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My Miracle Mother by Joanna Fuchs

‘Mom, I look at you

and see a walking miracle.

Your unfailing love without limit,

your ability to soothe my every hurt,

the way you are on duty, unselfishly,

every hour, every day,

makes me so grateful

that I am yours, and you are mine.

With open arms and open heart,

with enduring patience and inner strength,

you gave so much for me,

sometimes at your expense.

You are my teacher,

my comforter, my encourager,

appreciating all, forgiving all.

Sometimes I took you for granted, Mom,

but I don’t now, and I never will again.

I know that everything I am today

relates to you and your loving care.

I gaze in wonder

as I remember you being you-

my miracle, my mother.’

Happy Mother’s Day mom!  I know you are watching from above.  I miss you and am remembering you on this special day and always.



Happy Birthday Mom!  You would have been 81 years old today.  On this special day, I celebrate you!

Guiding Light Mom

Mom, from the time I was really young,
I realized I had someone…you,
who always cared,
who always protected me,
who was always there for me no matter what.
You taught me right from wrong,
and pushed me to do the right thing,
even when it was hard to do.
You took care of me when I was sick,
and your love helped make me well.
You had rules,
and I learned that when I obeyed them,
my life was simpler, better, richer.
You were and are
the guiding light of my life.
My heart is filled with love for you,
my teacher, my friend, my mother.

By Karl and Joanna Fuchs

I am everything I am today because you loved me.  I miss you and love you always…. “Mother’s hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever”

Today I remember….

My mother….

February 15, 1931 - September 11, 2010

Hisako Ujifusa February 15, 1931 - September 11, 2010

and the victims of 9/11


May they rest in peace….

Happy Mother’s Day mom!

Today I celebrate you not only on this special day, but always.  This is the first Mother’s Day without you and I am feeling a bit melancholy.  It was weird not buying you that special card at the card store this year and thinking of a wonderful gift that I could buy you.  It’s so hard not to want to pick up the phone to talk to you and hear your voice.  But I know that you are looking down on me today and reaching down and smiling.  I take comfort knowing that you are always within me, in spirit and in memories.  I carry you within me not only today, but every day and celebrate your life.

Today and always, I thank you for being my mom.  You will never be forgotten.  I love you and miss you.  I take pride that you have molded me in being the mother I am today.  I celebrate you today…my mother, my companion, my rock….

Your mother is always with you…

She’s the whisper of the leaves

as you walk down the street.

She’s the smell of bleach in

your freshly laundered socks.

She’s the cool hand on your

brow when you’re not well.

Your mother lives inside

your laughter. She’s crystallized

in every tear drop…

She’s the place you came from,

your first home.. She’s the map you

follow with every step that you take.

She’s your first love and your first heart

break….and nothing on earth can separate you.

Not time, Not space…

Not even death….

will ever separate you

from your mother….

You carry her inside of you…


Happy Birthday mom!  Today you would have been 80 years young.

It’s hard to believe that it has been only 5 months since you left us and even harder not to pick up the phone to call you and wish you a happy birthday.  But today, I celebrate your life and the memories that you have created for me.  To remember your laughter as we chatted about various things from the weather, to your grandchildren, to what was going on in my life.  Listening to you speak in half English and half Japanese to me.  (something that I really miss hearing) Wishing that I could hear your voice once more, for only just a minute.  We used to talk for hours on end about just anything and nothing.  I miss watching my  kids talk to you, knowing that they sometimes had a hard time understanding what you were saying.  They would smile at me and shrug their shoulders, but just kept talking to you, telling you that they loved and missed you.

I remember visiting you in the hospital in Billings, MT, spending days and evenings with you.  Some times we would talk, some times we would just be quiet in our own thoughts.  But every night before I left the hospital, I told you I loved you and that I’d see you the next day.  I remember that last night I saw you (as I had to go home) that you gave me a kiss and a hug and a special longing look, like you were memorizing my face.  I remember turning around to look at you in your hospital room, wanting to turn back and not go home.  I left that night with a heavy heart.  That night, that moment,  is something that I will always remember.   No words can ever express that feelings that I felt.  As I looked back, I know you were saying “good-bye” to me, even though you never really said the words.  It is something I will cherish all my life.

So today, mom, I want to wish you a Happy Birthday and to remember you as you were – strong, brave, loving…special.

You may be gone from this physical earth, but you live within me every day, every moment, every second.

Happy Birthday, mom….I love you



I feel a warmth around me

like your presence is so near,

And I close my eyes to visualize

your face when you were here,

I endure the times we spent together

and they are locked inside my heart,

For as long as I have those memories

we will never be apart,

Even though we cannot speak no more

my voice is always there,

Because every night before I sleep

I have you in my prayer.

-Louise Bailey

As most of you already know, my mom recently passed away peacefully on September 11, 2010.  What most of you might not know is what kind of person she was or what kind of life she led.

