Sunday, February 26, 2017


Many of us have heard the phrase "Don't take the law into your own hands" and know that it is wrong to do so. But what does that mean? It means you can't apprehend someone, AND accuse them of a crime, AND judge them guilty, AND mete out punishment. Yes, you must do all of that to take the law into your hands, be police, judge, jury, and executioner.

Yet, we do that on the all the time. The earliest I can remember this happening is the McMartin molestation case of the 80's. Those people were guilty from day 1, until they were found not guilty, and even then, probably still have issues with it to this day. Before we come to judge anything, maybe we should leave it to a Court of Law, and not the Court of Public Opinion. After all, isn't that the basic root of all our problems, that we think we're right and those in opposition are wrong?

All of us base our opinions on each of our own experiences that we had in life, by placing ourselves in whatever situation that has occurred. But in reality, no one has the same exact experiences, therefore, opinions will differ. So no one is completely right or completely wrong, and everything depends upon things specific to what happened, not what we believed happened. In other words, I'm right and you're wrong, so you should listen to me. ;p

Friday, October 3, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

I'd like to say a few things about the ALS Ice bucket challenge.

First, it was done to raise AWARENESS of the disease. If you don't know by now, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," and is a progressive neuro-degenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. That was taken from the ALS site,

Second, like some people, I too thought to criticize the challenge because there was a PERCEPTION that people were only pouring cold water on themselves, and not giving money to the cause. In some ways, the only criticism should be that if you did the challenge, you were to donate LESS money than if you didn't do the challenge.  The truth is, no one knows how much one actually donates, and no one should ever criticize how much anyone donates to anything, because that's their own business. And the proof is there. Last year, just under $3 million was donated to ALS. This year, they're already topping $100 million.

But, where are we now? Awareness was raised. Now the next step is, "Understanding."

ALS is a disease that progressively disconnects the brain from the muscles in your body.  Your brain works, your muscles work, but your brain is slowly unable to tell your muscles what to do. So let's imagine ourselves with the disease. You progressively get weaker, you have trouble walking. First you use a cane to help you walk, then you need a powered wheelchair, then you need someone to push you in a wheelchair. This degenerative process could take years.

But that's just simplified. There is more to it than not being able to walk. You can't feed yourself, you can't bathe yourself, you can't dress yourself, you can't work and earn money. Eventually, you can no longer do anything and are confined to a bed. You'll need to be fed by a tube because you can no longer swallow. Then you need a mechanical respirator because you can no longer breathe on your own.

In the meantime, someone also needs to help you do things. That means that they too, can not work, because you are now their full-time job. In a perfect world, we may not have the disease, or we have a cure for it. In a better world, we have some type of assistance for people who get this awful disease. Awesome insurance that pays for a Nurse or a facility to help you. In the real world, without a job, people struggle financially. Maybe someone in the family can become a caregiver. Now that's two with no income. It becomes overwhelming.

I know. I had to care for my own mother, although she did not have ALS. It is very hard, but I was lucky to have a job with just the right hours, and siblings that did what I couldn't, when I couldn't.

I also know someone who has ALS and is struggling with it.  She has bills to pay, and had to sell her car and eventually leave her job because she was no longer able to do it.  She has a loving Adult teenaged daughter that is now her caregiver.  And she has friends that look after her needs.

Unfortunately, my friend has also had bad experiencse with the ALS Association, and would much rather have people donate to ALS Guardian Angels. She questions where all the money goes to at ALSA.

According to Charity Navigator, an Independent website that researches Charities, and rates the ALSA High in Transparency, 72.4% of the ALS Association's budget was used for program expenses — that is, the programs and services the ALS Association delivers to the ALS community according to its mission, such as professional and public education, research into ALS treatments and cures, and patient and commmunity services. Of the remaining budget, 11% went to administrative expenses and 16.5% to fundraising expenses.

But what are program expenses? "Overhead" could be where their office is located and "Program" could be where they conduct monthly meetings in different areas for People with ALS or "PALS." When my friend went to meetings, they were not given water and/or even a snack. There would always be less than 10 PALS there with their Caregivers or "CALS." 

The ALSA claims that a caseworker is assigned to each PALS, and they are paid a salary. This could also fall under "Program Expenses." She has not been visited or had telephone contact with her caseworker in over 1 year. If she has not been visited by a salaried employee, how many other PALS have also been neglected as well? 

