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Monday, June 6, 2011

June 6 – A Welcome Home and a Fond Farewell to Our Readers

Nature throws us one more obstacle as Yasue returns to her family in Hawaii.

Yasue arrived as scheduled Friday morning June 3 just in time to see Ian’s 8th grade graduation at Island Pacific Academy. Although her flight was 30 minutes early from Tokyo, the morning did not go off without a hitch. Two things that rarely happen in Hawaii prevented me from meeting her at the airport as planned. A torrential thunderstorm and a shooting incident on the highway virtually shut the highway down, making it impossible for me to get there in time. After spending 90 minutes in bumper-to-bumper traffic and only going 3 miles, I realized there was no way I would make it to the airport and still make Ian’s graduation. Fortunately, the westbound highway was still open so Yasue was able to get a cab. I got turned around and we both made it to Ian’s school just minutes before graduation started.

The flooded highway was yet one more unwelcome complication in trying to reunite our family. After her being gone for more than four months, her mother passing away, the 3/11 quake and tsunami, was it really asking too much to have a normal 20-minute drive to the airport?

After the graduation ceremony, the three of us had lunch together and Ian shared some of his pictures from his school trip to Colorado and the trip he and I took to Lanai. About an hour later, the emotional strain we all had endured caught up with us and we all fell asleep for about 4 hours or so. I got up and made dinner and from that point on, our life seemed to fall effortlessly back into our normal routine. Ian’s basketball game. Yard work. House cleaning.

If we had written this blog before the quake and tsunami, nobody would have read it. Not even our family. Our life on March 10 was blessedly routine and to others, I’m sure boring. That’s how we wanted it. I have worked in the news media my entire adult life and I am much more comfortable reporting the news than I am making it. Now that our life has returned to normal, it is time we say goodbye to the readers of this blog. Thank you for following our little story. We will fondly remember your kind words of encouragement. We were blessed by your prayers and your positive thoughts.

In Sendai, life is still in the process of returning to normal. Many of the residents there have a long way to go. In the coastal areas of northeast Japan, there are still signs of devastation everywhere. There are still thousands of people missing. There are still thousands living in shelters. They still need your prayers and your positive thoughts.

If some major news happens in Tohoku and we think we can add some insight, we might very well update this blog again. Until then, we very much look forward to returning to our quiet lives. With Aloha, Scott, Yasue and Ian.

 

Posted on Monday, June 6, 2011 in Permalink

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About This BLOG

Scott and Yasue Schumaker moved from Japan to Hawaii in 1995. They and their son Ian, 14, live in Kapolei. In mid-January, Yasue unexpectedly returned to her childhood home in Sendai, Japan to care for her ailing mother. She was in Sendai when the devastating 9.0 earthquake struck. In this blog, Scott will share how all 3 family members are coping with the separation amid the chaos and misery of post-quake life in northern Japan. All times in this blog are HST.

Editor's Note:
Scott Schumaker, president of our parent company, PacificBasin Communications, has a unique take on the events unfolding in Japan. His wife, Yasue, is a concierge at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa. Yasue was in Sendai when the earthquake and tsunami hit and was one of the first people interviewed by CNN. She remains there, looking after her ailing mother and coping with the devastation. In this online column, Schumaker chronicles the experience of one family, both separated and united by disaster.

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