Life Coming Full Circle-

This week has been a humbling, admiring and heart wrenching as I’ve watched a dear colleague struggle with her ailing mother. Kikue (pronounced: Keka) is a feisty 90 year old first generation Japanese mother to many, to give you an idea, my colleague is just one of ten children born and raised by Kikue. Yes, that’s right ten. Incredible, when these days families struggle to successfully raise two. When imaging an obviously strong woman of this sort, one could not be blamed for envisioning a rather husky, big boned type. Would you believe that Kikue is the text book definition of petite in both stature and width? She is no more than 70 pounds at her sickly present, even when she was bright eyed and bushy tailed she was still a featherweight. Great things really do come in small packages.

Kikue’s children have all grown into dotting adults, my colleague especially. She is her primary care taker and never misses and evening to spend with her and discuss the day. Kikue’s had a tough year with a series of crippling health problems. A bad heart, bad lungs and now a broken hip, which seems to be, dare I say it, the “kiss of death” for the older and wiser among us. After a successful hip replacement surgery this week, the Doctor re-emerged from the O.R. to greet Kikue’s family who crowded the small waiting room, all 25+. After hearing the positive news, my colleague told the Doctor he’d have to reiterate the news to everyone individually. “All 26 of them?” In which she quipped this was just the immediate family!

While we don’t yet know how Kikue will recover, one thing is certain, the circle of life has come ‘full circle’ with the children becoming rather parental. I’m struck by how fortunate Kikue is to have love and family in spades. Conversely, the Featherweights brood is also seriously advantaged to have such a large support structure to turn to during this challenging time which has no doubt strengthened their bonds. Perhaps great things come in large packages too.

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