| What a guy...
I had a lot of fun. It was an honor for me to be friends with some truly great people. I thank you. I've had great joy living and playing with my dog, my cats and my parrot. But, the one special thing that made my spirit whole, is my long love and friendship with my remarkable wife, my beloved Mary Jane. I loved her more than I have words to express. Every moment spent with my Mary Jane was time spent wisely. Over time, I became one with her, inseparable, happy, fulfilled. I enjoyed one good life. Traveled to every place on earth that I ever wanted to go. Had every job that I wanted to have. Learned all that I wanted to learn. Fixed everything I wanted to fix. Eaten everything I wanted to eat.
Of course there is a regret...
My regret is that I felt invincible when young and smoked cigarettes when I knew they were bad for me. Now, to make it worse, I have robbed my beloved Mary Jane of a decade or more of the two of us growing old together and laughing at all the thousands of simple things that we have come to enjoy and fill our lives with such happy words and moments. My pain is enormous, but it pales in comparison to watching my wife feel my pain as she lovingly cares for and comforts me. I feel such the "thief" now - for stealing so much from her - there is no pill I can take to erase that pain.
Condolences to Mary Jane, Don and Ona and thanks for sharing this great story of your Val with the world.
More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined
Tobacco is responsible for
443,000 deaths annually (including deaths from secondhand smoke)
49,400 deaths per year from secondhand smoke exposure
269,655 deaths annually among men
173,940 deaths annually among women
Yet Denny Rehberg called smoking a "bad habit", an individual choice when I asked him (back in 2007 or 2008)why he supported the Patriot Act and allowed cigarettes to be unregulated by the FDA.
I also remember that the Republicans in our 2011 State Legislature tried to defund the Montana Tobacco Cessation Program.
Approximately 12% of the annual revenue generated from state excise taxes and settlement payments would fund Montana's tobacco control program at the Best Practices recommended amount. However, in 2007, Montana's funding for tobacco control was 57.3% of the recommended level. Montana ranks 7th among the states.
It is time to elect people who work for those of us who have our lives invested in Montana.