It’s been a while since I wrote a post, hopefully you missed them. 🙂  I had been dealing with a lot of firsts: my first birthday without my Mom, first Mother’s Day, first Thanksgiving, Christmas, and her first anniversary in January. It took (and still does) grief therapy sessions, prayers, wonderful family and friends to help me make it through them. Not only that but they reminded me of the grace and joy still in those very days.

In the midst of these firsts, I began my first major round of edits for THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM, with my publisher. It excited and overwhelmed me. Excitement because I knew that meant I was on the road to publication. That said, upon opening the Track Changes editing program with its maze of lines and comments, I did what any dedicated author would do. I closed it. I Grabbed a paper bag and began hyperventilating into it. My one thought- I was not capable of writing an email, never mind a blog post, and certainly not a novel.

But, I then made a batch of crispy rice treats, hot cocoa (to soften the blow) and opened it again. I read one comment at a time, instead of all at once (I ran out of paper bags). My editors were so helpful with their comments and directives for new scenes. They also had a lot to say of what they liked-that renewed my hope.

An interesting thing about the timing of these edits, aside from having a tight deadline around the Christmas holiday, recovering from a pain flare, and researching for the new scenes(OK I did enjoy that), was I could visit with my mom once again. I looked through some of my research books and found notes of questions I had meant to ask my mother but never got the chance. But I also found information about her family tree that I had forgotten about.

I could hear the catch and tremble in her voice when she recalled the sad, horrific times. But I could also hear her voice retelling me the joyful loving events of her childhood. I could see the smile on her face and the love shining in her eyes. I remembered the long and tight hugs she would give me afterwards.

So as I approach the second Mother’s day without her, I realize that with each presentation I give, with each person who may read my book, with each hug I give to/receive from my daughter, and with each pain flare I get through, my mother’s love and perseverance are there. These realizations do not erase the ache of losing her. But knowing and remembering that she will always be with me, begins to fill some of the cracks in my broken heart.

the three Ishikawas

Happy Mother’s day Mom, with love from your daughter & granddaughter.

And Happy Mother’s day to all of you Moms out there!

Linking up at:


21 thoughts on “SECOND TO NONE

  1. I’m so excited to see this post from you! Even in such a difficult month, you managed to share a warm article with smiles, love, and happy memories. Very happy for you and your upcoming book! Less than 50 days to go! 🙂
    Wishing you a belated happy birthday and Mother’s day with love xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so excited that your book is almost ready. How wonderful that you have someone in the industry to represent you. That should make it less daunting for you. Good luck with the editing, I’m sure it will be a wonderful book.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Carole, thank you so much! I’m looking forward to reading yours as well! (I have a couple in front of it I am reading to review). I know yours will be a good read as well😊


  3. eightpawswriting says:

    A wonderful blog. So excited to read your book. I know your emotions will feel the pages. I understand the adrenaline rush. I had a panic attack when we finished the final revision. It terrified me it was going to be read by others! So be prepared for lots of emotional swings! It will be worth it!
    Sending Hugs!


    • Dear Sheri, Thank you so much. I’m sure you could relate to the revisions process with SEVEN DAYS TO GOODBYE-which is one of the books I’m in the middle of reading and am loving it! Your emotions fill your pages as well! Hugs back and can’t wait to see you at the conference and have you autograph my copy of your book!


  4. Lovely post, Kathleen. (enjoyed the paper bag humor too!) I don’t have a completed ms. and am finding that I need to remind myself of a word, sentence, scene at a time. Thinking about a whole novel IS overwhelming. But NOW I have yours to read. What an encouragement to me!! You did it!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Carol. Paper bag is true story😊 That is so sweet of you to say! I’m looking forward to the day when I’m reviewing your ARC of HALF TRUTHS!


  5. Kathleen, I pray for peace for you through this difficult time – thank you for being brave with your story! I’m glad the link up brought me to read your lovely words.


  6. Being Woven says:

    Yes, I have missed you! So delighted to see your face on Holley’s linkup! I have been praying for you and will continue as your “,,,Cherry Blossom” book is moving through the steps to be published! How exciting, even when you have to use a paper bag!
    Thank you for sharing about your mother too, Kathleen. It has been 3+ years now since my Mama died and I miss her so, but God brings those sweet memories to the surface and presses down the sad and hard stuff way more often now! I am so grateful to Him for those gifts. And as you can see by my post this week, He continues to use my caregiving experiences to share with others. This is the third time I have done this one (two as a guest poster). I am amazed. They come to me and I am not needing to ask.
    I care about you and look forward to reading your book.
    ~ linda


    • Linda, you always have the right words describing the emotions revealed through grace. I will also be thinking of you on Mother’s Day. I care about you as well and am grateful for your prayers and compassion. I can definitely understand how He continues to use your experiences to help all in need. ❤


  7. Joan Y. Edwards says:

    Dear Kathleen,
    I love reading your blog. It’s like I’m there with you, listening and understanding your emotions!

    I’m so excited about your book’s release in August!

    Thanks for sharing with us.

    Believe in You
    Never Give Up


    • Dear Joan, thank you so much for your compliments. Your friendship is huge blessing in my life. Thank you for your excitment about my book release. The feeling is mutual with your JOAN’s ELDER CARE GUIDE! ❤


  8. Ellen says:

    Another beautiful blog! Thanks!
    Missed you Tuesday. Hope you are doing well and had a wonderful presentation last Friday.
    Crispy Rice Treats, Hot Cocoa and Paper Bags with Pride!
    Chubby Huggs…xoxoxo…Ellen

    Sent from my iPad



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