About Me  

I'm joining Service Space because ... I have been and continue to be inspired by the joy found in folks who give from their hearts, who do just because they love....there is big love and big hearts within/amongst those connected with servicespace!

A good day to me is when ... there is a lot of laughter from the belly

My hero in life is ...my grandmother, Mutsuko

My favorite book is ...the little prince

One thing I'm grateful for is ... my health, my friendships, my curiosity...(I know I know, one thing, but actually this could amount to a long page a day :-)

Back In May Of 2015, DailyGood ...

Jul 16, 2020, 6 smiles Back in May of 2015, DailyGood ran a heart-warming story (http://www.dailygood.org/story/1021/reverend-violet-little-encore-org/) of Reverend Violet Little who “ left behind her congregation of 14 years to create a refuge for the homeless that would become the “church without walls” called the Welcome Church.” Recently Pastor Violet wrote to us sharing that through that post, she met a woman in Florida and her husband who began to support the Welcome Church in various ways, especially their women and knitting ministry. After years of their support, she writes, “my husband and I got to meet them on a cruise stop in Florida. It was a joyous moment and Betsy, her husband Fernando, Val and my husband Willie have all become dear friends...Thank you Daily Good for the goodness you spread!” --- She sent us this pic sharing "top: Val and Willie (my husband) sitting: Fernando (Betsy’s husband) Betsy, and me" --So special!    

Inspiring Link

Mar 13, 2020, 5 smiles Really loved today's DAILYGOOD --- Do Not Lose Heart, We Were Made for These Times, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes Clarissa Pinkola Estes stirringly invites us to embrace the moment we are in with all of its fear, uncertainty, and turmoil. She says, "I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it...In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wro...

Leading With Kindness

Mar 05, 2020, 3 comments, 9 smiles I haven't written much in a while - not since my grandmother died really -thought I'd write a little today. Wanting to bring back again stories of kindness that I was able to share when she was alive. Feeling a little rusty. Thank you for your understanding. Enjoy..... Went to the doctor yesterday - for the first time since just before she died and that was with her. This was my first time at this hospital and with this doctor for a check up. I was unsure of where to go or what to do. I decided to lead with kindness gratitude and humility. I asked the first person I saw, as I was walking out of the parking lot, if they could point me in the right direction. It turned out it was only her second day working there. We both laughed at the irony. She pointed me towards the main ... Read Full Story

Inspiring Link

Jan 05, 2020, 8 smiles My dear friend of 20 years and I were talking about what it was like for him as a black man in this society these days. I was remembering how the police used to chase him through the park as he was leaving school. We were in grad school together – he, a Stanford alumnus, used to come in before most of us and leave long after – the police didn’t see the scholar he was but rather, something else. He lives in NYC now where black men are Stopped and Frisked at random. Each time an innocent man is chased or cuffed because of his color, it leaves a mark. I asked my friend, now a professor who works with Restorative Justice, how he manages in a world where stories full of black men who are shot, killed etc seem to dominate…his answer was long and deep but one ... Read Full Story

Forever In My Heart

Sep 09, 2019, 2 comments, 12 smiles Dear Friends - particularly those who have come to love Grandma or as I call her Bachan or Obaachan (in japanese) - less formal, the way a child might address their grandmother (over the more formal Obaasan) ... I don't say "my" or "mine" now because in a way, she became all of our grandmothers.... Mutsuko Ukegawa Iwatate left for the spirit world August 31st, 2019 at 6:07pm. She didn't seem to have any pain and went so quietly, we weren't even sure she had left. She waited until my mother got there (Mom lives out of state and just had major back surgery getting cleared for travel just 2 days prior) - 20 minutes after my mother came in - she let go. Her three daughters, were in the room along with me, my uncle and John. I whispered to her, I love you Bachan forever. We will never ... Read Full Story

Grandma Chronicles Aka Elder Wisdom ~ John: ...

