Lost and Grateful in Tokyo

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During a recent short visit to Japan, my family and I were fortunate to receive help from several of her citizens. I do not speak Japanese and despite trying to learn a few words before our trip, I forgot most of them when I needed them. So, 助けたすべての人にどうもありがとうございます (thank you very much to all who helped) us. We encountered some of the best people while visiting and I am most grateful to all of you.

Special Thanks 特別な感謝
Tokubetsuna kansha

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Our first night we traveled from Shinjuku to Odaiba. We arrived at Tokyo Teleport Station. We received help from many wonderful people beginning with a young lady who guided me to the station attendant when my preloaded suica card would not allow me through the exit gate.

Upon leaving Odaiba, we got lost and ended up at Daiba Station. Thank you to the couple who offered to give us a ride to Shinjuku when you were not going that way. Obviously, that was too much to ask and we declined. Thank you to the others who also tried to direct us to the station.

Once we arrived at Daiba Station, I realized we could still get to Shinjuku from there, so we boarded the Yurikamome line to cross the Rainbow Bridge.  Yet, I wasn’t prepared for our train transfer to the Ginza line at Shimbashi Station. Thankfully, an English-speaking news correspondent who was going our direction took pity on us. He guided us to the right train and stayed with us until one stop prior to our station. He also advised us to talk to the station attendant upon entering the train station in the future, as they always have an English-speaking person. There were many others who also tried to help us that same night when we had trouble finding the station. We are grateful to all of you.

We did better after that first night despite some challenges and we fell in love with your beautiful city.

 

 

Reflections: Where Do I Begin? 10

The last two days I have sat in this swing trying to decide how much I want to share with you to explain why I have been MIA. I realize no matter what I say it will not fully explain everything. It is impossible to see through someone else’s eyes or to completely understand their feelings no matter how much they share.

We recently passed the one year anniversary of leaving my daughter’s former school. We also passed the one year anniversary of my brother’s first surgery due to his cancer, and it has been one year since my fall and subsequent lumbar compression fracture. We are all three still facing challenges. Yet, we are all on the road to recovery.

Those who read M’s blog know she wrote a letter to her former school on her blog around the time of the anniversary. I am so proud that she chose to do so. She released her frustration and is continuing to work toward her goals although overcoming bullying is not easy.

Her anniversary coincided with the release of Lee Hirsch’s movie Bully in local theaters. Those who have been reading my blog know that the poor response it received in Honolulu disappointed me. I sincerely hope the schools will do a better job once it is on video.

I am especially disappointed that M’s former school made no effort to take the students to see it as I encouraged them to do, but they are making baby steps toward their bullying problem according to the chaplain and the elementary school assistant dean. I know both of them have their hearts in the right place and they both still express concern for M.

The high school dean is a different story, but I will not get into that here other than to say that M. still deserves an apology from the school and my request for this has fallen on deaf ears. Still, I will not give up. A new headmaster will be arriving in July, and I hope he will see that giving my daughter a formal apology is the right thing to do.

My brother had his fourth surgery recently, but he is on the mend and hopefully in a few weeks he will have his last surgery.

I was 80% better until I had a bad virus a few weeks ago. Now I am starting over with my walks and my exercises. I have faith I will get back to 80% since it really is only reconditioning and not another injury. I am still aiming for at least 90%, if not 100%. I am taking care of myself as I promised when I joined the Oxygen Mask Project.

Overall, life is good. M. is interacting with her friends again. I had a fabulous mother’s day. M. cooked my breakfast. My hubby and son and I went to see The Avengers. M. saw it the day before with her friend. Hubby even cooked lobster for dinner, so yes, life is good and I am still grateful.

Mahalo to All of My Readers! 8

Even when you fail to comment, seeing that someone looked at my posts still warms my heart. I debated about sharing my blog stats; finally, I concluded that this is important. My family celebrates New Year’s twice since my husband and children are of Chinese descent. Therefore, sharing the fireworks now actually makes more sense.

A special Mahalo to my top five commenters in 2011. FYI Four of them are not connected to the autism community. God Bless them for continuing to have my back! Oh and they were also the first to respond to my e-mails about Miranda’s blog and three of them repeatedly commented on her blog too and the other two still read her blog and made sure I knew they understood. God bless them!

Mahalo to Charlotte from Lifes a Charm, a mom offering insights beyond her years as she raises two young boys. Mahalo to Grace from Blessed Elements, a grandmother and very creative soul, offering ideas about ways to go green to help save our planet while sharing her beautiful jewelry. Mahalo to Aspergirl Maybe, a mom sharing her journey from questioning whether she is an Aspie to the actual diagnosis. Mahalo to Karma Per Diem aka White River Bluff, who shares her amazing photography, knitting talents and stories about overcoming workplace bullying and breast cancer.

I am putting my last, top five commenter in a separate paragraph because he is probably the one who actually has the least amount of time to comment, and I owe his entire family more than I can ever adequately express. Mahalo to Phil Dzialo from Healing, Empowering, and Thriving, a retired high school principal and father, sharing his young, adult son, Adam’s story on his long road to recovery from a near drowning. He also shares my book and my blog on his site, and as a retired principal, he offers wonderful insights of how to change our school culture to overcome bullying.

Phil’s equally wonderful wife, Sharon is a former teacher and school counselor and author of a book detailing Adam’s story. She also offers her supportive insights and her positive energy through e-mails and comments too. They both literally have their hands full caring for Adam, yet they never have let me down. I haven’t actually gotten to know their daughter, Aimee except through their stories, but I admire her too.  God knows I love this family as much as I love Adam’s smiling face.

Last, but far from least, mahalo to Bobbi Sheahan, who brought the largest numbers to my blog with her two wonderful guest posts, Your Child Has Autism and I Don’t Know What to Say: Seven Ways to Go the Extra Mile to Keep Your Friendship Thriving and The Friends of Special-Needs Parents Respond and They Have a Lot to Say.

Least you missed it there are many others who helped me through 2011 including others who guest posted and who were featured on my blog. I wrote about many of them in November and December. I may still be a misfit and a small voice, but I now know at least some of you are listening because having enough views to fill the Sydney Opera House five times is no small feat.

May 2012 be a year of blessings for all of you!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 14,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.