Slow motion ocean like heavy black oil sweeping up houses, cars, boats. people. Just like everybody else, watching these events on television right as they're happening, leaves me feeling disconnected and helpless. Having to swallow my grief for a lack of any ability to help, leaves me dumbstruck and watching.
My connection to Japan is distant. My mother's mother's mother ran away from an arranged marriage she objected to and ended up in Canada, with her would be groom's brother. He adored her for life and they owned a berry farm in British Columbia. That is until the Government took it out of fear during the Second World War.
In my great grandfather Fukami's final years, the only ones I remember as a small child, he would follow his wife around the house like a devoted puppy. Rocking his creaky body and shuffling his feet forward, cooing in Japanese and patting our small heads hard. My great grandmother's little feet never stopped moving even while sitting, small circles this way, then that way. Botan rice candy and a tiny toy. So strange to think that only one generation away from her, branches have grown and roots lead me to my distant family. Families. picking up the pieces. It urges me to help in whatever small way that I can.
Why must it always be the tragic events pointing out our fragility that become the markers of our strengths?
This content is provided by Keri Latimer. The views expressed do not express the views of CBC. CBC is not responsible for this content.