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Archive for the ‘Humanities’ Category

It seems appropriate that my first poem that came to be written is for caregivers who, without recognition, are saving our future generations with their humanity.

 

Imperfections

 

We dance the imperfect dance.

We trip over our toes,

Waltzing to the Samba.

 

Four step trot or Cha Cha Cha

It’s still the 1 2 3 step

To whatever plays the music.

 

Perfect in our imperfections.

We miss doctor’s appointments,

Wash yesterday’s dishes today.

 

We leave towels in the washer

Stiff and dry, unlike ads from Downy,

In the morning after.

 

We are so perfect in our imperfections,

There is green fluffy mold atop yogurt,

Wilted lettuce, dehydrated onions –

 

That no longer bring  tears.

Spam and  Campbell soup cans

Expired dates like former Exes.

 

We take our screams

To the tangerine trees

Who spread their branches knowingly

 

Offering us fruits beyond expectations.

We are caregivers,

Perfect in our imperfections.

 

FHK January 4, 2020

 

 

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Yesterday the line to the post office was so long,  I returned this morning. I waited in line for about 15 minutes. Walking out, I opened the door for a frail woman and man with walkers. They were leaving because of the long line. They had two packages in the basket of their walker. I offered to wait in line for them while they sat in the car. The man refused my offer while his wife looked at me with a smile.

He wanted those address labels so he could mail his packages elsewhere because of the line.I noticed his packages weren’t addressed. I thought of writing the address for them but respected his wishes. I went to the counter and told a teller, using a loud voice that made people in line look at me, “There are two handicapped people out there. I offered to wait in line for them but all they want are address labels which I can’t find anywhere. Do you have these labels?”

One teller just said, “We don’t have any.” Another teller said, “WE have them” and she gave me a stack of these labels. By then the elderly man had come in saying he can’t wait in line; he only wants those labels. I gave him the stack of labels. His wife came to tell me with tears, “You are a very kind person.” I touched her hand and wished her a good holiday. In my world, someone first in line would have given his/her space to the couple.

Yesterday I went to UC Davis hospital to get a test. I had in print, instructions to get someone at Information to escort me to Pulmonary because of its complicated location. The man at Info  told me abruptly, “No one’s here, just go left and right.” I took my pen out and said, “I’m instructed to have an escort but I will write your directions down.” He was rude and repeated, “Just go left and right.” A worker offered to escort me there.

Then she got confused with the bad signs along the long hallways and didn’t know which elevator to take. Another worker came and showed me the way. In conversing with the Pulmonary technician, I ended up agreeing to speak at their conference on Compassion in the Workplace next September at the hospital. The technician escorted me to down to the entrance. In my world, people who work with patients don’t need such a conference.

 

 

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At the post office, an elderly man with a cane and I approached the door at the same time and I opened the door for him. He thanked me, put his back against the door and let me in first. I thanked him. Yes, ladies first.

Leaving the post office, a young man tried to enter as I was leaving. He  opened the door and entered, closing the door into my face.

Walking into the Alzheimer’s Office, I saw a caregiver and an elderly man with a cane coming out of the office. I opened the door and the caregiver walked out. The elderly man exchanged looks with me and I got his message. He held the door open for me, a bit unsteady on his feet,  and I walked in, thanking him. Yes, ladies first. I saw his caregiver waiting by her car.

After a business lunch in Hawaii, my host walked me to the car and opened the door for me. I told him,  “I can’t remember the last time someone opened a car door for me.”  When I was in high school, I asked one of the boys to open the door and he said, “What? You cripple?” But we forgive boys in high schools, don’t we?

We speak in fear of what the electronic world is doing to humanity and how invisible we are becoming.  Are these men I mention the last disappearing act?

 

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Under the rising sun

The enemy came

Wearing my face.

And my face was changed forever.

Let us not repeat this part of history ever again.

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Please check this site for two reasons:

  1. It takes Hawaii residents, local style,  to build 20 homes in a week for the evacuees. It takes a man called Gilbert to donate his property and his humanity to make this happen.
  2. Gilbert has a history with me. When he was born to immigrant parents, his father Alberto told me, “My son, he come lawyer someday.” I told him, “He can be anyone, Alberto, but be sure to raise a good man. A man who will return back to his people because our country has been good to us.”

When Gilbert was in middle school he told me he wants a shade job when he grows up. He has been working in his parents’ papaya fields since he could walk. He has his own electricity company today.

I will write up his story in more detail later, hopefull, for the press.

So Mr. Trump, what do you think of children of immigrant parents now?

Below is the site, where you can see the live coverage. I will also print out the story below the site.

http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/38389180/were-gonna-get-it-done-today-volunteers-put-finishing-touches-on-emergency-shelters-for-evacuees

While many opted to stay with friends, family or in a county-provided shelter, less-than optimal conditions have led residents to begin worrying about long term solutions to an ongoing problem.

