Thinking of my mom’s dear friend who passed away a couple of days ago at the age of 80. I have memories of going to her house during summer vacation, running around in her garden, and sitting on her couch watching videos on MTV while keeping an ear out for the mention of my name as they spoke Japanese in the kitchen.
Like my mom, her friend was a young child in Okinawa during World War II. When I think of how little they had as children, I gain perspective on how little we actually need to be happy. My mom and her friend had quite a lot in common. They started their lives in dire circumstances, but survived and went on to live long, beautiful lives. They married soldiers whose jobs took them all over this big, beautiful planet. They found joy in gardening, traveling, and raising their children.
80 years no longer seems like a long enough time to be here, but when I think of the way their lives started, I feel lucky for every day that I’m given with family and friends. I plan to spend even the worst days finding moments of joy.