Recently, my 21 year old son and I returned to California to visit my father, sister and extended Shinagawa clan during the winter holiday season. Three months earlier, my mother had passed away after several years of illness fighting off the twin demons of tuberculosis and pneumonia. My father was recovering slowly from the loss of my mother and my sister was doing her best to keep up his spirits. During the illness and after my mother's passage, a reverend of the local Japanese American Buddhist church helped enormously with the pain, sense of loss, and the need to let go. My father and sister were so impressed with the compassion and dedication of this reverend that they resolved to attend the Buddhist church services from there on out.

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