Thursday, May 19, 2011


During golden week here in Japan (May 2nd -6th) I got a phone call from one of my best friends, Kayo. She started out as my Japanese teacher years ago, then moved around a lot and then settled with her hubby in Romania. She gave birth to a cute little boy there and still tried to run an English school, here in my town,  from Romania.  We talked about a lot of things. She asked me, very seriously, why I was such a happy person. She asked me lots of questions about how I see life.  I explained that I try to see the beauty in every day things/ really enjoy the little moments and not just look forward to big things like trips abroad etc. I mentioned how I love the smell in the air before it rains.....the sound of the wind in amazing a rice field looks with the wind blowing through little students' laughter....a smile from a cute little old lady at the supermarket.... that first taste of something delicious. Things like that.

We also talked in detail about her moving back here (where I live) in July. We started making plans about where to go. We talked about her possibly working for me. We had a great conversation. She joked that she would leave her son with my husband to babysit while we went out (my hubby...he is not so good with kids...their high energy makes him crazy and stressed out). We said good-bye and said we would see each other soon. I was so happy.

I got a call this past  Sunday and was told  that she had died suddenly...shortly after our conversation. I am still in shock.  This has hit me harder than even my favorite aunt's death. Perhaps it is because she was only around my age. Perhaps it is because it was so sudden. Perhaps it is because I was excited about her moving back here. Perhaps it is because we had talked about future plans.

 I don't know.

What I do know is that since March there has been a lot of death. The earthquake and tsunami here in Japan. 2 of my aunts died (and one other has terminal brain cancer). And now Kayo. I have shed more tears in this short time than I have in many years combined.

What I do know is that our last conversation is still in my head. She said I inspired her to try to live life in a more positive enjoy the little moments.  I have to keep doing that myself. Even, or perhaps especially, at this time.  The beauty and the people that surround us is so important. It is too easy to take them for granted. To not see them.  But, for me, it is the little moments that make life special and wondrous and I can't forget that. 

One of my favorite quotes sums it up nicely:

I like living.
I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all, I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing. ~ Agatha Christie

Life is too short and you never know what it will throw at you. I am more determined than ever to live life fully... to savor and enjoy every moment.

Thank you Kayo for having been in my life.


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