Another example, a Gala took place at the Roosevelt in Hollywood that could be considered a "Fundraising Expense (16.5%)." However, if the Gala is for PALS, CALS, Researchers and those that are going to be recognized by ALSA, why was the Gala made to be something so out of reach with a price of $300 a ticket? You'd think by using donations for Fundraising Expenses at 16.5 %, maybe people with ALS could have gotten tickets at a discounted rate or maybe even, free? And at $300 per ticket, wouldn't you say that the fundraiser was paying for itself? My friend has had her own fundraisers and benefit concerts and they did not have costs of 16.5% of donations. If private people can do it for less, why can't a professional organization? By not being able to go to the Gala, my friend feels that the ALSA took her voice away, she wanted to go, tell her story and be heard. But the ALSA made it nearly impossible for her to even go to a Gala for people like her.

This is a really sore subject for her but fortunately she has been connected with the ALS Guardian Angels. Everything the ALS Guardian Angels receives goes to assist PALS.  Stu, who runs the organization with others, does it because simply, it needs to get done, and they know the need is there. 

From the ALS Guardian Angels website, "OUR MISSION: Most ALS related organizations are dedicated to finding a cure. Until then, ALS patients need help living. The ALS Guardian Angels Foundation is dedicated to helping patients and their families live with ALS while maintaining the best quality of life possible."

Also to make things even clearer,  she would ask that you stop referring to a person with ALS as a "patient." Why? Patients can go to the doctor and get treated. There is NO treatment or cure for ALS. Sobering, isn't it? And anyone can get it, no one knows how or why.

So if you can, help people with ALS live a life. Please make a donation to:

My friend has her own personal fundraising page at:

You raised Awareness, you now have some Understanding, now you can take Action.

Friday, July 4, 2014

All of US

July 4th, the day we celebrate the forming of a Union of several States, governed by the Constitution. We are not perfect. Laws are not perfect. But we have the right to make amendments to all laws to fix them, if they have defects. 

Some countries don't have any rights. So, if a decision is made based on an interpretation of the Constitution that you don't like, don't blame anyone. Fix the system, make amendments. That's why this Country is better than others. 

Stop complaining, work to make things better for everyone. It's not about you, or what you think is right, it's about US. When you believe that your thoughts are always right, and the other side is always wrong, we no longer have a Democracy. 

I believe in your right to disagree with what I say and feel. You have a right to your own opinions. I have a right to mine. Respect that without hate. That's what it's all about.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Heart Mountain Part 2

Well, now what? Here you are in a strange place, with nowhere to go. You can sit still and demand things, like more food, insulation for your room, your freedom, anything.  But this was the 40's. It's a time when people did things for themselves. Not like today when you demand from your leaders what you lack.

So everyone got together. Experts were sought out, and they found one. A recent college graduate who's major was agriculture. He examined the soil and told everyone what would grow in the fields. Because of the harsh climate, and the short time frame for farming, "new" methods were used to grow crops. Many crops were grown with caps to keep them from freezing until the weather permitted the plant to grow on their own. Once crops were establlished, food was no longer too scarce. They even dug a huge root cellar to store root vegetables for later use. They eventually even supplied other Internment camps with vegetables.

Others raised pigs, and chickens for their eggs and meat.

Some who were involved with Boy Scouts re-started their Troops inside the camps. Teachers got together with outside local teachers and taught school there. Doctors worked in the Infirmary or Hospital. Carpenters and wood workers started to fix-up the public areas to provide more privacy, and make things overall, more livable. Nothing like what they had before being sent there, but much better than when they arrived.

The people stuck there, under conditions they were not used to, started to "make" a life. Not a great life, but they worked with what they had.

Some conflicts grew because in Asian culture, the Parents or your elders, were the leaders and in charge.  But in this case, the elders were first generation Japanese immigrants, and the people in charge of the Internment Camps would not put them in leadership positions. They let only the adults who were born in the US to have leadership roles. Asians were also "family" oriented, and most did everything together, but once in the camps, children often played with other children, ate in the Mess Hall with their friends, got in trouble with their friends. The Family structure started to disintegrate.

