Ode to Saku Mori

By LaLaPalooza
By LaLaPalooza

I’ve always carried my grandparents close to my heart, especially grandma aka Mamasan.  She was funny, gracious, and determined.  There was a conversation at the poker table last night about me not backing down in a hand and my quick wit.  I naturally said outloud, “I get that from my grandma.”

On the drive home today, my eyes were frequently drawn to the clouds.  I truly felt grandma’s presence as I captured the image above.  While writing the poem, I confirmed her date of death.  I was shocked to see it was July 16, 1999. Grandma is in me and with me, always…

Saku not Sake

The long aisle


family to one,

chanters to other.

Incense burns-

yellow roses,

Grandpa’s favorite,

draped across

her casket.

The chanting-

ebbs and flows

loud; soft

quick; slow.

Words I don’t understand-

but know,


are beautiful; peaceful.

A favorite song-

“We all live

in a yellow submarine,

a yellow submarine”

floats through the sanctuary

her final request fulfilled.


the daughter of Kai

mother of Kazumi.

I leave my grandma’s side knowing-


she smiles from above,

playful twinkle in her eye.


**As individuals, we all grieve in our own way and our own time.  It is not for society to determine what we grieve about (not only a death) nor for how long (may never end).  For those grieving, please give yourself permission to do what is best for you, in your own way, in your own time.

#DontTellMeImTheTeller #MyOwnStory

~D.Thompson: 7/17/2015

3 thoughts on “Ode to Saku Mori

  1. This is beautiful Daniela and your talent for words is outstanding. I appreciate your dedication to our wonderful mamasan. I have been thinking about her all day long. It is hard to believe it will be 20-years since her passing in July and I miss her dearly, think of her daily and wish she is still with us – although she would be 101 today. I wish that the great grand kids had the chance to know her like you and Jonny did. (I think Sheadynn (9 years old) is already taller than her.) She had an awesome personality with lots of grace and spunk (when needed), but I l especially loved her unexpected humor. Happy Birthday mommy – Rest is Peace with daddy and Henry. We miss you all!


    • Thank you for your kind words Aunt Lena. Time sure flies. She was a special woman; I regret not asking her more questions and savoring my time with her. She left a legacy of tenacity sprinkled with spunk. For that I’m grateful. Hugs to you. 💕


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