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 :-)

Spent Another Lovely Evening With My ...

May 05, 2017, 1 comments, 16 smiles Spent another lovely evening with my grandmother who said to me when I was putting her to bed, "you make everything so happy, it fills me to my heart. I want to thank you but more than thank you, deeper." Out of her amazing mind of mystery come the most profoundly touching words; they are so simple and always feel like a rare gift of truth; they come inconsistently and without warning startling me to my core. I breathe deeper at these times, but I let it be normal, joyful -"You make ME happy, Bachan - Thank YOU!" We laugh and hug and kiss and as I fix her pillows and blankets, she begins to sing a sweet tune before saying, "Thank you again, okay?!" Smiling, happy. Then, as I turn out the lights, she drifts off to sleep. I linger a moment longer, watching like a mother and little girl both. I know that every time I visit could be the last time I see her alive. No next moment is guaranteed. We only have now. I am grateful for now. "It fills me to my heart." ❤  

A Grandma Story

Apr 08, 2017, 4 comments, 12 smiles When I walked into her room at the nursing home this evening, my grandmother didn't know exactly who I was but she knew that we were friends and said, you want to go somewhere? And I said, yes let's go. She said, should I bring my purse? No, I said. We don't need your purse, we won't go far. Okay, she said. So we walked around the hall as if for the first time and came back as if gone much longer than we had been. I'm hungry, she said. We have a snack here for you - how about some cut up watermelon and tea? That sounds good, she said. The nurse offered a few graham crackers as well. You have some of that cracker, my grandmother said. I offered my grandmother’s roommate Anna Mae a cracker too which she accepted and we all sat quietly for a moment, eating ... Read Full Story

A Smile Goes A Long Way

Mar 01, 2017, 1 comments, 11 smiles Currently, Mondays are my only days off - which also means it is, for me, Grandma/Bachan Day...last Monday I wasn't able to see her so I was especially happy and excited to get to see her today. When I am gone longer than a week, I wonder will she know we belong to each other? I no longer assume she will know that I am her granddaughter OR the details of our history together but I still expect her to know I am family somehow. I understand that there may come a day when she doesn't. Thankfully, when I approached her room this afternoon and tapped on the window in front of her, she saw me with recognition. She clapped her hands together and motioned for me to come to her, which I did, and we hugged a long time. It has been so long since I've seen you! Thank ... Read Full Story

A Christmas Story ...

Dec 28, 2016, 14 smiles Second year in a row to spend Christmas eve with my grandmother and John at her nursing home. Mostly, it is like any other day or evening. We walk in, sign in, say hello to any of the staff that knows us or any of the elders who are around the front desk. There is a Christmas tree and other decorations but I feel they are taken for granted. No one seems to pay them any mind. John went down to the activities/dining room to see if Bachan was there before we made our way down the various halls to her room. He stopped to talk to someone at another room – which is a bit unusual since it is more something I do – I am more apt to get side-tracked whereas he is more directed. Turns out this woman, Irene, knew him from his Foundry school days. She had ... Read Full Story

A Sweet Story For The Heart...Went ...

Nov 27, 2016, 3 comments, 14 smiles A sweet story for the heart...Went to see my grandmother (at the nursing home where she has lived over 2 1/2 years now) with John after being gone for 10 days. We took her to one of our favorite Japanese restaurants where the owner/chef has in the past given my grandmother healing dishes when she was sick. He wasn't in tonight but everyone was so happy to see us and gave us so many dishes on the house, just because. When we left, John, Bachan and I all bowed in gratitude and 8 of the staff who had come out to say good-bye all bowed back in response, saying Thank you to my grandmother in Japanese even though they are all Korean. So many smiles. After that we stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few items because I wanted to get a treat for the Nurse on ... Read Full Story

Keeping It Human

Sep 08, 2016, 8 comments, 19 smiles Bachan, my grandmother, has had a series of health setbacks recently that have surfaced thorny challenges, and plenty of opportunities for me to practice 'standing my sacred ground'. In an environment where administrators and health practitioners can quickly grow defensive, I have tried to stay in curiosity and keep it human to human.  Keeping it human is one thing that is slowing folks down.  For instance at the hospital Sunday, a woman came in to take blood from my grandmother. I asked her if she was good at finding the vein. She side mouthed, I don't know." I said, "Treat her like she was your grandmother. I don't want her to hurt anymore."  Bachan chimed in with, "Wow you are so good looking!" (She was a beautiful African American woman with braids)...how can you not soften?) Later, the woman said, "Never apologize for loving and caring for someone. You telling me to treat her like ... Read Full Story

There But For The Grace

Sep 02, 2016, 1 comments, 19 smiles [Below is the poem I offered at the ServiceSpace community evening.] There But for the Grace, by Wislawa Szymborska It could have happened. It had to happen. It happened sooner. Later. Nearer. Farther. It happened not to you. You survived because you were the first. You survived because you were the last. Because you were alone. Because of people. Because you turned left. Because you turned right. Because rain fell. Because a shadow fell. Because sunny weather prevailed. Luckily, there was a wood. Luckily there were no trees. Luckily there was a rail, a hook, a beam, a brake, a frame, a bend, a millimeter, a second. Luckily a straw was floating on the surface. Thanks to, because, and yet, in spite of. What would have happened had not a hand, a foot, by a step, a hairsbreadth by sheer coincidence. So you’re here? Straight from a moment still ajar? The net had one eyehole, and you got through it? There’s no end to my wonder, my silence. Listen how fast your heart beats in me.   

Beauty Ever Present ...

Mar 15, 2016, 2 comments, 15 smiles Anne Frank wrote - “I don't think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains” from a "very small, very dark and dank" secret annex. Days and Nights and Nights and Days of hiding in silence and fear. Still, for her - beauty remained. I visited the room in Amsterdam where she had lived and even with a deep sadness and pain in my chest, I felt her light. Here is my grandmother - she has very little and yet, is grateful for every thing AND she does not miss the flowers in the tree or on the ground - she reminds me to see deeper - to focus on "the beauty that still remains" - today, we took her to get a simple manicure (her first one, she got at 88 - now at 95 with dementia, it seems like the first time). She told the ... Read Full Story

Come With Us :)

Nov 18, 2015, 8 smiles For the next few weeks I am staying with some close friends of mine out of state - a couple with three kids (the kids - 14, 11 and 3 - I have known all their lives). The Dad had heart surgery on Monday. It feels important to be here helping where I can but, at the same time, I am missing my grandmother, my friend (she now takes to calling me her “special friend”) and of course -my ever supportive love, john. John said he would check in with her while I am gone. He saw her today and wrote me the note below. ************************ So I had a great visit w/bachan. She did it all. We went to patio - sat in the sun and talked before doing the new word search book you got her which she appreciated. It was a sincere conversation to be forgotten in the next moment but lets me in on ... Read Full Story

Visit To Instilling Goodness School

Oct 30, 2015, 3 comments, 18 smiles Last week, about 40 of us went on a field trip to City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.  Among the many unexpected ripples, few of us (Madhu, Vinya, Pancho, Nipun and I) spoke to the boys and girls  school assembly. We each shared stories, engaged in lots of Q&A, laughed a lot, did a movement exercise at the end, and gave out ample hugs.  It was a very touching experience.  At one point in the assembly, a young girl raises her hand and says, "I'd like to share an act of kindness. When I was very stressed about my Chemistry exam, one of my friends asked me if she can help. I told her that while I would have to stay awake the whole night, I would feel so much better if she slept in my room that night. So she did! It meant the world to me, but I've never thanked ... Read Full Story