Eventually things ran as smooth as it could and then the Draft aged men were asked to volunteer for military service. Some who wanted to prove that they were loyal Americans, signed up right away. Some were still angry at being incarcerated with essentially no rights, and demanded that they be let go, and have their civil rights restored BEFORE they volunteered for service. Eventually most joined the service or were drafted. Those who still protested, were jailed.

The 100th Battalion which were made up of mostly Japanese Americans from Hawaii, were already being used in Europe and were joined by the Interned Japanese Americans in the 442th Battalion. Together, they are the most decorated Battalions ever. The members of the 442th helped liberate the Jewish people still alive in Dachau, the infamous Nazi Death Camp.

But this is about the camps.  Life was going on. American citizens were still being held prisoners in camps.  Some were allowed to leave, but with stipulations. You could either go to College, or have proof of a job, BUT, East of the Rocky Mountains. And with  wartime prejudices, it was still difficult to get in a College or get a job.  But some did get out. Even though families usually stuck together, who could blame anyone for leaving?

When the war ended, the Internment camps were eventually shut down. No one was allowed to stay, even if you wanted to. And in Wyoming, where Heart Mountain was, the Governor would not allow anyone to stay in the State, everyone had to leave.

Most all of the Camps were torn down right after the last person left. At Heart Mountain, each Barrack was put up for Auction to anyone living there, and willing to physically remove the buildings. People who purchased a Barrack used hand saws to cut them down to a size that they could haul away on a flat bed truck, and then reassemble them on their own property. I understand that some are still standing on farms all around the towns of Cody and Powell, Wyoming.


Friday, June 7, 2013

Heart Mountain, Part One

First let me say that I was not incarcerated in Heart Mountain Internment Camp, my father was, and he didn't speak much of his time there. In fact, I can't say he talked much about his life before he went there, or after he left. This was common amongst most who were incarcerated in a Camp.

I also don't want to make it sound worse than or equal to the Death Camps of the Nazis, or even the POW Camps that Japan had. I am just writing about what I understand happened to some American citizens after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Some prior history. Some farmers on the West Coast were being out-done by their Japanese counterparts. Eventually, they lobbied to pass laws outlawing Aliens, mainly Asian immigrants, from owning land and property and/or leasing land. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, and there was talk of removing the Japanese from the West Coast, some farmers lobbied extra hard to make it happen. Why? For the most part, they wanted their land. You see, back then, they didn't consider that the Japanese were better at farming, they believed their land was better for farming than the land they had for farming.

Another factor is that this period in time was just after the Great Depression was ending. People had worked hard for a long time for what little they had earned. Many people worked in manual labor jobs, earning little for food and/or rent. Owning anything meant you were successful in some ways.

Some things I will write about happened to other Japanese that were incarcerated, some to my father. And it is important to note, that there were 10 Internment Camps, and each person and each camp had different and similar experiences. In other words, what I write and books like Farewell to Manzanar are just some perspectives, not all.

Imagine now, you are 35 years old, an United States Citizen. Japan attacks Pearl Harbor.

If you teach Japanese language schools, are a Shinto or Buddhist priest, or others with like Japanese leadership roles, you are whisked away to jail. You have no contact with the outside world until the war is over. Eventually, only the Buddhist priests are released and sent to Internment camps.

Your home and the homes of other Japanese are searched with no warrants, by....... you don't know by who. You guess that they are FBI agents. If they find anything that makes you look suspicious, you are taken away to jail and interrogated. Maybe you are let go, maybe you end up with the priests.

You could be shunned by people who you once considered friends. Not all, just some. But you can't tell who is your real friend anymore.

Your assets are frozen, and you can't access your money. How do you buy food? Pay rent? You may have a business, but hardly anyone is buying from you anymore. You sell your belongings, but so do everyone else. You have going out of business sales. You end up getting pennies on the dollar for what you own.

The Government is talking about removing you from your home and putting you in special camps. Once you get the order to Evacuate, there is no one standing up for you. Today would be different, but here's no ACLU. No riots. Nothing. So you go quietly, or go to jail.

You pack your stuff, but they are allowing only what you can carry. And no radios, knives or cameras. Today, add no TV, cellphones, laptops or tablets, nothing that you can communicate with. Anything you own, you are selling or trying to get them in storage. But you have no money. The lucky have friends who say they will store things for them, or they are kept in the now empty Japanese churches and temples.

