We were pleased that our daughter, Laurie, flew down from San Francisco to visit for a few days. Laurie is a year older than her sister, Julie, who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We had a good time reminiscing about the two of them growing up in the house we have lived in for over 50 years.

In recent years, it has become obvious our roles have changed. I turned 87 this year. I do our own gardening and, of course, using a ladder for yard work is strictly out of the question. And, another matter: The other night she heard me walking in the hallway shuffling my feet. Laurie told me to pick up my feet, because shuffling would cause me to fall and injure myself.

In all of this I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I can understand and appreciate Laurie’s hovering is because she truly loves both of us, and yet — the other day I used a term from my very limited Japanese vocabulary and whispered to Marion, “Yakamashii,” which, loosely translated, means Laurie is getting too “nosy” and bossy.

Laurie and Marion

A few years ago, Iku Kiriyama, whose late husband, George, served on the L.A. Board of Education, gave a workshop at which she discussed matters we seniors need to consider before dying. These matters she placed into what she termed “Iku’s Box.” In the box was a list of matters such as: Wills, funeral arrangements, insurance, etc.

I give Iku a lot of credit for performing a very essential service. We can all agree these are matters that need to be taken care of before we die and yet we see how hard it is to do. A big motivator can be that in doing what needs to be done now, we make the job easier for the loved ones we leave behind.

So, Laurie, you can be yakamashii and we understand. Perhaps we can realize what is behind your caring for us in this way and it can be a motivator for us to do the right things for you now.


Phil Shigekuni writes from San Fernando Valley and can be contacted at Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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