Saturday, June 6, 2015

Remember: My mother Sally

Sally, last year, when I could not visit

This blog has been basically paused for a couple of months now. I could not post because I was busy caring for my elderly mother Sally, who finally passed away a few weeks ago at the age of 88.

Let me tell you about my mother. She was full of courage and empathy until the very end. During her lifetime, she accomplished much: as a prize-winning writer, a skilled craftswoman who produced exquisite tapestries and thousands of pieces of fine ceramics, and as an innovative teacher and children's librarian whose out-of-the-box projects included having students produce Shakespearean plays in the tiny venue of her school library in semi-rural Ohio. Once, in 1977, she arranged for a children's book author to converse with her students via a NASA communications satellite hookup--at the dawn of interactive TV communication by satellite. She loved nature, science, travel adventures, and long-lasting friendships. She was the family matriarch. Her politics leaned strongly to social justice. She never stopped learning. She gave much unconditional love. And she completely beat cancer three times and survived at least a few heart attacks. In her later years, she borrowed a motto from Oprah: "Take your power back." 

Truly, she had a big soul.

I would have been able to see her another time too, last year, but Toyota's legal threats prevented me from going to the US to deliver a speech at the American Translators Association convention. That speech came with an expenses-paid trip during which I could have passed by my mother's home too. But she would not allow me to visit if I would be risking arrest. So I cancelled the speech, and did not get to visit.

This time I went quickly, with a plane ticket bought with borrowed money, when I got word that she was critically ill. But she recovered for awhile, and we managed to spend weeks together while she was still able to converse and share memories. It was a precious time. 

I may or may not get back to blogging soon. I must return to my Japanese translation work in the hope of paying some bills. Meanwhile, courage and love to all those readers who care for the truth.

This was one of our travel adventures. 1967.