Do you have a pet? Sorry, no pets allowed. You have to give them away or something. Maybe your neighbor or friends will care for them.

You preliminarily get sent to Santa Anita where the horse stalls are white-washed in haphazard fashion, and you have to bunk there for a few days with thousands of others just like you. It stinks like horse crap.

Finally you are on a train to... where? They don't tell you. You'll find out when you get there.

You end up in Heart Mountain Camp.  It's in Northern Wyoming. The middle of BFE. The camp is set up like a Military base camp. At first, the Governor of Wyoming did not want any Japanese in Wyoming. He was prejudiced. But he relented, and Heart Mountain with it's about 650 buildings, and holding anywhere between 9-12,000 people, was built in about 2 months.

You and your family are given a room in a barrack. Barracks are 20 feet by 120 feet, separated into 6 "rooms." 2 each are 20 X 16, 20 X 20, and 20 X 24.Each has a separate entrance.Each has one ceiling light, one electrical outlet, and one pot-bellied stove for heating, not cooking. There are twins sized cots in some rooms, some get theirs later and have to sleep on the floor until they do. If you want privacy, you try to hang "curtains" to separate the open-concept room.

Each barrack was made in a few hours with "new" wood. The wood was both the inside and outside. What? If the wood was for the roof, one side was the ceiling, one side was the roof. One side was the outside wall, the other was the inside wall. Get the picture? This "new" wood also shrank when it dried out, leaving gaps in between the planks. Most of the outside of the buildings were covered in tar-paper and roofing shingles. I do remember my father saying they had to cut cans up to make patches to nail and cover holes in the buildings.

In another separate barrack is the Mess hall, and when it it time to eat, you line-up and wait your turn. It's wartime, so food is rationed. You might get a bowl of tomatoes and rice as your meal for a few days. You eat cafeteria style with large tables and benches to sit on. At first, soldiers are the cooks and they are handing you your rations. Food is rationed in equal amounts no matter how old or "big" you were.

Bathroom and showers are in another separate barrack. the toilets are lined up with no partitions. You are now sitting next to someone else who is trying to do number 2, just like you, and the other guy, and the other guy, and the other guy.......

Heart Mountain was different in one respect. All of the other camps had two fences surrounding them. Heart Mountain only had one. If you tried to leave, you were shot. I don't know how many Japanese were shot in the other camps, but none were shot at Heart Mountain.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Just Driving By

I haven't written in a while, most of what's been happening has been "normal." Nothing to write home about.

I like to tell you things that happen out of dumb luck. Maybe it's fate, I don't know. You can decide.

In the early morning of Jan 23rd, we were awakened from sleep at around 3:30 am. We went to a call for "Difficult Respiration." This required that both the Paramedic Ambulance I was working on, and a Fire Engine, to respond to assist the patient. 

Sometimes I get asked why do you need the Fire Engine. Well, most Fire Departments across the country requires their Firefighters to be EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) trained. And on certain medical calls, 2 Paramedics are not enough personnel. For example, let's say you had a heart attack. Are 2 Paramedics enough? Well, it only takes 2 people to do CPR, right? Without going into more detail of why we need more people, think about this; If 2 Paramedics are doing CPR, who's going to drive you to the hospital? No one. You're gonna end up dying.

We get on scene and I go in first. I ask what's wrong, and the 35 yo woman tells me she has the flu. She is very hot with fever, and is coughing. As the Fire Engine crew comes in, I tell them she has the flu. Then I asked the woman if she could walk down her stairs to the gurney. She says that she's too weak.   One of the Firefighter rolls his eyes because it's flu season, and he's been as sick as this woman for over a week. But, he doesn't say a word, and doesn't complain. He waits patiently while we get the stair chair from the ambulance and he helps carry her down the stairs.

We get her in the gurney and load her into the ambulance. Both of us, the ambulance and Fire Engine, leave at the same time. We go to the hospital down the street, they head back to the Fire Station. The driver (Engineer) of the Fire Engine works at another station and is taking a different route back, one that is not usual. The route passes by a Psychiatric Board and Care, and no one purposely drives by it, because it may "remind" one of the residents that they could "get out of jail free" if they call 911 and go to the hospital. 