Aug 19, 2019, 2 comments, 19 smiles Grandma Chronicles aka Elder Wisdom ~ John: How did you become such a happy person? Obaachan: I am happy because I don't have much time before I die. Me: You mean, so why be sad? (as in- no time for sadness) Obaachan: Yes. ... I don't hate no one. NO ONE. I have no hate. I have good friends. You are my good friends. I have good children too - Irene, Gracie, Joann, Larry and Bobby. Me: Gracie is my mom :) Obaachan: Really? Me: I'm your grand-daughter :) Obaachan: You are?! Oh, how nice! Me: Would you like to call Gracie? Obaachan: Okay! Me: Hi Mom! John: Hi Grace! Obaachan: Gracie! Where are you? Come and visit! Grace: I will soon :) Obaachan: Be good okay? Be nice to people, forever okay? Grace: Okay, I will. Forever :) Mia: Okay, Mom, we love you! John: Love you, Grace! Obaachan: We looooove you! We won't forget you. Grace: I love you all too :) There was more but this was the heart of the conversation - "The heart of the matter" -#lovematters 💞    

Bound By Love Not Labels

Jul 27, 2019, 3 comments, 9 smiles Last night, when I went to see my grandmother, she was sitting alone at the nurses station with her word search book (for those of you who don’t know – when my grandmother came to live here over 5 years ago, I tried many things to keep her occupied – painting, magazines, crossword, music, coloring, mazes…but it was only her word search book that kept her interest…the one thing her mind could follow – she began to think of it as her job; it kept her from wandering – over these 5 years, I have gotten her the same BIG EASY WORDSEARCH book at least 17 times… each one has 100 puzzles and she does them all. Recently coloring simple pictures like fishes has gotten her attention too)….. SO my grandmother was sitting at the desk with her book but no pencil just staring at the letters as if she was ... Read Full Story

Being With The Other; Moving Towards Wholeness

Jun 19, 2019, 1 comments, 21 smiles I love this quote by Rumi – “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing there is a field. I'll meet you there” --- I am always interested in places of commonality. When I was asked to attend the “Hands Head Heart” retreat in Banyan Grove recently on “Being with the Other” – I thought, is “other” the right side or the wrong? And, how does the field in between hold the “others?” Is it a mutually agreed up space? Is it one that is built over time as in a bridge? I am not sure but I am interested in the questions and especially happy to be invited to this particular exploration. Saying YES to the invite was an easy decision. Of course truth be told, I am pretty much unable to say NO to any requests of Audrey, Nipun or any of his family for that matter. When someone ... Read Full Story

A Story Of Togetherness -

Jun 17, 2019, 6 comments, 17 smiles Last week, my partner John and I came to see my grandmother at the nursing home where she lives…as we were walking down the hall towards her room, I saw the elder who wears an orange turban ….I don’t know him exactly and he doesn’t speak anymore but I always stop and say hello when I see him; I put my hand out and usually he will look at me, lift his hand up and we shake hands; he has the most gentle spirit and strong presence even though he is ½ foot here on earth and 1 ½ in the spirit world. I don’t know much about turbans exactly – from the outside it is a very simple thing- fabric wrapped around the head and yet, I know it is so much more, sacred in fact; his is typically always immaculately placed around his head covering his hair; he is ... Read Full Story

Just Back From A Produce Market ...

Dec 07, 2017, 8 smiles Just back from a produce market shopping spree ( a small market with a reputation for some aggressive behavior). The last time I was at a produce market, I was sensitive to what “wasn’t working” so today, I focused my attention on what was. One of the clerks remembered me and stopped to ask how I was doing. A woman helped me with my basket, while another smiled at me and remarked about the weather. On my way out, an elderly gentleman laughed at my bushel of kale (he did not know about my pet snail's tortoise appetite lol ) we shared smiles and small chitchat and then he wished me a lovely day. Consciously focusing on the good seems to bring out more good - What a beautiful thing. 😊❤️