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Article: Hey May...

Hey May...

Hey May...are you already here?  I cannot believe how quickly 2015 is going by.  May has become a month full of reminiscing.  Some sad memories, some bitter sweet, but for the most part time has been the healer.  My childhood best friend, J, who died suddenly of heart failure about a week before her 16th birthday, had her birthday on May 3rd.  Every year I'm saddened by the remembrance that she never turned sweet 16.  

She was a sweet, quiet girl, who had the biggest heart to reach out to me when I was without friends, having just immigrated to the US from Taiwan.  We were like sisters, practically attached at the hips.  Her passing was tragic and unexpected, but the year before she managed to bring her weight down to 76 lbs at her 5'2" frame.  She had been teased by friends at her school (we did not go to the same school) that she had a roundish face, and little did we know, she drove herself to become anorexic.  I still mourn her sudden passing 20 years ago now, but I'm comforted by the knowledge that someday I will see her again.  

May is also the month I spent my last Mother's Day with my mom just 8 years ago--her voice was weak and she complained of her inability to eat anything.  Little did we know she had terminal cancer and was going to pass away in 2 weeks, on May 31st.  

Despite all the memories the month of May has brought for me, I think of it as the transition into a fresh new season of life--June.  In fact, my little girl, June, was born in June--June 10th, to be exact, right on her due date.  She came to this world, wide-eyed, a full set of lungs, and was dubbed "spicy peanut" by the hospital nurses b/c of her LOUD cries.  I think God knew that I needed a special little package to come in June, since neither hubby nor I have any significant dates in both of our lives to celebrate until later in the year.  So June was just perfect, and I am SO ready for the month of June. :)  

Needless to say, this weekend, I celebrated Mother's Day with a nice morning hike followed by lunch (during which June had a major meltdown because she wanted "English" food and not "Chinese" food--cute how she is bilingual and associates the English language to food such as fries and hamburgers. ha).  But I digress.  I think leading up to May, I was mourning.  As movers picked up my mother's things from her old house and had it brought to our house--it all felt final.  I went through boxes upon boxes of papers--credit card and bank statements, accounts that no longer exist, even divorce papers (yes my parents' marriage dissolved after many years of separation), and photos...I grieved.  There were 2 suitcases of clothes too that were still in good condition, which I gave to a dear family friend because I couldn't stand to just donate them to anyone.  I suddenly realized that it gave me perspective to see her life summed up in half a dozen boxes.  

Is this what a person's life culminated to?  It's not the *things* in life that she left behind that had any impact at all, it was what she did with her life.  What she taught me, who she was to me, all those things remain still, ingrained in me.  Mom was not perfect, just as I am far from being the perfect mama to June, but she instilled great values and belief in me that I still have.  It's with this intangible, lasting impact that I am living my life--hoping to instill the same in my little June bug.  

Sometimes the best we can do is to just live life the best we know how.  Life takes unexpected turns, and we are never in control of any of it.  I try, each day, to live a life that is meaningful and impactful to others.  And I hope to leave the kind of mark that someday June will be able to feel.  



Judy!! Couldn’t help reading this (and just checked out all the collections and sales and wish I could buy them all)! Really loved your sharing, especially how God could bring such a joyful renewed season in your life following what has been the losses and mourning of May. I’m thankful for and encouraged by you and pray that God will continue to bring His refreshing and renewal over all areas of your life, just as He has already done. Miss seeing you and Craig!


Judy, my heart is crying, with sadness for your losing your dear friend so young and your dear mother so too early, and with such joy for our dear, dear June-chan. Just saying her name brings smiles! You and Craig are raising her so very well. Often, June will say, “Mommy said, ….” about how to do things, like flossing before brushing. ☺️ ? ?

Joan Ishihara

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