finally giving up her smoking for a brief period when she had hope of getting her bad back operated on in the hopes of being able to walk under how own power again. She'd been in lots of pain because of her back and operations on it that didn't go nearly as well as anyone in my wife's family would have hoped. We all hoped that she'd be able to get her back fixed once and for all and that she'd be back to her former vibrant (I'm told that she was, and could see hints of it from the point I met her, but I never had the pleasure of actually seeing her in her prime) self. Sadly she never got to do that as the initial exams that were done after she finally quit for the required time period showed "anomalies" that required further inspection.
That inspection revealed at least stage III lung cancer. From there it was really just a matter of time. Time that was shorter than expected when it was determined that the cancer was actually already stage IV at the point she'd been first diagnosed with it.
My wife will miss her mom terribly and yet she is at peace with her loss. The mom she knew was taken weeks ago really, and somewhat lost to her prior ills. She knows her mom is no longer in pain and never will be again. That provides some comfort.
Meanwhile, I'd like to take this space to again remind anyone that can make the choice - DO NOT SMOKE. Smoking is horrible for you and horrible for those around you. While I might appreciate the voluntary contributions to the tax revenues that the habit entails, I'd rather see positive contributions from the victims of smoking for years to come. If you smoke currently, try as hard as you can to give it up. If you don't smoke, then don't start. If you know someone that does smoke, get them into a cessation program and offer them as much encouragement as you can to just quit. Go with the electronic cigs for a while if you must, or encourage them to do so, but find a way to give it up. Live longer, be healthier. The world is better with you than without you and someone will be saddened at your loss.