Today is the day set aside in America to honor mothers and celebrate motherhood. There is nothing so rewarding as to give birth to a child and successfully raise that biological child to adulthood. I was blessed with that experience– but we should also honor mothers of adoptive and foster children as well, who take on the huge responsibility of nurturing and raising a non-biological child(ren).
Today I am cherishing the memories of my two deceased grandmothers, both courageous and strong immigrant women who left Japan by boat, to immigrate (legally) to Hawaii. They faced language difficulties, extreme poverty and grueling field work as indentured servants on the tropical sugar plantations, having lots of children (some who predeceased them), racism, alcoholic husbands and domestic violence, outliving those husbands, etc. And both women were barely five feet tall! One grandmother had eight children, and the other had six, two who grew up in Japan with relatives.
But they gave all of us Sansei (3rd generation), Yonsei (4th), Gosei (5th), etc. a better life in America. And we are grateful for that.
So today I am honoring my grandmothers Tai (aka Dai) Nakamaru Sugiyama from Hiroshima, and Chiyo Katahira Koseki from Sendai. Chiyo lived to 80, and Tai to 97.
Honor the accomplishments and strengths of your mother (dead or alive) today.
Happy Mother’s Day. Please feel free to share with me your thoughts about your mother (biological or adoptive), a stepmother, foster mother, and even women who loved you as your “surrogate” mother.