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September 17, 2009

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Jacky Robert

Thanks Nancy for sharing this part of your life. I am not sure if, in America, we value our elders enough. I admire Japan for keeping older people at the center of their life. By listening attentively to them, we can learn so much and improve as individuals.
Jacky

Mora Chartrand-Grant

By the time I finished reading Baachan I had tears in my eyes. What a lovely tribute to this incredible woman. I was thrilled to read that she has created a new life for herself. And what a first-class oyome you are! I bet that she gushes over you when she speaks with others even more than you know. Please give Baachan my very best and encourage her to never give up. She is blessed to have you and your family by her side. -- Mora

Olga Singleton

Caring for someone is not easy, but keeping their head afloat is even harder. I admire you for your huge efforts. Of course your food and cooking are a huge blessing!

Nancy Hachisu

Jacky: sometimes it is difficult to live in such proximity, but there are great advantages to this kind of life. And of course I'm hoping my boys will take care of us when we get old. Farming life lends itself to this kind of cooperative lifestyle both here and in countries all over the world. Agrarian values make so much sense, but are slipping away. But I see an exciting turn back to the land among young people in America. Hope that movement gathers more and more momentum.

Mora & Olga: the food part is easy for me as that is what I do. The spending time part is a little harder however, as I don't have the custom of sitting down for tea. But the the workers and Tadaaki do, so Baachan has a social outlet there. Baachan comes over to our part a lot these days and often comes upstairs to find out what the boys are doing.

Rodney Fong

Multi-generational living is a way of life in Hawaii, some of it out of financial necessity, but some because of our cultural background. Those of us with Asian heritage find it to be a pleasant duty to care for our elders. I grew up in a house with my father's parents, making 9 of us. In fact I lived at home until I married at age 41. My mother cared for my grandfather after his stroke, and then my grandmother after hers, finally my dad's cancer. My wife went through the same, with first her maternal grandmother, her father and most recently her mother.

My mother-in-law came to Las Vegas and Disneyland with us, to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We couldn't understand why she was so tired and slow. A month later, she found out she had lung and colon cancer and given a short prognosis. She probably suspected it, but did not have it checked. In fact, she found out about the cancer because of pain from kidney stones. As it got worse, she came to live with us for my wife to care for her. My son, who had always been close to her, loved her being here, but was devastated by her passing. She passed last June, 8 months after finding out, but lasting a few months longer than she was expected to. Being around so much family helped her last longer.

My mother, who had taken care of so many, is always concerned about who will take care of her. She seems so surprised that all of us want to and have in some way or another. In fact, we will be renovating her house and moving back in with her, as she gets on in years. It will give my son a chance to bond more with her.

Our elders are a treasure. I hope more will choose to spend time with their parents and/or grandparents after reading your story.

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