Skip to main content

A few words on moms (for the family of Setsuko Nao Hamasaki)

[I was asked to say a few words at the funeral of a close family and personal friend.  Someone asked me to post it, so here it is.  Doug]

Setsuko Nao Hamasaki (March 3, 1924 - August 12, 2011)

As you've heard, our families have been close for a couple of generations.  And, I think I’m up here partly because I know what it's like to lose your mother.  Mine passed away several years ago, and I know there are people here who have suffered the same thing recently.

The natural order of things has us losing both our parents, but that doesn’t make it an easy thing. And moms are unique in ways that make their loss particularly deep.  

Moms and dads are different.  And I don’t think it's exclusively a Japanese thing, but for some reason sons think we are descended from our fathers.  Sometimes to the extent that we are named after them.  But that’s not true.  We come from our mothers.  When we are born, she’s known us for a while already.  She's known us from the very beginning.  On the other hand some of us have never even met our fathers.  Statistically, some of us here.  Am I right?

Now, Iʻm going to describe something that happened, something true, something that happened to all of us.  You will all know it's true and that it really happened, but no one here will actually remember it because it happened before we were capable of forming memories, before we could even perceive very clearly.  This happened within a few minutes of our being born, most likely.  But let me describe it, and you follow along in your mind and tell me it's true.

Now at some point we become consumed with “becoming.”  Of learning, and behaving, and appearing, and that sort of thing.  But it wasn’t like that when we were first born.  We were completely helpless. 

And when we were in that state, when we were first born and capable of nothing, our mothers held us in her arms, and looked down at us.  And what she saw was the most amazing, the most wonderful, the most beautiful thing in the entire Universe. We didn't have to do anything.  We didn't have to be anybody.  And she would do anything and everything for us. True?

You will never ever meet anyone else who feels that about you.  Ever.  No one.   No one else is even capable of it.  The one person that felt that way about you is gone.  The one person that felt that way about you is gone when you lose your mother.  That's why it's such a profound loss.  That’s why it is so sad.

But you should feel sad.  While we’re all here for you, you can feel as sad as you will ever feel about this.  Because we feel it too, we feel the loss.  And we are all here to help you, we are all here to be with you.

I want to thank all of you for this opportunity to address the Hamasaki family.  Thank you.

H. Doug Matsuoka
22 August 2011 

Comments

  1. Im so sorry for what happened to your mom. wherever she is I know that she's in hands of our GOD. It will be also painful to me or to every person if their mother will also pass away. I guess we are really more attached to our mothers. Thank you for this post, I enjoyed reading it much. you can also visit this site to read more http://www.aipingwang.net

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

HCDA creates their own anti-homeless police at HAR hearing

While no one was watching, the HCDA (Hawaiʻi Community Development Authority) held  a Hawaii Administrative Rules hearing that creates their own anti-homeless police force, and (incidentally) raises park fees by up to 500%. The affected parks are at the intersection of Honolulu Council Districts 4, 5, and 6, (Trevor Ozawa, Ann Kobayashi, and Carol Fukunaga respectively) but none (or their staff) were present today. These laws were made without any oversight from the public or their elected representatives.

Who knew that such sweeping changes could be made without the oversight of any elected officials? And after one decision making hearing that is accountable to no one? If the Honolulu City Council had to rule on such changes, it would require three full council hearings, and opportunities for public participation at each.

My own interest in attending the hearing was to get some kind of hint as to the mechanism the City would use to curtail First Amendment rights in Thomas Square afte…

What The City Doesn’t Want You To Know About Thomas Square

[This article was originally published by CivilBeat on July 21, 2016. I'm reprinting it with video clips. Doug]

The City of Honolulu plans to close Thomas Square on Aug. 15 for six months and re-open it in February 2017 as something completely different, according to its master plan. Although city officials have unveiled grandiose plans concerning a drastic makeover, there are a number of troubling things they are trying to keep under cover:

1. It will no longer be a public park. The master plan calls for Thomas Square to be transferred from the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, where it is a public park, to its Department of Enterprise Services. What is it? The department runs the Blaisdell Center, the Waikiki Shell, the zoo and the public golf courses. By way of a memo dated April 28 from the city’s enterprise chief Guy Kaulukukui to the state’s head of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the city asked the state to make changes to allow a change of purpose for…

Eric Seitz: Pro bono is a crock

At yesterday's "Justice in Jeopardy, Expanding Access to Justice in Challenging Economic Times" at the UH Richardson Law School, Dean of Harvard Law School Martha L. Minow pointed out that one in five Americans now qualify for civil legal assistance because they are within 125% of the Poverty Level -- a record high in the history in the county. As the demand for legal services grows, the available resources continue to diminish, leaving most without the "equal protection" of the law.

I checked out the breakout session on pro bono because I used to work for Hawaii's pro bono referral service, Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii (VLSH).

These days, most pro bono services are not attorneys representing clients, but short informational sessions at legal clinics. Moderator Robert LeClair asked attorney Eric Seitz what he thought of this turn in pro bono services.  This is what Eric said:

"Well, let me start out by saying that I've always thought pro bono w…