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.


Kelly Kilmer said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your friend and for the family members that she leaves behind. Your post brought tears to my eyes. Every moment that we have is a gift. We spend so much time and energy on silly things when it really is about the small, every day things that make life so special.
Sending big hugs and much love.

Cutie Fishball said...

Sorry for your loss, and I have been following you blog for a while and lately it's been deaths in your family... but please move on! Ganbatte! I wish you will cheer up again and post inspiring blogs for all of us!!!

Mimi and Tilly said...

I am so sorry to read of your loss of your friend. What a terrible shock. Your blog post is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your feelings and thoughts, and for posting the quote by Agatha Christie. I know there are no words that make the sadness easier to carry but know that you are in my thoughts. em x

Used dozer auction said...

Nice post! Japan is a beautiful country to visit here. Last year I was visited with my Family in Japan.

Jula said...

sorry for your loss :(
stay strong and positive XOXO

chinamommy said...

Oh my goodness, I am SOOOOOO sorry to hear this but what a wonderful friend you were to her! That is a real tribute to you that she saw you as such a happy person who inspired her!
I am praying for you and sending a big hug your way. I hope there is MUCH happiness down the road for you. I am reading a wonderful book right now called LOVE WINS by my pastor Rob Bell- if you would like me to get a copy for you, let me know :) You know where to find me, right?

Suze said...

I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend and family members. I pray that God will be with you and help you through this time. Aloha.

catwrangler said...

I am so sorry about Kayo. I have no words to help you feel better but you have been so strong.

Grace said...

I am sorry for your loss - let's think about all the memories you have made with them... you are special to all of them!! Hugs.. thinking of you in Japan...

sugarmouse said...

this post was so moving... and i don't even know either of you. i am truly sorry for your loss.


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