I lost my dear friend Sets (Setsuko Yoshida) to Covid-19. She was a statistic on April 7 in NYC, one among 731 who died that day. She was a resident at Isabella Retirement Home which was featured in the NY Times as one of those homes that was negligent.

I met Sets when she attended my first poetry writing support group for caregivers in Honolulu. She was caring for her husband who had Alzheimer’s. Her poems are included in three of my books on caregiving.

I always felt like a young pine next to a Bonsai when I was with her. I spoke to her often after she was taken to NYC by her son where she was placed in Isabela and I visited her as often as I could. During one phone call, she stopped in the middle of her sentence as she was saying how she missed her home, her friends and family in Hawaii. She  said, “Frances, I’m forgetting to be happy exactly where I am.”

The irony is this, that she died alone. She was the first RN to open the AIDS unit in Hawaii and was recognized for her work by the Life Foundation in 1986. She held the hand of the first AIDS patient who died. She said, “I felt like that patient was my teacher….that young man showed me his humanity, how caring, how courageous one can be in accepting the illness and the courageous way – sometimes humorously , sometimes sadly – in which he faced his impending death.” She stood up against the fears and ignorance that was a rage then.

When one young man told her, “I’m still very young…why did this happen to me?” Sets said that it is not for her to judge others, she encouraged him to celebrate life. “I know you say you want to die, but it doesn’t happen that way. You have to live every day until you die.”

We talked of her work with the AIDS patients a week before she died. She was fine and we compared the present pandemic to her work  with AIDS. A week later, she was gone. I have to believe, all the young men whose hands she held, were there holding hers. I’ll see you later, Sets.

sets and me at Rock center



An easier link:

*Frances Kakugawa is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom Grief Writing Class*

*Time: SATURDAY, Jul 18, 2020 *

*2:00 PM Hawaii Standard Time, 5:00 PM Pacific Time, *

*8:00 PM Eastern Time*

*Join Zoom Grief Writing Class Link*


*Meeting ID: 896 202 2411*

*NOTE:  If you are unsure about using ZOOM, join us Friday for a practice


*Time: FRIDAY, Jul 17, 2020 *

*12:30PM Hawaii Standard Time, 3:30PM Pacific Time, *

*6:30PM Eastern Time *

*Join Zoom Meeting*


*Meeting ID: 896 202 2411*

*Still having trouble?   *

*Call Patrick (808) 518 6649 or Email: patoal@alz.org <patoal@alz.org>*
*T. Patrick Toal, MSW* | Big Island Regional Coordinator | Alzheimer’s Association Aloha Chapter 1130 N.Nimitz Highway Suite A-265 Honolulu, HI 96817 Office: 808.591.2771 ext. 8234| patoal@alz.org | www.alz.org/hawaii Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline: (800) 272-3900 Facebook Page:https://www.facebook.com/AlzheimersAssociationAlohaChapter [image: TLD] <http://act.alz.org/site/TR?fr_id=9704&pg=entry>
This is the new link to my lecture on Grief and Remorse on Saturday.
 WE are advised to check in tomorrow (Friday) to be sure we can get to the site.
Patrick will be on site to give you hand. So many glitches.Thank you. frances

*Topic: Grief Writing Class Practice Join Zoom
ID: 896 202 2411*

*T. Patrick Toal, MSW* | Big Island Regional Coordinator |
Alzheimer's Association Aloha Chapter
1130 N.Nimitz Highway Suite A-265 Honolulu, HI 96817
Office: 808.591.2771 ext. 8234| patoal@alz.org | www.alz.org/hawaii
Alzheimer's Association 24/7 Helpline: (800) 272-3900
Facebook Page:https://www.facebook.com/AlzheimersAssociationAlohaChapter

Grief WritingWorkshop

on Racism

This is an excerpt from a chapter in my Teacher You Look Like a Horse book. This chapter covers how I made changes in children who came to class with vocabulary such as Jap and the N-word. By age five, they were well taught by adults. I will donate this book to any school district interested in knowing how one person handled racism in the classroom.


This is an interview with  Asian American Curriculum. Hope there is something here for you. Thank you ….


Arden Fair Mall: $$$$ over Common Sense


Arden Fair Mall banned me from walking the perimeters of the mall. I’m the only walker, see photo. I walk three feet away from Arden Way sidewalk. It’s so much safer. This has been going on for two months.

I spoke to their Corporate Office and tried to tell him:

  1. I wear a mask.
  2. I’m the only walker
  3. An elderly man with a walker walks about 100 feet back and forth about five times in one corner of the parking lot. He, too, is banned.
  4. Many mall workers do not wear masks.
  5. Two city buses park in the mall and their passengers do not wear masks.
  6. Food delivery drivers to restaurants do not wear masks.
  7. I often need to walk three feet over to their parking lot when I see bicyclists or someone walking toward me on the side walk, or see a homeless person sleeping near by.
  8. I’m forced to walk over to their lot when their sprinkling system sprays over sidewalks onto the street or when their workers are working near the sidewalk.

I’m yelled at by security guards when I’m on their ground except for one who ignores me.

I called their corporate office and before I could explain, he began to describe the two new shops that will  be added to the mall and how I will enjoy the mall when it opens. I interrupted him and asked, “Is your answer yes or no to my request?”

He said, “No, because we do not want you to infect others.”

He confirmed my belief that most corporate offices are not human, they are robots who only see dollar signs. Human needs do  not compute in their system. This would have been a good time for Arden Fair Mall to dig deeply into their humanity and common sense to help resolve human problems instead of seeing people as incoming dollar signs.

The mall opened yesterday and I’m not going near that mall; they might infect me.

I think this story deserves another reading….

Do you remember Tyler; my little friend with the big heart from Montana? When he heard someone had stolen the sunflowers from our front yard last year, he asked his grandma to send me seeds from his garden. He sent me four large sunflowers, all seeded. I sent him the following letter a few minutes ago.

Dear Tyler,

This week, my friend Red was digging the front yard. We turned our lawn into a flower and vegetable garden.
That’s where we planted our sunflowers.
After he put all the starter plants in, a little girl, about age 6, stopped by. Her mother was in a wheelchair.
This is the conversation:

Girl: Are you planting sunflowers?
Red: No, these are all vegetables.
Girl: That’s a tomato plant.
Red: Hey, you’re very good. You know your vegetable plants.
Girl. What’s that?
Red: That’s Swiss Chard. When these vegetables are ready, we’ll share them with you.
Girl: How about the sunflowers? Last summer, I saw your sunflowers so I went home to draw one and I drew one that looked just like your sunflowers.

Tyler, I wasn’t going to plant sunflowers this year because California is having a terrible drought. We even have Water Patrol to see that we don’t waste water. But after I heard that little girl, I took out your sunflowers and planted them. I also sent some to my friend in Hawaii. So your sunflowers will soon bloom in California and in Hawaii.

Tell Grandma to take you to Hawaii to see your sunflowers in bloom.
I will send photos when they are in bloom. We just planted them.

Are you having a good summer.
You are my sunflower friend.
Love, frances

The sunflowers, they bloomed.

Ill be on at 4, Hawaii time, 7 p.m. CA time. If you care to join us, please check in at the following half an hour or earliar.




Earth Day

I am Earth

Do not poison me

Do not pollute me

Do not smog me

Do not drought me

Do not insecticide me

Do not tamper me

Do not Hybrid me

Do not Monsanto me

Do not rape me

Do not kill me

I am Earth

I am you.

frances kakugawa