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Your mother is dead! Your mother is dead! Your mother is dead! ...

Over and over, the three kids taunted me one Summer afternoon. I was 5 years old. I had just been adopted that Spring. I had been living at my new home in Grant Heights, Japan for a few months. These three kids were my first American friends after leaving my Obaachan. Three friends who told me my mother was dead. (Much later: age 6.) In fact, I think they were my first friends ever. They lived across the street. Their parents were like mine: American father and Japanese mother. After they ran around me yelling “your mother is dead” repeatedly, I ran home crying. I knew my mother wasn’t dead. When I got home crying, my adoptive parents sat down and told me the truth. My mother WAS dead! It w

I'm in Hawaii Standup Paddle Surfing ...

singing karaoke and “talking story” with my friends. That’s 2 of my “S” activities and it just occurred to me that “talking Story” could be an“S” activity too! And in Hawaii, no less, where I feel so much at home! I have "ocean" friends when I’m surfing; I have "island" friends with whom I spend the evenings for gatherings, karaoke, eating ono food and “talking story.” Even after a six month gap, I show up and it's as if I never left. With Josh, an ocean friend and surfer on the Beach at Waikiki. With Randy, Kris & Natori, island friends on Oahu. My experience here reminds me of one of my oldest and dearest friends. I met her in my senior year in High School in Alexandria, Virginia. I came

I'm the Luckiest Girl in the World ...

And I don’t know why. Perhaps I need to change the name of my blog from “How to Life” to something like “I’m Amazed I Got Here Alive and I Wonder How That Happened” but that would be too long for a web address. I have had my share of drama and traumatic events framing my life, more or less than anyone else. I know that I have carried lots of strange baggage, beliefs, fears, limiting hang ups, whether directly and unavoidably imposed on me, or mostly self-perpetuated and exaggerated to critical mass. I imagine everyone has had this experience and one day you wake up and wonder, “how did I get exactly here?” But does any of that matter? As I survey my whole life, I am actually baffled. It is p

You Have to Throw Them All Away ...

was what my adopted mother said as I stood and stared at two large stacks of comic books in the corner of my room. Each stack was well over two feet tall. DC action comics were in one stack and all others in the other stack, all in chronological order. These were my prized possessions. From when I was adopted at five years old until I was eight, I lived at an Air Force Base, Grant Heights, in Tokyo. In 1964, we moved to North Carolina and I couldn't take all my possessions with me. Every week for three years, I had gone to the little base exchange next to the Grant Heights Soda Fountain and bought comic books. I had only spoken Japanese until I was adopted and I learned much of my English

My Adoptive Mother Was Really Nice, but ...

I’ve already hinted that my adoptive father, Jack, was a very bad man. My Japanese adoptive mother was quiet and kind. Her father was a Buddhist priest and she was raised in a temple near Hiroshima. She went to college in Tokyo. In Tokyo, she met Jack. How or why she married Jack in her early 20’s, I don’t know. All I know is that she was more or less an oppressed military housewife, undoubtedly not how she had seen her life unfolding. She foresaw much more for me. My adoptive mother was kind but my whole life was centered on perfection, my perfection. I took piano lessons until I was 15. I was accomplished and I liked it. One day my piano professor, though praising me, told my mother that

I love my life and lifestyle but it wasn't always this way ... 

 

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