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The closest you can come for now

I've been cleaning out old files and I came across an envelope with a paper mobile project I'd begun 25 years ago. I remember very clearly making these for friends -- a very simple project made of 2 1/2" circles cut from various colored and textured heavy papers, on which I'd written inspirational words in different lettering. I'd stitch seven disks together with black thread to hang vertically and spin independently.

There was one completed mobile and other disks cut out, waiting for lettering and assembly. Three typewritten pages were folded and tucked in alongside the contents full of the kinds of thoughts I intended for the mobiles. As I read my words from 25 years ago, I marveled at the trajectory and consistency of my thoughts. Be kind. Take a deep cleansing breath three times in a row at least twice a day. Life is a circle, a cycle, you are on a continuum....

But wait. These are not my words. As I read along, I realized these are my father's words. A deeply religious man, there was one, then another and another phrase that I knew I did not write. Somehow, I'd tucked something he wrote -- perhaps he gave it to me, perhaps I just picked it up along the way -- into my envelope with my project.

Dad has been gone a long time. He had to have written this more than 40 years ago, before the lymphoma. Dad was a teacher, a mentor, a businessman, parent and good friend, and above all he was a helper. He'd be trying to help us all now because that's just the kind of person he was.

I don't have to wonder what he'd think of the world we live in now. I don't have to wish for his advice. He's always with me, with my siblings, even in all his grandchildren who never got to know him. So, here's some good advice for all of you from my Dad who would have loved you and wanted to help you get through these trying times.

"Strive for balance. Strive for peace. When peace is unattainable, strive again for balance -- it is the closest you can come to peace for now."

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