A New Year Ushers in a New Reality

As some of you may have noticed, I have been very quiet on the blogging front.
My mother, as I have mentioned in my last post, has been battling a serious disease. I have gratefully spent all my time and energy helping her on this journey of her illness. On January 15th, my Mother Toshiko, went to heaven. She gave me the gift of life some number of years ago. On that January day she blessed me with the gift of her last smile.

There is a new reality I must get used to. A new reality shadowed by emptiness and a broken heart.
My mother had to quickly adapt to her new reality of hospital stays and sickness beginning the week of Thanksgiving. But as sick and exhausted as she was, she certainly was never fragile. She exuded such mental strength. She knew how she wanted to treat her disease and made sure the doctors understood as well.

She worried about the grief I would feel and how that would increase my RSD pain after she left.
Once a mother always a mother.

However, she was not just my mother. She was a walking glimpse of history that inspired me and my writing. She lost so much at the age of 12 in Hiroshima. I will always be amazed and continue to say that she never lost the ability to love; especially when it came to my daughter or to me.

Mom and Grandfather
I am grateful that she read the latest draft of THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM, and knew that it would be published.
She leaves an empty space in all of the upcoming first holidays and celebrations, but in time the cracks in my heart will fill with the memories of her love for me. I take comfort in knowing she is smiling down at my family and me, as she is reunited with hers in heaven.

If I can live my life with just half the strength and love that she lived hers, then I will truly be a success.
I miss you Mom and am so proud to be your daughter. I love you very much.


I am also sharing this post at:


42 thoughts on “A New Year Ushers in a New Reality

  1. breakdownchick says:

    I lost my mom almost 10yrs ago to cancer. I too was the caretaker through her illness. That is traumatic in itself. I feel your pain and sorrow, and if you ever need to talk or vent, I am here. Many blessings~*


  2. Being Woven says:

    Dear Kathleen,
    I am so very grateful that you found my fairly recent post on the loss of my mother two years ago, just January 30th. We will always miss them and yet will know their love in our heart of hearts. I am thankful that you were able to spend your time with her those last weeks. You will never regret that. As I said in my post, the hard moments, seeing them suffer, knowing that the hospital bed was hard, or being interrupted by staff far too frequently for comfort…those memories will fade and the sweet words, the gentle kisses, the quiet time spent with her will surface far more. I hold you in my prayers, Kathleen.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda


      • Yes, I found comfort in knowing and now understanding that God has given us beautiful memories and in the early months and even longer, those things you would hope to forget do surface, but God brings forth those precious moments and they linger longer and stay with in the heart. I will stay in touch with you, Kathleen, if you don’t mind. I care. ~ linda

        Liked by 1 person

      • Being Woven says:

        In case you do not get my response to your comment on Soli Deo Gloria, this is what I wrote to you:
        Oh, Kathleen, I believe you will be blessed more than you can know. Sweet memories God will bring amidst hard moments or days. I believe He would want you to remember your mother as He knows her. Caring through Christ, ~ linda

        PS…I have also made a note to myself to watch for your book as biographies and historical fiction are just about my favorite reads. : )

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Kathleen, Please accept a cyberhug from me for the loss of your mother. I have found through my life that the people I’ve cherished who’ve passed along left a part of themselves in my heart. May you find the same when your loved ones die. Sarah


  4. Dear Kathy,
    I was so sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. You and your mom look so happy together in the photo here. I admire you for sharing her influence on you and your life. Your novel will help many to learn of her experiences, strength, and love. What a wonderful tribute to her.


    • Linda, thank you so much. That picture is definitely one of my favorites with her. That was taken when she came to visit about a couple months before she moved down. It was before we even knew she was sick. You are a wonderful friend.


  5. Kathleen,
    My heart goes out to you right now after the loss of your mom- especially so close to the holidays and your birthday. But in a way, her memory will be ever present in the coming years around the holidays.
    How precious that you were able to spend so much time with her and care for her in the end. I know you made her last days beautiful with your loving spirit and kindness to make her comfortable.
    You follow in her footsteps showing your strength in writing this beautiful tribute to her.

    “In time the cracks in my heart will fill with the memories of her love for me” is an amazing quote that touches my heart.
    God be with you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman. Yes, you do have her strength, even when you aren’t feeling strong. Just the fact that you were able to write this while you are still grieving is testament to your strength. Hugs and prayers for all of you!


    • Thank you so much. It made me smile to read that you feel I have her strength. I don’t always see it that way, especially when the tears flow. I am so glad that you spent so much time with me growing up and that you got to really know mom as well. She loved you a lot. Hugs back to you.


  7. Joan Y. Edwards says:

    Dear Kathleen,
    I am sorry that your Mother died. I know you will miss her. I am so glad that she and your father had you so I could meet you and be your friend. I am saying extra prayers for you and your family.

    Love you very much and admire you and your Mom and Dad.


    • Joan, thank you so much for reading my post and for your words of comfort. You made my heart smile when you said you were so glad that my mom and dad had me so we could meet and be friends. I am so grateful for that as well! Love you too and I have always admired your strength.


    • Carol, thank you so much for all your prayers through out my mom’s sickness and for my family now. You have been so supportive and have given my strength during this time. Thank you for your friendship. And the best compliment I could get is that she taught me about strength and grace 🙂


  8. Kathleen,
    This is a beautiful post. Your mother sounds like she was a beautiful person and a wonderful role model. My deepest sympathies to you in this difficult time.
    (Glad to have found you over at Holley’s today!)


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