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Fierce on The Page by Sage Cohen

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26

Don’t Smoke a Cigarette While Pushing an Oxygen Tank

“A habit cannot be tossed out the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time.” —Mark Twain

It was lunch hour downtown. I was weaving through clusters of window-shopping pedestrians, walking as fast as I could to the post office, when I saw her and stopped in my tracks.

A woman in a wheelchair was using her feet to shuffle herself forward. An oxygen tank was rigged up behind her right shoulder, sending life support through twin plastic tubes that fed into her nostrils. And dangling from her mouth was a lit cigarette.

The sight of this woman filled me with compassion for the human experience. It struck me that we all have some version of this woman inside of us. As we negotiate ...

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