Growing up, Parenting, & Family

My father Frank Egami, though born in Canada, lived in Japan until the age of 15 or 16. He already knew who he was when he came back to Canada. He was hard working, gregarious, generous, empathetic, and in spite of being stripped down to nothing due to the War, just by brute-force hard labour raised a family and thrived. I remember, in the old days people went door-to-door to solicit donations for their cause. He would give something to every organization, no questions asked. He always went the extra mile to be kind, and the Japanese sense of “On” and “Giri” were definitely a part of his make-up. It was not until I was of university age that I was able to appreciate what a great man he was.
While raising children, I felt very lucky to be a stay-at-home mom, and I can say they were the best years of my life. I felt it was a luxury to pick up my kids from school and spend time with them, and enjoy their beauty, a luxury my parents didn’t have as they were working all the time. My parents were so busy just trying to survive that they didn’t have much time for anything else. Gradually they were able to have leisure time, and they took up ballroom dancing. Ballroom dancing was a signifier of gaining entry to the Western world. I remember the great posture they had as they elegantly moved around the room.
I’d like to mention here, that my grandfather Hikotaro Egami had a beautiful voice. I still get shivers, remembering when he sang at my older brother’s wedding. He began on a high note that seemed to come from far far away, from way out in the universe somewhere. It was a song that he had learned as a young person in Japan, beautiful and powerful. I felt the emotion, a plaintive call from the past.
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