My Mom has been smoking for 43 years, 2-3 packs a day. Once when my sister was 6, she came home from school and told my Mom she wanted her to stop smoking because she didn't want her Mom to die. Over the years, she's tried everything — Lifesign, Nicorette gum, nicotine patches, and even hypnosis — but nothing stuck. Tonight at dinner she told me she's been seeing an acupuncturist, on the recommendation of our window washer. She mentioned some strange coincidences about the acupuncturist — every summer he vacations on a tiny lake in the Adirondacks in a small cabin owned and rented by my Mom's cousin, and he also has a dog named Strider, the same name as my sister's dog. I told my Mom that these strange coincidences are called synchronicities, and that they are life's way of telling you that you are on the right path. My Mom is now down to 2 cigarettes a day, and by next week she'll have quit entirely. Congratulations, Mom! What a proud and happy day for the matriarch and her loyal followers everywhere!