As they drive North on this Street, the Firefighter on the West side of the street notices what looks like a fire, one block West of where they were, near another Board and Care Apartment house. They were already wearing their Turnout pants, so they started putting on their Turnout coats They also started teasing the Firefighter, saying it was probably just a Christmas tree fire, and that it would be out by the time they got there. This time of year, people leave their dead and dried out Christmas trees outside by the curb, and with the light of a match, it can burn fast and be out in 2 -3 minutes.

They circle the block and see nothing on the East side front of the building. They turn right on the cross street, the building is on a corner, and see some light smoke in the rear of the building. They think it may be coming from the parking lot behind the building. As they get closer, it becomes more certain that the first floor, very rear apartment unit is on fire. 

They stop, and it happens to be right in front of the side entrance. The Captain gets on the radio to inform our dispatch of the fire, and to ask for a Second Alarm assignment. NO ONE called 911. The Engineer gets out and goes to hook up to the fire hydrant about 100 feet away. The Firefighters completely suit up, set up a hose line and start cutting the security door to get inside. The noise of the rotary saw may have waken up the residents, because some of them from the second floor started to open their windows to see what was going on. When the residents realized there was a fire, they started climbing out of their windows to jump.

As one Firefighter was cutting the gate open, the other yelled at everyone not to jump, and got a ladder out. He helped one person down, and by then, the hose was ready to go, and the gate was cut open.

The Engineer helped some of the others down, but his main duty was to the Firefighters who were going inside to fight the fire. The Engineer's job is to provide the Firefighters with water at the right pressure, so he had to be at the control panel.

The crew went in and quickly put out the bulk of the fire in the rear unit. The rear unit was next to the stairwell going to the second floor, and it too started to catch fire. So they started to advance their line up the stairwell.

In the meantime, it was chaos outside. More units came on scene to assist the first Fire Crew. One Fire crew was directed to put up ladders to help what seemed to be the whole apartment house wanting to jump out of their second floor apartment.

As the first crew put out the stairwell fire, they ended up on the second floor hallway which seemed to have lit up as soon as they got up there. The first crew then continued their fire fight and put out the second floor hallway fire. While the bulk of the fire was out, it was still hot and very smokey inside. 

At this time I had no idea what was going on, as I was at the hospital with the patient. As we were returning to our Fire Station, we were added as part of a third or maybe, fourth alarm.

While doing a search of the apartments, one Firefighter from the first crew came upon a man still in his bed, burned from heat and smoke inhalation. He took off his mask and put it over the man's face and others came to help him carry the man outside. 

Another ambulance took him away to the hospital while we were tending to another patient who was already outside and had jumped from her second floor apartment. She had smoke inhalation and a severely broken leg. 

After everything was over, we found out that the apartment was allegedly purposely set on fire by someone who allegedly had an argument with the man who was found in his bed.

The Fire Engine must have saw the initial set, and then fight the fire as the arsonist was lighting the rest of the building on fire. I bet the arsonist was incredulous, thinking, "How the heck did the Fire Dept get here so fast?"

Who knows how many people would have died or got injured at this fire if it had been burning for a while, AND THEN someone called 911. Who knows what would have happened during the extra time it would have taken for The Fire crew to wake up, go down to the Fire Engine, and then drive to the fire. This fire burned hot and fast due to it being arson and an accelerant was used. I'm sure there would have been more than one casualty. 

God looks out for the unfortunate amongst us.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

More Closure

On my Blog post dated August 5, 2010, I wrote about doing CPR on a man who went into cardiac arrest on the field at Dodger Stadium. While doing CPR, a man in civilian clothes came to me and said, "I'm a LAFD Firefighter, can I take over compressions for you?"

I didn't know who he was, or where he worked, but as I thought about what I was doing and what still needed to be done, I let him take over the compressions.

He did a great job, and it freed me up to do more for the man, now that more medical equipment had been brought to me.

As everything happened so fast that day, with people coming and going, I never knew who that off-duty Firefighter was that helped me do CPR.

Randomly, I was telling the story about that day at my new Fire Station, and wouldn't you know it, that Firefighter was working there, and in the kitchen when I was telling the story.

He turned out to be a Captain II, and he's going to retire at the end of September. Small world, isn't it?

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Most Fire Departments divide their coverage areas in different ways.  The LAFD does it in a common military way. We start with Divisions. In each Division, we have several Battalions. In each Battalion, we have several Fire Stations.

