Every summer now for the past several years we have had the pleasure of having some very dear friends come and visit us all the way from Japan!
We met around 1998 when we were next door neighbors! They had a little boy who became friends with my boys and they played together for quite awhile before we got to know his parents. I believe he was three years old at the time… and mine were 13, 2 1/2, and not quite one. Harrison wasn’t even thought of yet!
Their little guy Kaoru, was at our house almost every day after his preschool! He just gradually became one of “our boys”!
And our friendship with his parents began to grow over time and has been such a blessing to us all these years.
We love all three of them and were very sad when they had to move back to Japan.
(One last farewell hug! 2001 – I think.)
But we look forward to seeing them every summer when they come for a visit to America! And this summer is no exception. Although it will be the shortest visit to date.
Nagisa has taught me many things. Things about Japanese cooking, about being open minded to other ideas and cultures, and about reaching out to others even when you are told information that may discourage you from doing so. Because that information may be WRONG! She is truly one of my most precious friends.
We don’t get to see Yuji as much anymore since he is unable to come out in the summers, but he does come to America for work now and then and we are lucky enough to have him spend some time with us when he does. He is a very special person and so kind to our kids!
And Kaoru (who is now 14) is just one of the most wonderful kids I know! He has a spot in my heart that will always remain just for him. When he used to come over as a very small boy he soon learned that if he was going to be at my house he was going to have to play by my rules… and he did! He began to just be part of our lives and a part of our family. I loved it… and so do all four of his “brothers”!
So many different photographs are coming to my mind right now… of when they were all very little young (Darren was never very little!) and although I would love to put them up on here for you… they are in a box. One of these days I am going to get that out again and rescan them. I lost a lot of my old photos when my computer died.
But here are a few of Kaoru these past few years on his visits.
For Darren’s high school graduation a few years ago, Nagisa and Yuji’s gift to him was a trip to Japan! Needless to say they think a lot of him! Then the next year a friend of ours paid his way to go and accompany her son on his trip to Japan. How does one get so lucky? This is a picture from his last trip. He plans on saving up his money and going again in the future. And yes, a six foot three and half inch blond guy does attract some attention over there! As shy as he is… I think he loves it.
Oh, there is so much I want to say here… so much to tell about these special friends… but I must cut this short and just say that we are very blessed to know them and are getting very excited about their visit. The boys are especially anxious to show Nagisa all the things that they’ve made over the last two weeks, and to see how tall Kaoru has gotten!
Here’s to good friends… wonderful memories… and many more years fo sharing our lives with each other.