Tuesday, September 22, 2009

SEPTEMBER 21, 2009

Almost exactly one year ago, I began blogging and wrote my first piece about my mother. Today I offer a collage of thoughts:

I look at the trees beginning to turn and think about our rides. Mama loved the glorious falls of the Willamette Valley. I try not to regret that we were anticipating another beautiful season of daily trips and be grateful for the past two autumns we shared together.

My auntie and cousin Becky are visiting today, and we will reminisce and plan. Auntie came twice a year to visit Momma and Uncle Bill came to see her too. Once with Auntie Tsuta. Those were special days. Her siblings and their spouses meant the world to mom. Ojichan and Obachan’s memory inspired her. And all her nieces and nephews made her so proud. She adored them all. Marti and I, our children and their children, of course, were her world. The family is of great comfort now.

The memorial is next weekend. two days before my 64th birthday, 1945, October 5, when a young mother gave birth to her first daughter, me. I came out the hard way -- umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, blue. Two years later, when she was pregnant with my sister, the baby was so heavy, it broke her size 3 feet. In our case, adolescence must have been a piece of cake next to pregnancy.

I had sad days, and now each day I have sad moments. I can do it.

Will and I are going to the coast for our anniversary this weekend and I keep having to shoo away this knee jerk impulse to call my sister to see if it’s ok and if she could come down . . . then I remember, she doesn’t need to come down anymore, and we don’t have to ask anymore. Today, that is the loneliest thought.

I called the minister, the cemetery and the stonecutters today to prepare for the memorial. It will be another family affair. The Kawai clan are always there for us. They will be part of the program, gather the koden, take care of the flowers, staff the guest book, write the thank yous, make the sushi, organize the reception table and help us bury our mother at her mother and father’s feet. How does a person even begin to thank family. Without our even saying a word, they have gathered around us.

Yesterday, I watched Will drive up and as he got out of the van, I stood outside and waited for him to come up the walk and hesitantly asked if we could go home to Idaho every year to “ohaka mairi.” He said yes and gave me a hug, and I burst into tears.

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"from Outside the Belly" was also known as "TBAsian" from 2008-2010. Thank you for reading.

from Outside the Monster's Belly

from Outside the Monster's Belly
. . . following Earth instead (Rakaia River, site of Salmon Ceremony, photo credit Ruth Koenig)


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Eugene, Oregon
I am a citizen of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. I am a Nikkei descendant sansei (third generation);retired teacher, involved in the Winnemem tribal responsibility to Water, Salmon, and our belief that the Sacred is our Teacher. Working locally for human rights and supporting youth leadership.