I will be back in Hawaii next month to talk on caregiving and for the release of my new book from Watermark Publishing, “Echoes of Kapoho.”

Please check this column, my blog or Facebook page for updated schedules. For now, here is my schedule:

  • Thursday, Nov. 7, 10-11:45 a.m.: I will be at the Kau Rural Health Community Association, Inc., in Pahala at an event for caregivers. It is sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association, Kau Rural Health Community Association, Inc. and Watermark Publishing. Lunch will be served. The Kau Rural Health Community Association, Inc. is located at 96 Puahala St. Registration by Friday, Nov. 1, is required. Call Auntie Jessie or Auntie Theresa at (808) 928-0101 to register, or email Patrick Toal of the Alzheimer’s Association at patoal@alz.org.
  • Saturday, Nov. 9, 11:30 a.m.: I will be introducing my new book, “Echoes of Kapoho,” at Basically Books (1672 Kamehameha Ave.)

At 10 a.m. on that same day, I will be at the Hawaii Island Adult Care conference, speaking on caregiving from 10 – 11 a.m. Call Marcie Saquing at (808) 961-3747, ext. 107, for reservations.

I will also be traveling to Maui on this trip, giving lectures/workshops on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 20, 5-7 p.m. A lecture for the Alzheimer’s Association at: Maui Adult Day Care: 665 Kahalui Rd, Kahalui, Maui.

Call Christine Spencer for reservations at 808-591-2771: ext. 8235 or

Kathleen Couch at: 808-871-5804.

. Friday, Nov. 22: Keynote address at the 18th Maui Family Caregiver Conference sponsored by the Maui County Office on Aging at the Grand Wailea Resort. Call Vicki Belloumini at: (808) 270-7233 for details and reservations.

And, finally, O‘ahu book signing dates for “Echoes of Kapoho” are still being secured. Please check my Blog and Facebook page for the dates.






Morning Shock Waves

Morning Shock Waves


Who is this woman

In my morning mirror?

Who let this old

Japanese woman in?


I have fallen in aftershocks

From devastating earthquakes –

Aftershocked from broken romances –

Rear-ended crashes .

Avalanched by human cruelty –

But never, never, such

Aftershocks of this mirrored truth.

Get her out of here!!!


Frances Kakugawa 9-17-19

Suddenly Alzheimer’s Disease is given prominent space on television and in our news media because a famous person’s mother has Alzheimers’. There are thousands of us who have and are living this life without fame, without the finances, without the help that is given to caregivers.  We live without recognition but  live with compassion, dignity and love, caring for our loved ones. They deserve more recognition than those in the public eye. They deserve all the assistance needed in caring for someone every hour of the day. There are families who depend on Meals on Wheels, need scholarship programs to participate in adult care, have no health insurance, can’t afford professional caregivers, but their humanity of knowing what it means to care for someone with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia and illness is constant behind the scenes, behind cameras.  We are insulting the caregivers who are not Dr Oz or any of the public figures. I have worked with caregivers for over 20 years since my mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis and I hope we do not forget families who live outside the public eye. Why aren’t they the breaking news of the day? I sympathize with Dr. Oz’s mother but I applaud those who are the true heroes of our Alzheimer’s world.

Dr Oz, you are invited to join us at our monthly poetry writing support group for Caregivers at the Alzheimer’s Office in Sacramento.

Frances Kakugawa

Frances conducts workshops and lectures on helping caregivers give care with compassion, dignity and love. Her books on caregiving are:

Mosaic Moon: Caregiving Through Poetry

I Am Somebody: Bringing Dignity and Compassion to Alzheimer’s Caregiving

Breaking the Silence: A Caregiver’s Voice

Wordsworth Dances the Waltz: an illustrated book for children on memory loss

Her Dear Frances advice column for caregivers appears monthly in the Hawaii Herald




A lecture on writing

I’ll be giving a lecture on writing at the Northern CA Publishers/Authors dinner meeting:


Topic: How to be almost famous and not so rich

  1. How writers write, how readers read
  2. Sell books without sales talk
  3. Live in the readers’ world to improve one’s own craft and for national exposure


Date:  Thursday, Sept 12, 2019

Place: Denny’s

3529 Auburn Blvd ( Watt Ave and 1-80)

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Open to public, free.


