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January 2009 Archives

January 22, 2009

A new angel and other "angels"

Most of you know about my Mom’s home-going on January 4th. “Thank you” just doesn’t seem enough to say for all of the prayers, food, flowers, love, hugs, support, gifts, errands run, etc., etc. Our family was very blessed to have such a “support group.” I returned to Japan on January 9th. It has taken me awhile to recover from the physical toll of those 10 days, let alone the emotional and spiritual aspect. Due to many prayers, perhaps some denial, and the physical distance that separates me from my family, I am doing OK. Mom left her mark of blessing in many areas of my life—tangible and intangible. When I come across these marks (which is often), there is a mixture of sadness, joy, and thanksgiving. Sometimes the tears come or a feeling of heaviness, but overall I feel thankful. Heaven has become a lot more real. I realize that as time passes and things “sink in” a bit more, it may get more difficult, but I am trying to trust God for grace for that day too when it comes. I learned so much about God through Mom’s passing and I trust that the lessons learned at that time will strengthen me when hard times come. I feel somewhat guilty for all the prayers I have received as there are so many others who need prayers, too. That is another lesson learned—the amazing power of the prayers of a mass of believers.

Some have asked about the “angels” who helped me to arrive in Peoria safely and as quickly as possible. I had gone to eat some lunch in Detroit while I waited for my flight to Peoria. When I returned to the gate, I learned my flight was cancelled and there was a long line. They were giving people hotel vouchers and booking them on the same flight for the next day. I got in line next to a man and his young son. I asked him about his situation and asked if he would be interested in driving to Peoria. His mother lived in Morton and they were going to visit her. He thought it was a long way to drive from Detroit in the foggy and snowy weather, but seemed interested in talking about options, especially when I explained my situation. Then another gentleman got in line behind us and heard our conversation. He had family in Lacon. He was willing to work with us too. We were each on cell phones talking to family about various weather situations in various airports. There was no way Chicago would work. Indianapolis was the same. Ah, perhaps St. Louis! Thankfully they had a flight and seats available. I’ll take it, I said. They had room for all four of us. Next, Jim, the gentlemen behind us, started calling for a rental car in St. Louis. Thanks to his timely action, we were able to get what was probably one of the last rental cars in St. Louis available (due to all of the re-routing). I was walking to the bathroom with the young boy when the thought first came to me-- these people are like angels to me! I felt very safe with them and the young boy, who was very much like my nephew Logan, was such a good companion. He made me smile and talking to him distracted me from the other thoughts that were running through my mind about Mom’s condition. Anyway, as we were walking along and I was thinking about that, the boy just disappeared! Ah, he is an angel! Well, he reappeared on the other side of an escalator! I told him what I thought and he just smiled. After quite an ordeal we finally got our car about 11:45 PM and the boy’s father drove all the way. We dropped the other man off in Springfield at some relatives and then headed to Morton. I just had to drive from Morton to OSF Hospital! Because of these “angels’” kindness, I was able to be at Mom’s bedside in ICU 18 hours earlier. That time was so helpful in processing the decisions that needed to be made and to adjust to the situation. Thanks to all who prayed for my safe arrival—those prayers were definitely answered and I felt a humanly-impossible and amazing calm.

January 28, 2009

Catching up

As I emptied my photo card in preparation for my trip to America on Sunday, I realized that there were some pictures I haven't shared yet. I have a cold now, so am trying to lay low, hoping it will get better soon! I plan to be in Tremont until Monday the 9th. Hope to see some of you then! I've got the freezer stocked with natto (fermented soy beans) for Akihiro and he can make rice, so he says he should be just fine! Actually he will at his job in Chiba for some of those days too.

We enjoyed Dean and Karen Beutel's visit last weekend. The weather couldn't have been better and we got very good views of Mt. Fuji. Winter skies are so clear here!

Here is a very late picture from when Ryan and Becky Weiss from Singapore were here. We had a triple date to a Japanese restaurant. It was fun!

We also went to Showa Kinen Park and enjoyed the beautiful Christmas decorations.

Here's one more picture from the north island trip that I forgot to include last time. It is a squid that is cut into strips to eat like noodles--look delicious???!

Finally, here is a good shot of Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo Bay at night.

About January 2009

This page contains all entries posted to Welcome to ITO NEWS in January 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

December 2008 is the previous archive.

February 2009 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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