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I waited with bated breath for his response, nervous that I may have gone too far and offended him, excited that doing so might help me achieve my goal of saving him. Finally, the message arrived: “Honey, I’m taking vacation time for the rest of the day to take one of my Make-a-Wish kids, Michael, shopping for some things that will make his transition easier. My positive thoughts will not bring back his leg or make the cancer that pervades his body go away. In my mind, though, every drop of rain that falls today anywhere near us will contain water molecules that look like beautiful snowflakes. How do I know that? I don’t. Of course I don’t. I can’t see water molecules; never have — at least not firsthand. Seen pictures of ’em. So, since I can’t really see them, I can imagine that they are in any shape I so desire. Some of them even look like Sophia Loren, in my parallel Universe. I like it there (here); no, I LOVE it in my parallel space. It works incredibly well for me. I am in the flow and the ride couldn’t be any easier because I just ‘let it go.’ Barb, out beyond the ideas of rightdoing or wrongdoing there is a field — I’ll meet you there. I’m there, Honey, holding out my hand. Take it when you are ready. Ciao Bella! Love, Dad.”

Consumed by my mission, I had broken my life’s creed: Don’t tell me how to live my life and I won’t tell you how to live yours. Dad responded to his daughter’s audacious attack with patience and wisdom. Staring at my father’s words on my laptop screen was like gazing into a mirror through which I could see the disfigurement of my own soul. As I read his words over and over, a secret was revealed to me, one that Dad had known all along: I still have a lot to learn.

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Comments

jim87vette March 12, 2008 @ 3:24 p.m.

We all have a lot to learn lol.I don't understand a lot of things other people believe in but I figure if it benefits someone else and does not harm anyone,who cares.

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ajustice32 March 13, 2008 @ 12:04 a.m.

As much as I believe in God and all His works, I still believe that you have to be a doer; that no amount of me thinking something is going to happen or that hoping something is going to happen...is going to make it happen. If that were true then I would have all the things I truly desire to have because I have wished upon stars and coins my whole life (just in case lol). One must be willing to do the work to get the prize. However, I do believe that positivity begets positivity and all you can do is make lemonade out of the nasty lemons served to you often times on a silver platter by friend and foe. I know it is quite cliche but it is quite so true.

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Barbarella Fokos March 13, 2008 @ 7:22 a.m.

Jim, that's my article in a sentence. You truly understand the economy of words. ;)

Ajustice, well said. There is a Swedish proverb of which I am fond and it goes like this: "God gives every bird his worm, but He does not throw it into the nest." Thanks for commenting!

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jen March 13, 2008 @ 12:18 p.m.

You sure the real secret isn't about turning water to wine? Looks like you were well on your way there. In fact, I think a couple "pinche"s would have gotten you a nice cabernet...

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pete69 March 13, 2008 @ 2:56 p.m.

Ahhh yes...good old lysergic acid diethylamide. Last time I partook in that I was at a Phish concert in Maine. I lost my shoes... No bueno. But damn the grass felt good on my feet. I bought it from some hippie girl my friends and I dubbed "Earth Mama." She was vaguely reminiscent of Frodo from Lord of the Rings (furry toes and all).

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Barbarella Fokos March 13, 2008 @ 3:32 p.m.

You have a point, Jen. Next time I want a dark rich blend, I'll pepper my words to suit my desired results.

Pete, oof, Hobbit girls can be frightening. Or fun, depending on what you're into. ;)

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mike1 March 14, 2008 @ 6:12 p.m.

In this case you are right and your dad is wrong. The religious do-gooder may be a better person than the selfish atheist, but that doesn't make the do-gooder's beliefs any more real than any belief in the secret, santa claus, the easter bunny, zeus, leprechauns, a flat earth, a man who rose from the dead, or an invisible man in the sky. All of which are open to mockery if taken seriously. And is your dad a republican? In that case, all of his good deeds (which I commend) are more than balanced out by his support for a party that is responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands in Iraq and is openly hostile to the very same people he shares his neighborhood with. Not to mention helping the rich while screwing the poor. Now would jesus approve?

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Barbarella Fokos March 16, 2008 @ 7:04 p.m.

Mike, thank you for the thoughtful comment. Just as I do my best not to judge a man by his religious creed, I try not to judge a person based on his political leanings. It is my understanding that my father votes for whomever he feels is the best candidate according to his personal values, regardless of whether that candidate is republican or democrat. I would hope that any rationally-minded, fair person (and certainly someone as liberal and radical as Jesus) would approve of that.

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Joaquin_de_la_Mesa March 19, 2008 @ 11:04 a.m.

Whoa, mike. You're bumming our lysergic acid diethylamide trip. What about that other party's support for 40 million babies killed in their mothers' wombs? (And that's just in the USA) You see, neither the left nor the right wing has cornered the market on death for expediency.

Barb, your Dad is a beautiful man. His gentle fatherly love for you was so poignant in that letter. He's an inspiration and support to me in my role, my mission as a father. I will pray for him and thank God for creating such a beautiful soul.

As for the Secret, I'll say what I think is good about it. It turns people out of themselves a little bit so that they can see there's a great big "universe" outside of themselves and their messy garages. And once they've turned out, they notice the beauty and suffering -- and, to get a little mystical, the beauty within suffering, e.g. children with leukimia -- around them.

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mike1 March 24, 2008 @ 12:15 a.m.

Whoa Joaquin...funny thing about how the Republicans care about the fetus until it actually becomes a human. But then of course the big daddy let his son die an excruciating death. (Not that I believe that silliness.) But please keep praying.

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