I think we can all agree that change is hard, yet we all know it is inevitable. I am the kind of person who takes comfort in same place, same thing and was initially saddened to hear about the sale of Keiro’s facilities.

My Issei maternal grandmother lived until the ripe old age of 100. Her last 6-1/2 years were spent at South Bay Keiro. I would not trade those years we spent together for anything in the world.

Our Issei ancestors were bound together as a community due to a lack of English communication skills, resources available to them as immigrants, and other external circumstances. Flexibility and compromise were highly valued as they worked together for the common good.

In the preceding decades, no one could have predicted all the changes brought by healthcare reform, skyrocketing operating costs or the impact of the economy on healthcare in general. However, we did know that my parents’ generation is very different from their parents. Therefore their priorities, needs, and resources also differ.

My goal is to keep my parents independent and in their own home as long as humanly possible. If and when we need a care facility, it will most likely be close to where I live so I can visit often and take them okai and my cousin’s homemade umeboshi.

I believe our late Issei elders and the founding fathers of Keiro would be saddened to see this division in the community that they worked so hard to create and maintain.

I am so very grateful to Keiro for caring for my grandmother and the whole community over this past half-century. I appreciate the well-thought-out conditions the attorney general has set on the sale of the facilities to ensure high standards will be upheld for the current residents. I look forward and support Keiro as they continue their tradition and mission of enhancing the lives of Japanese American seniors.

Most of all, I hope and pray for peace and unity in our community as we face the future together.

Susan Yamashiro is a lifelong resident of the South Bay. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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