Stop Waiting

Posted By on November 10, 2010

Turkey day is fast approaching and for most of us it means a few extra days off from work and the opportunity fallsunsetto stuff our yappers with delicious food before passing out in the La-Z-Boy as the Lions take yet another pounding on national television.  Growing up in Wisconsin, Thanksgiving has always been a huge event for my family and many of our close friends because it falls smack dab in the middle of deer hunting season.  That means that all of us country kids that still have ties to the area, traverse the state to come home for some killing and family time.  It’s the chance to see old friends and catch up since there is really no other reason to go back home except to help decrease the deer herd.  Well my brothers, on a somber note my Thanksgiving will be very different this year.

Late Saturday evening my mother lost her long struggle to cancer and now the realization that Thanksgiving in our home will be forever different stares me square in the face.  I’m a slow learner but I know that life runs it’s course and change is inevitable.  I just wasn’t expecting this change, at this time.  My mind has been racing the last few days mostly attempting to cope with the fact that the most amazing women I have ever known is no longer in pain battling a disease with no positive outcome and then being grateful for the time we had.  My selfish side of losing her seems to be winning out so far but in time I know that will change.  Each family gathering and upcoming Holiday will be so different going forward and although my tears will be many this Thanksgiving, I’m already listing the many things I still have to celebrate on that day.

Once my Mom was diagnosed we new what the outcome would be, we just of course figured being the Superwoman she was, we would still have many more years with her.  We didn’t.  I think we all tend to believe we’ve an unlimited amount of time on this planet as well as with family and friends.  For you guys that have already traveled the road I am currently going down, you understand exactly what I am saying.  To the ones who have yet to deal with this, it sucks. I mean it really sucks. I am lucky enough to be able to walk this path with no regrets because my mother knew how much she was cherished and loved before I lost her.  I hope to all you guys out there that you can say the same.

Don’t let those opportunities slip by the wayside in our over hectic lifestyle.  snowsunsetI’m not going to preach to you guys but please take time to enjoy those around you because none of us are here forever and you don’t want to wake up and realize you missed something or worse yet, someone.  Each day is really a blessing even with all the negatives in the world, do something nice to enjoy it.  Stop holding onto that expensive bottle of wine for just the right occasion and drink it.  What was wrong with today?  Can you not find enough positives from today that makes it a special day worthy of that bottle of wine?  I love talking to guys with massive cigar collections who stockpile high end gars in the hopes of having enough special days in their life to burn them.  You’re going to tell me that sharing one of those sticks with a close friend is not special?  How is an evening spent on the deck with your wife while knowing your children are safe and healthy not reason enough to burn a classic cigar?

I think we try so hard to make certain moments perfect that we fail to make good moments great.  You can’t plan those types of situations, they just happen so stop looking so hard for them.  In my world the best time to smoke a great cigar is, well right now.  Why keep holding onto it waiting for a moment to come when it may already be here?  I just happen to have a small stash of Cuban sticks in my humidor (don’t tell the Feds) and they will all be burned at the end of this weekend.  All of them.  There is no reason to hold onto something as special as a few highly sought after Cuban sticks because there is no more special moment than to smoke then in my Mothers honor.  Even if I have to stand outside in less than ideal smoking conditions and possibly wear a winter coat and gloves, those cigars will bet burned up because I have much to be thankful for and the people I will share them with is what will make the moment. Sounds like the perfect time to me.

Thanks for letting me share some of my personal pain with you guys because it’s therapy for me to get this off my chest but I hope to get you thinking as well.   Each day we have is special and I hope that when you sit  down with your family you realize that fact.  Pull out that cigar you’ve been saving for your big day or pop the cork on your bottle of vintage wine, sit back to really think about all you have and those around you.  Stop waiting for the right time and just make it right.  You’ll be so glad you did.

The Cigar Soldier

About the author

The Cigar Soldier is the founding father and President of The Brotherhood of the Leaf, an internet community of cigar enthusiasts and Northeast Wisconsin’s only true membership based cigar club. As the main writer for Cigar Night, his rants can sting, stir or inspire your emotions, as he leaves no topic of enjoying the cigar lifestyle off his hit list.


4 Responses to “Stop Waiting”

  1. Dean Haase says:


    What a great letter. What great memories I have of your mother—all the way back to walking home from school with her. To times spent with the family—-hunting, vacations and even you and I wrecking the front end of your dad’s truck on the way duck hunting.

    Savor the memories of her.


  2. Karen Keating says:

    What a great tribute to your Mother, Carol. She was a great lady and a great girlfriend. I was fortunate to get to be with her in September of this year when ten of us from high school days got together for our yearly reuniion. She must have been hurting, but she never once complained. Her lovely sense of humor still prevailed. She will surely be missed by everyone of us.

  3. Cheryl Chapman says:

    What a wonderful article. I may read it to my family this Thanksgiving. I am one of the your Mom and Dad’s classmates. One of the girls that got together annually. I came to your folks a few years ago when our group got together. Your Mom was such a fighter. We were so glad she came to Charles City in September. Our sympathy to your Dad and all your family.
    Only those who have walked this road know some of what you are going through.

    Cheryl Chapman

  4. Christine Keating Hills says:

    Dear Garth, Please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of your beautiful mother Carol. Although I did not know her personally, my mother, Karen Obermeier Keating spent a wonderful weekend with her and “the girls” back in Charles City, Iowa this past September. They were classmates together in high school and I remember my mom telling me about how brave Carol was. With the assistance of her sister Virginia, she made it to their reunion and never once let on how much pain she must’ve been in. My mom shared with me wonderful stories of their weekend, all the time with a smile and tears.

    Your message was passed along to me and my brother, Eric, from my mom this morning. I immediately picked up the phone to them both and we shared how it has been far too long since we all have been together. Because of your heartfelt words, this will change. You and your family will be in our prayers as we sit down to our Thanksgiving dinner at my mom and dad’s house this year. We pray that the love and support of your familiy and friends, as well as the wonderful memory of your mother, will sustain you through this season of grief. With warm condolences, Chris Keating Hills.

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