When my sister was speaking to the Buddhist priest to arrange a memorial for my mom, one of the questions that he had asked her is, if she could describe mom in one word, what would that word be.  All of us sisters agreed that the word that described mom the most was the word “courageous”.

You see, mom had lived a hard and arduous life.  As a little girl, her home town, Nagoya, Japan was bombed over 90% with incendiary bombs.  She lost her home and her family had to rebuild from scratch.  She learned how to fight/defend herself at the age of 9 or 10 with items such as sticks and poles.  And every time bombers came over, she had to go to the air raid shelters until the bombing was over.  I remember her telling me that when she looked up at the sky, the sky was blackened by the numerous amounts of B-52s flying in the air.  There were times when food became scarce and she had to resort to eating plants and sometimes beetles and grasshoppers.

As she grew up into a young adult, she was struck by a car which opened up her chest.  She survived the accident, but left a scar approximately 6-8″ long and about an 1 inch wide above her left breast.  It almost took her life.

She met my dad when the US Armed forces occupied Japan working as a manager at the Officer’s hotel laundering service.  They married and mom left her family in Japan to begin her new life in a new country.  Going from living in a large city to living in a small farming community, not knowing anyone and not speaking the language was a huge adjustment for her.  I remember her telling me how much she missed her family and some times longed to go back.  Since coming to the United States she only had the opportunity to see them once in her life time.  Yet, she never complained.  She learned how to read, write and speak English, get her US citizenship and raised 4 girls (she lost two infant boys).  She even got a job as a manager at a fast food restaurant!  She was adored by all!

Although her life was filled with hardship, she persevered and remained strong.  She taught us girls how to stay strong when times got tough, to love unconditionally, and most importantly to live our lives to the fullest and appreciate the things that life gives us.

Yes, “courageous” is the perfect word that fits her.  Courageous to the very end.

I’m going to miss my mom dearly, but she will continue to live within me and my memories.  Her spirit will continue to guide me and help me live my life knowing that I was blessed with knowing and loving such a wonderful person.

She may be gone from this physical world, but will always be with us in spirit…

Don’t think of her as gone away-
her journey’s just begun
Life holds many faucets-
this earth is only one
Think of her as resting-
from the sorrow and the tears
in a place of warmth and comfort-
where there are no days and years
Think how she must be wishing-
that we could know today
That nothing but our sadness-
can really pass away
Think of her as living-
in the hearts of those she touched
For nothing loved is ever lost-
and she was loved so much!

Happy Birthday Bella!  You are now 3 years old today!

I clearly remember the day we brought you home…howling and screaming all the way home in your crate!  I thought to myself…”boy, do I really want another dog??? Especially this howly one??”

What was I thinking!!!  Every day, you bring us joy and happiness to our family!  Your morning “woo woo’s” to wake us up to a new day, your “woo woo’s” (with your bone in your mouth) greeting us when we come home….the joyous sound of “welcome home mommy and daddy” fills the house.  What a blessing you have been to all of us!  Domino has a best friend and sister who he loves to play with!  Erin and Brandon have a “best friend” at their side.  And the shear joy and laughter you bring to me personally has been the best “medicine” that anyone could ever prescribe!

Thank you for being the little “fart” you are, Bella!  We are sooo looking forward to many, many more years of the same!  Happy Birthday my baby Bella!

Mom in her early 20's

Mom, this blog entry is dedicated to you in honor of your 79th birthday.  As a mother, I now understand the sacrifice, the unconditional love, the selflessness and the patience you gave of yourself for your children.  The past couple of years, you have encountered some hardships that a child never wants to see their parents go through.  Yet, you are a survivor and every day you show me how much a mother’s love and strength can carry her through even through the hardest of times.  You are my inspiration to continue to live my life to the fullest and to never give up in any circumstances.  Your constant love and affection has given me the strength to be my best.

Thank you

To be a mother is not an easy task,

Yet you do it proudly everyday no matter what is asked

You have turned your baby into a beautiful young lady.

You were there for me since the very beginning and saved me countless tears

The pushy and wise advice you gave will carry me through the years.

With my every mistake or wrongful deed,

You were always there to understand.

You put no limits on my dreams or anything else I wish to do.

You never forget to say you care or that you love me too.

The smile and tears upon your face when I achieve provides me with more value

In my heart then you’d ever believe.

There is no other person that will shape my heart the way you’ve done,

Your job finished perfectly for your precious daughters and son.

We have had a rocky road through triumph and catastrophe, hard time and despair,

But not a single moment of time of not having a wonderful mother there.

You have always put in your last with love and my whole life is not enough time for me to repay you.

We always put our disagreements to the side and manage to make it through.

I know that my teen years have driven you crazy but you have guided me with assurance along the way.

You have given me comfort and certainty with every breath I take within the day.

Your little girl is growing up but your baby girl will always remain deep inside me.

There are not enough words that can thank you for everything you have helped me emotionally and physically.

I have my whole future ahead of me and you are the women that has leaded me and guided me towards the proper path.

How can one simple day prove that much thanks and love to someone who has pushed this far and still is working her way?

