As I sit here in the comforts of my home while the crisis continues to unfold following the aftermath of the earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, I am reminded of the countless blessings I have to be grateful for and the individuals who bring my life such meaning and joy. Of course, I can’t help but think of my grandmother. She is and always will be the person who had such a profound influence on my life. And while it has been almost four years since my grandmother passed away, I continue to think of her often.

Today I want to take the time to pay homage to my grandmother who was born in Fukushima Japan. She was a creative, intelligent woman who was an amazing storyteller. She was also a very strong woman who was more than just a role model, she was the embodiment of compassion and love. Through her love and sacrifice, she not only helped my mother raise my sisters and I, she taught us what unconditional love means. The truth of the matter is my grandmother embodied so many amazing qualities, qualities I have aspired to emulate my entire life and I am forever grateful to her for instilling her cultural beliefs and values unto my heart and mind, for teaching me the importance of never forgetting where you come from and remembering to always honor who you are.

As I reflect on the last few days, I can’t help but wonder how my grandmother would feel if she were alive to witness the devastation and loss that has stricken her hometown and native country. As we stop and reflect upon this day may we be humbly reminded that when devestation strikes, any one of us could be one of the countless, nameless faces we’ve read about, or seen on t.v.. Anyone of us could be one of the thousands who have lost their lives and this reality alone serves as a reminder of just how beautiful and precious life is. At this dark hour, I am truly inspired by the resiliency of so many who at this very moment are able to find the courage and audacity to hope amidst a landscape that is desolate and cold, while there are those who continue to remain enthralled in the trials and tribulations of everyday life, unable to realize just how blessed they are to merely take a single breath. If you are reading this, please contemplate this post and take the time out to acknowledge what it is you have to be grateful for.




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