Saturday, August 17, 2013

saying goodbye

IMG_NEW "No one wants to hear that their hero has cancer" starts off a commercial here in Hawaii...so true.

For nearly a year and a half, my mom fought her pancreatic cancer as hard as she could, living past the prognosis she was given.

She kept as positive as she could and took care of all of us for as long as she could too.

When I was about to leave a couple of weeks ago to go back to Osaka, she asked me to extend my stay.

In hindsight, I think she knew her time was coming.

Taking the advice of my brother and aunties and with the understanding of Satoshi, I made it back to Hawaii just in time to be with her and the rest of my family for her makura-gyo (pillow service a.k.a. last rites service).

And on the next morning when she passed, I was lucky to be holding her hand.

I believe she's now at peace and free of pain.

Aunty Marian found a quote that says what I think my Mom might have wanted to say to us.

The nice thing about this quote is that it is by my Mom's favorite cartoon character, Winnie the Pooh...

"If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together..
there is something you must always remember.
You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem,
and smarter than you think.
But the most important thing is, even if we're apart..
I'll always be with you.”

DSC04241 The day after she passed, this spider orchid bloomed in our patio. Her favorite color is purple, so I thought it was her sign to me that she was in a good place.

Thank you Mom for everything, I admire you for your courage, I'll miss you a lot and love you always.

36 comments:

Saburo said...

Sorry to hear of this, Kat. My thoughts are with you and your family. All the best.

sheri miya said...

What a beautiful remembrance of your mother, Kat. She sounds like a strong, passionate person who lived a full life, well-loved by many. I love the quote; it brought tears to my eyes. Please accept my heartfelt condolences for such a great loss to you and your family. My heart goes out to you.. much love and aloha. ❤

JhgreenG said...

You brought several tears to my eyes with this lovely tribute to your mother. You have my deepest condolences.

Dennis K. said...

Very sorry to hear of your loss Kat. My heart goes to you and your family. Please take care.

Linda said...

So sorry to hear about your mom. She will forever watch over you and your family from above. Hugs.

Kathy YL Chan said...

What a loving and beautiful tribute to you mom, Kat. I am sure she will be missed...though how lucky she is to be surrounded by such caring family. Sending over hugs!

Kalin's Mommy said...

Kat, My condolences to you and your family. I am so glad you were able to at least spend the summer with her. Very nice poem too! Nicely said.

FYI - I started following your blog through a friend, Jalna, and just want to let you know that I have been enjoying all your Japanese/Hawaii experiences.

Helen said...

I'm sorry for your loss. I'm thinking of you.

This was a beautiful tribute. Thank you for writing it.

Alan said...

Please accept my condolences and thank you for sharing this remembrance of your mother.

jalna said...

Awww Kat . . . I'm so sorry.

genkitummy said...

I'm sorry to hear about your mother. We'll keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.

KirkK said...

Our sincere condolences Kat. Sorry for your loss. Take care.....

Deb in Hawaii said...

Oh Kat, I am so very sorry to hear about your mom. Losing a beloved parent is so very hard. She sounds like a wonderful woman and I am glad you were able to be with her. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Take care.
Aloha,
Deb

Suze said...

A beautiful post Kat...

Fiona said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Kat. My deepest condolences to you and your family. I'm sure your mother, being so dearly loved and missed, must be in a good place too.

Rowena... said...

That's a very beautiful quote, and also the purple orchid blooming the day after....wow.

Sending you hugs and special thoughts to you and your family.

Lindsay-Jean said...

This made me tear up, what beautiful sign from your mother that she's in a good place. You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers - big hugs.

K said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm so relieved that you were able to make it back to Hawaii in time.

K and S said...

Thank you Saburo, Sheri, JhgreenG, Dennis, Linda, Kathy, Kalin's Mommy, Helen, Alan, Jalna, Genki, Kirk, Deb, Suze, Fiona, Rowena, LJ & K!

Appreciate all the kind words & comments.

Take care.
Kat

m m said...

Kat, I'm so sorry for your loss. The quote was beautiful. Sending my thoughts to you and your family.

-myra

K and S said...

Thanks Myra :)

Take care.
Kat

Alan said...

Kat, I am so sorry for your loss. I feel your pain. My wife passed away from colon cancer exactly one year ago from last Saturday. That was super painful for me and for my family. On Saturday night, we had a family dinner in rememberance of her and we all talked about the good times we had with her. You too, will slowly get your life back to normal and your perspective on things is the right one -- your Mom is now no longer in pain and in a better place -- always remember that! Good Luck to you.

Michelle Toratani said...

Kat, I am so sorry to hear of your mom's passing. I had wondered what happened to you as you seemed so quiet on FB and I read this. As you may remember, my mom died 4 yrs ago,1.5 yrs from diagnosis from ovarian cancer. She fought very hard as well but her cancer was so advanced and her body couldn't keep up. I was holding my mom's hand when she took her last breath. I wish I could tell you that time heals things but it doesn't, it just doesn't sting quite as bad. Especially since you seemed as close to her as I was to mine. I wish I could give you a big hug. X

mariko said...

Kat, I am so, so sorry for your loss. Your mother sounds very brave, and so are you!

K and S said...

Thanks Alan, Michelle & Mariko!

Take care.
Kat

Ruby said...

Im so sorry for your loss, your tribute was beautiful and your quote brought tears ,forever are your memories and she will be with you , prayers and hugs
Aloha

eliza bennet said...

This is such a beautiful post and my condolonces.

God rest her soul in peace and give your and all her loved ones patience.

K and S said...

Thank you Ruby & Eliza :)

Take care.
kat

Kim said...

I'm so sorry, Kat. It's always difficult losing a loved one. I'm glad you were able to be there for her. Be strong and keep smiling, sister.

K and S said...

Thanks Kim!

Take care.
Kat

Phil said...

Dear Kat,
I am so sorry for your loss. You have my deepest condolences.

K and S said...

Thanks Phil, I appreciate it :)

Take care.
Kat

gtrine said...

Dear Kat,

I am very sorry to read this post about your loss. A few days ago, my brother in law died quite unexpectedly. I can imagine how devastated you and your family must be. I admire your grace and your commitment to caring for your dad. We will keep you in our thoughts and send you good wishes.

Best,
Pica

K and S said...

oh Pica! I'm sorry to hear about your BIL. I hope you and your family are doing okay. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers :)

Take care.
Kat

tamarindandthyme said...

So sorry to hear this. Big hugs to you and your family and take care!

K and S said...

Thank you Su-Lin :)

Take care.
Kat