Last Friday, a group of Big Island volunteers teamed up to begin prep work on a project to build 20 tiny homes that will give evacuees a private place to plan their next steps. And on Saturday, the group is nearly complete.

By the afternoon, volunteer workers, which included several men and women with construction backgrounds, already had roofs on the tops of micro shelters, which measure 10-feet by 12-feet with about 120 square feet of floor space.

The effort was made possible due to an emergency proclamation issued by Big Island Mayor Harry Kim.

“Some of us here have been directly affected by the lava, so we’re happy to be here and give back to the community,” said Dean Au, with Hawaii Carpenters Union.

The 20 micro shelters will fill an 8-acre plot of land behind Sacred Heart Church off Pahoa Village Road. Several community groups and businesses pitched in time, supplies and manpower, including Big Island Electrical Services, HPM Building Supply, and HOPE Services Hawaii, among others.

“(There is) a wide assortment of occupations from the national guard, the carpenters union, businesses and community volunteers, all of the contractors, it’s just incredible,” said Darryl Olivera, safety officer for HPM Building Supply.

Gilbert Aguinaldo, owner of Big Island Electrical Services, said that he has no doubt that all 20 micro shelters will be completed this weekend.

“I promise you, there is no excuse, we are going to put all these houses up today,” Aguinaldo said. “And when I say we’re gonna get it done today, we’re gonna get it done It today.”

Copyright 2018 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

 

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OMG! It has happened.

I was on campus last week to speak on Haiku poetry in one of the classes.  I stopped the teacher who was accompanying me.

“Listen, “ I said. “It is soooo quiet. I don’t hear any human voices.”

We were not alone. There were students all around me but I heard no human voices. They were attached to their electronic devices, strolling toward their destination. It was like being in a zombie movie with shadows of human beings walking all around me in silence. I felt the creep.

At the coffee shop, I observed couples at a table, but couldn’t even eavesdrop to their conversations because there were none. Maybe I’m too late with this poem I’ve shared before:

 

To Children of the 21st Century

 

How do you keep your fingers so free of dirt?

How do you come in from play  without

Mud on your feet, your clothes, your cheeks?

How do you not even sweat?

 

How do you speak without giving eye contact

To the person sitting in front of you?

How do you spend time with your friend

Without conversation?

 

Oh Children of the 21st Century,

Why is there silence in a room filled

With family on this holiday?

How did you become so mute?

 

Do you know how rain feels

Soaking your shirt to your skin?

The smell of sea salt in your hair

After a dip in the sea?

 

Have you watched a little seed

Pushing  its first breath

Out of soil you’ve patted down

A few weeks ago?

 

Can you see a cardinal, a mynah,

A crow, with your eyes closed, listening

To their signature  songs  they sing out to you

In your own back yard?

 

Do you know the feel of your grandpa’s grip

Warm and strong in your hand?

The story behind that  long scar that runs

The length of his arm?

 

Do you carry memories

Of your  grandma’s smiles

Each time you had said,

Hi Grandma. Can I help you?

 

Do you ever count clouds, lying

On soft green grass, laughing

Over silly stuff shared with a friend?

Do you ever cry over a child starving

In Africa or in your neighborhood?

Feel upset over trees being cut

For freeways and shopping malls,

Fancy sports arenas?

 

Have you ever used the eraser

At the end of a pencil,

Writing a poem, a song, a story.

A thank you note?

 

Do you know the feel of crisp

New pages of a book, as they unfold

Moving plots, faster than your impatient

Fingers can follow your eyes?

 

Oh, Children of the 21st Century,

How did you become so dead?

 

From Dangerous Woman: Poetry for the Ageless by

frances h kakugawa

 

 

 

 

 

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My blog site is included on this site for people who are caring for loved ones with various illnesses . Please go to this site for the entire sets of blogs from various caregivers.

https://www.mytherapyapp.com/blog/best-caregiver-blogs-2018

My own is listed below.

20 Valuable Blogs for Caregivers in 2018

Caregiving for a Loved One, Young or Old, Is an Incredibly Difficult Job. These Bloggers Share Their Wisdom, Helping Any Caregiver on Their Journey

Frances Kakugawa

Frances Kakugawa is a distinguished author and poet, whose experience in caring for her late mother, Matsue – who lived with Alzheimer’s – influences much of her work. 16 years after her mother passed away, Frances remains an active voice in caregiving, and has published four books on the subject – including one for children. She writes a Dear Frances advice column for caregivers in the Hawaii Herald, and her long-standing blog has a vast amount of posts about caregiving, ranging from practical advice to profound poetry.

franceskakugawa.wordpress.com

 

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