NF Reads Interview

I did an interview on writing with a blog called NF Reads.

Here is a short excerpt:

How Do You Deal with Creative Block?

I almost never face a blank page. I work out the stories and poems in my head and when they’re ready to be written I take pen and pencil to my cave at a bakery and write. My poems and stories come to be written so there are times when I feel I have written my last word. But eventually, some idea will appear, first as a fog and gradually I work to bring form to all the vague thoughts and ideas in my head. This is the challenging and exciting part of the process.

You can read the whole interview here.

These were my observations this week:

The center at Howe Ave and Enterprise in Sacramento will close their entrance door tomorrow. This is how they did this, as shameful a way as they could manage.

1.Certain members were told of its closing last Friday by email. I was one who didn’t receive this email as did many others. I walked to the gym and saw the sign down and many of the gym equipment gone. Employees received a text message.

One excellent front desk person had, a few  days prior to her text message, registered for her senior year at the University by scheduling her courses around her job at the Center. She was not given any referrals to another job. Just a text message that she’s out of a job.

2.Yesterday, while we were at the gym, the manager brought in a team of workers and right beneath our noses, they began to take the equipment out. The fans were the first to go. I told the manager we still had two more days of membership until closure so none of the equipment ought to be taken out. He said he’s obeying Corporate Office. What? Managers aren’t given the freedom to use their common sense nor do they have the freedom to treat clients with more respect ? Don’t they know what is the right thing to do anymore, but are under Corporate rule who are interested only in profit?

3.This morning, once again, they arrived to take more equipment out and we were left to a few machines.

4.Does the Corporate Office care to know their clients? Most of the members at this small, friendly, FAMILY center are in the 70-80-90 age bracket. They live near-by and are able to make this short, comfortable drive to the gym. Many of us go for coffee after gym. We know each other by name. They were totally upset as they felt their health needs were being terminated.

5.Yes, they opened a new gym on Watt and Arden. As one elderly man said, “I walked in and it was totally Corporate. Cold, large and uninviting. I’m not going back.”

To the Corporate Office of men and women: Please don’t ignore your humanity behind your Corporate Office. You are there because we clients are individual human beings who deserve more respect from you. Once you lose this humanity, you have nothing left.



Have you ever gone through the belongings of your loved ones after they’re gone?

In 2002, I found in my mother’s bureau, every Mother’s Day card she had received from her children. Included were hand-written letters of thanks sent by her physician. These letters told me my mother had regularly dropped off orchids and papayas from the farm where she worked. I sent these letters back to the doctor and he was totally moved that my mother had saved each one. She lost to Alzheimer’s but I found her stories in her belongings.

Allow me to share a poem I wrote after observing two people exchange phone numbers. They deftly added numbers to their smart phones. What will we have after electronically saved people are deleted?


Address Books and Match Covers


When I am dead, my dearest,

Will you draw a  Sharpie marker

Through my name, write Dead in bold caps

Or simply press Delete

To eradicate me forever?


Or will you preserve my name under K

And years from now…

On a cold wintry afternoon when friends

Have deserted you and boredom sets in,

You flip through your address book and pause at K .

Under the slow – changing day into night, my name appears.

You say my name and soon stories appear and you  smile and even chuckle

When there was a me and a you.


Perhaps memories will take you to a shoe box labeled FHK

In a spider-webbed corner of the garage.

You find old faded match covers. Match covers?

Yes, match covers. You flip one open and see faded numbers.

Is it a hurriedly written phone number of a handsome stranger I once met

In a coffee shop or in a bar?   Did I call that number and did a story begin?

Should you play sleuth and call that number? He must be long gone by now.

Are there match covers in other garages?

A shoe box of mysteries keep you awake until dawn.


Ah ha…and you thought I was gone forever.

©frances h kakugawa