ForeverMissed
Stories

Adventures

Shared by Matt MacDonagh-Dumler on July 27, 2020
I woke up in the night last night and did something I haven’t done in a long long time for no reason in particular. I logged onto Facebook. That’s when I saw the message that your Mom had passed away. Andy (and Jon and Ken and Mr Iwamasa) my heart goes out to you. Your Mom / Wife (Mrs Iwamasa to me) was such a wonderful person. I have been thinking all day about growing up with the Iwamasas. 
Your house was my second home. And your Mom always made me feel so welcome. We had amazing adventures at your house. All the sleepovers and double sleepovers. Getting to your house from mine through the woods was even an adventure. Trails and secret paths. How we’d sneak in through the Puppy-chow door behind the furnace and eat pop tarts, gold fish and drink coke. Our games of hide and seek. I was always amazed at how Jon could scale up the walls of the stairs and climb onto the top of the cabinets. Then there was honing our fort building skills which, as a parent now, I realise is a euphemism for wrecking a place. But God, it was fun; and I always felt like t We’d make such elaborate, multi-chamber lairs (complete with an area for food stuffs) using the long interlocking timber blocks and bed sheets. Exploring your backyard. Climbing trees. Though, that big one in the back - I mostly remember watching you and Jon scale up that tree. I can’t quite remember, but I don’t think I could get to the lowest branch very well. And of course the long long sessions of D&D over many many years. 
Behind it all was a home your Mom and Dad created. A home for adventures, exploring and fun. What a magnificent place! I am grateful to you and your Mom and Dad for giving / sharing with me such a wonderful childhood. Sometimes things weren’t so fun. When we’d go ‘help’ your Mom with the Delta phone-a-thon as a runner, I’d eat the Burger King. They had those tables with loads of Whoppers on them and I think it was orange drink (but I could be wrong). It seemed like every time I did, I’d get sick in the middle of night at your house. Your mom is one of the few people who has cared for me puking (repeatedly). She was so kind.  
I can only imagine how much you all must miss her. If you get the sense that someone is sending kind thoughts from far off to the east and over the waves, that’d be me.
With much love, Matt

Together

Shared by Andrew Iwamasa on July 26, 2020
Distance, varied opinions, different theology, different values, different heritage or simply a different point of view. These are all things that separate us, but they are all things that never mattered to my mother. It never was about the things that make us different, but the things that bring us together. The bonds that connected us, the laughter that we could all share if we just pay close enough attention.

I know that we all are experiencing our own overwhelming emotions, thoughts and fears, but if my mother, Ruby Iwamasa, taught me anything it is that these are the times that we need to rely on each other more than any other. That there will always be shadows, or conflict or frustrations at not knowing what the perfect thing is to say or do. The thing is, there isn't a perfect thing to say or do in almost any situation, let alone a time like now.

But looking closer. Taking a moment to see the details in the bigger picture. These are the things that she was a master at noticing. At being able to see the light in any situation and to use that light to illuminate the world around her, not for herself, but for all of us that stood by. She has always been a beacon for me, and will continue to do so through out my as I attempt to help my children (and myself) be able to find those details, no matter how small, every single moment of every single day. 

My mother wasn't perfect, but she was perfect for me. Even now I find myself learning from her, and hearing her voice in my head guiding me to be better than I am, even when I falter. 

I need you all more than ever, and I know that all of you need us more than ever before. We are all feeling the void in our lives and the world is a little bit worse for her not being in it. But it's times like these that she would remind us of a story that made us laugh, an important time in history, or even just something that would make us wonder what the heck she was talking about. Her impact on the world has been huge, changing the tides of oceans and if I am smart enough, I will continue to let her guide me every single moment of my life. 

Every single one of you reading this has been impacted by my mother in some way, and please know that I share your grief and sadness as we celebrate her life, her passion and her love. Know that in turn, each and everyone of you impacted on my mother's life, and made an impression on her. She saw the special details in all of us that shine if we allow them to. Continue to reach for the stars and know that with love like that, nothing will ever keep us from our goals, no matter what obstacles may be in our path, and that together we are stronger. And together is how we will continue to grow.

I love you mom.  


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