After my probationary period ended, I was assigned to Fire Station 6 in Battalion 11.  Battalion 11 is also the general area in which I grew up.  I was assigned to Fire station 6, then 29, then 11, then 13, and finally at my current assignment, Fire Station 20.  Other than a total of about 27 months here and there, all of my time on the Department was in Battalion 11.

Today was my last day in Battalion 11.  I finally got a transfer out. If you've read my Blog, I wrote that my mother was bedridden and I took care of her. Working near her house and within the coverage boundaries of Fire Station 20 made it easier for me to care for her.

After she passed away this year, I decided to move on. This Battalion is busy, and I'm getting older. It's getting harder and harder to recover from all the calls we get at night. So I believe I chose a Station where I will not get beat up too much.

This past year, 2 other long time members of Fire Station 20 also left. One due to his retirement, and the other due to budget cuts.  Each of them signed their names on the underside of the dining bench with the time they got there, to the day they left.

I had to check on the date I got there. January 13, 2002.  Funny how numbers pop up in your life.  My mother passed away on January 13, 2012, 10 years later.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


On my Blog post dated November 22, 2009, I wrote about how a young girl died when she lost control of her car and crashed. There was one passenger in the car, and we never knew what became of her, whether she lived or died. She was conscious and talking, but you never know what happens after they go to the hospital.

 Today must have been the driver's birthday or some other special day. Her cousin, family and or friends came by and had a candlelight vigil for her. I went over and told them that we were the ones who were first on scene and tried to save the people in the car. They asked me several questions about how she was when we found her. I told them that she looked peaceful, not in pain or shock, that she looked like she was sleeping with her eyes open. One of them said she often slept with her eyes open. 

I also told them that she probably died right then and did not suffer. They seemed relieved. I was told that her friend made it, though I did not ask her condition, if she had any on going physical issues or not. Her cousin cried while I spoke to her, and said this was the first time she has met anyone who was a first responder. I gave her a hug.

I think she felt some closure. In some ways, I did too.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Friday the 13th

Friday, January 13th, 2012, my Dear 85 year old Mother passed away at around 6 pm PST. She was a sweet and simple person, who did not deserve the hard life that she lived.

Born in Japan, and living in a suburb of Hiroshima, she witnessed the devastation of an Atomic bomb. After the war, she married my father in an arranged marriage, and came to the United States, where she worked at my father's grocery store.

She loved and admired my father and had 5 children whom she adored.

She had been bedridden for the past 15 years. She still had her mind, but her body was not cooperating. Yet it didn't seem to affect her outlook on life. There is a term in Japanese, "shoganai." It basically means "Oh well, that's the way it is."

3 years ago almost to the day, she suffered the first of two distinct strokes. The first one left her without speech and movement on her right side. But she still had her mind. Though she could no longer verbally communicate with us, we knew that she comprehended what was going on. When we told her that she would be going home after a long stay in convalescent care, she cried tears of happiness. During summer, when figs were in season, she seemed to relish the taste of her favorite fruit.

She seem to keep waiting for the day when she would wake up and be able to function again. It did not happen.

About 2 years ago, she had her second distinct stroke. Now she was left unable to move, and we were no longer able to discern whether or not she could see and/or hear. There seemed to be times when she could, and times when I wondered if she was aware of anything. This past fig season, she did not seem to realize that she was eating her favorite fruit.

Four days prior to her death, she seem to have a complete change in her health. She was "normal" in the morning, and by evening, she was ill. In the hospital, she was found to have pneumonia and a small heart attack. For a day or two, she seemed to stabilize. On the third night, it seemed to me that she was not getting better, but she also was not getting worse. By the fourth night, she slipped away.

As a believer in God, I believe that she is in a better place, that her soul is free from the confines of her physical being.

Yet this comfort barely eases my own selfish pain. Although I had thought that she, in essence, had already died, it is still painful to lose her. It has been a very long time since she has had the ability to do anything, and I imagine her now frolicking in fields. I think about the time she walked me to my very first day of school. And I think of the time I didn't want to go to school and she tried her darnedest to wake me. I faked that I was asleep, so she gave up and kissed me on the cheek and left.

So while she laid in the hospital bed, no longer able to wake, I stroked her hair for the last time, told her I was leaving, and kissed her on her cheek and left.

Peacefully at sleep now, I pray that you wake in Heaven and are free of all burdens.