No other person deserves a more wonderful birthday.

– Devon

May your birthday be filled with joy and celebration!

Happy Birthday Mom!  You are forever loved!

Your loving daughter, Gayle

It’s Domino Designer 7.x day! (November 22, 2009)  That is, it’s Donahan Domino Designer’s 7 year (or 49 in people years) birthday!!!!

Seven years ago, Bruce and I were considering a dog but were just not 100% sure what kind of dog we wanted or even if we were ready to commit to the responsibility of dog ownership.  In Bruce’s quest to find the perfect dog, our friend Kelly told him that her mother bred English Springer Spaniels and that they were an excellent dog to own as a pet.  We had no clue what an English Springer Spaniel was, but Kelly insured Bruce that he would fall in love with them.  To get Bruce familiarized with the breed, Kelly’s mom brought over their four dogs (Delta, Jeanie, Calvin and Duffy) for him to check out. Bruce never mentioned anything to me about seeing Kelly’s mother’s dogs nor going forward with any thing.  So for a few months things slowed down and not much happened.

Then, a few months later, Bruce showed me some puppy pictures of the breed and asked me what I thought of the puppies.  I thought they were cute, but I had my heart set on a yellow lab.  He asked me if I would like a dog like that (an English Springer).  I didn’t say “yes” or “no”…so I think he took it as a “maybe”.  I am not sure when Bruce did this, but he went out to see the litter of puppies that Jeanie (Domino’s mom) just had.  He instantly fell in love with Domino (Kaleb then).  From that point forward, there was no turning back!  We were now going to be the proud owners of a 8 week old black and white male English Springer Spaniel!

I remember vividly the day that Domino was brought home to us!  He was so little!  He had his first meal at our house, played with us for a while and then fell asleep.

The next item on the list was to name him.  We were thinking something to do with him being black and white.  Oreo was mentioned and some other names. but then I came across Domino and thought of the instant connection between black and white, domino the game piece and IBM’s Lotus Notes/Domino!  What a perfect fit!!!  It was a match made in heaven!!  But now the chore was to put together a AKC name that included Domino.  We thought long and hard on this but came up with a very clever name.  With Domino’s mother’s AKC name, CH Donahan’s Designer Jeans CD, we came up with CH Donahan Domino Designer (playing on his mother’s AKC name as well as IBM’s Lotus Notes/Domino Designer name)  Pretty neat, huh?

What would have been really neat is if back in 2002 (the year Domino – the dog) was born, that IBM Lotus Notes/Domino was in version 7, but alas, it wasn’t (it was in version 6.x)  So, I guess we can’t say that Domino was born when Lotus Notes/Domino was in version 7.x!

So here we are 7 years later with a WONDERFUL pet who has brought us so much joy and laughter into our family!  Domino now has a little sister (Bella) that he has to contend with every now and then, but I think he wouldn’t have it any other way!  But that’s another story!

Thank you Domino, for bringing us all the joy and love into our family!  We are excited to have MANY more years with you and creating unforgettable memories!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOY!  You are the best Domino Designer that anyone could ever design!  We love you so much!

Baby Domino

Baby Domino

Domino Today

Domino Today

Ever since they were babies, my sister knew that her twins were meant to be in the water!  Watching them dunk their heads in the bath tub while bathing and loving it, my sister decided to get them into swim lessons at an early age.  At the age of 4, both (fraternal) twins, Kelsey and Katelyn we deep into swim lessons.  From then on, it was history!!

Just this past month, the Worland Senior High School 3A (the same school I graduated from) swim team went to State.  Below is the YouTube clip of their meet.  The team is in the 3rd lane (the lane with the pink capped girl who swam last).  The order of swimmers are:  Carly, Katelyn, Kelsey and Michelle.  The team took 3rd in this event out of 6 teams (1st: Lander, 3:45.43 (state record!) 2nd: Jackson, 3:48.54 3rd: Worland, 3:57.31 4th: Powell, 3:59.09 5th: Sublette, 4:01.79 6th: Buffalo, 4:07.06)

To put it into perspective, there were only twelve girls on Worland’s swim team.  At the conference meet, eight of those twelve qualified for State.  Of the eight, four made All State. ( Katelyn, Kelsey, Carly, and Michelle.)  They were beat by Jackson and Lander both with over forty girls and by Buffalo that has over thirty-five girls.  Worland beat nine other teams of which Powell and Cody has over 25 girls on their teams.  The 4th place finish is the highest that any Worland Girls team has ever finished.  Of the eight that qualified for State, there is only one Senior.  So, when you look at how well the WSHS did overall compared to the rest of the state, they did very well!

Kelsey and Katelyn have been swimming with the WSHS swim team for 3 years (they are Juniors) and have progressively improved over the years.  They are strong competitors and talented individuals (both excel in school, are also great bowlers and artists).  Next year will be their last year competing on the team, but I hope that someone will see these two talented individuals and get them scholarships to swim at their college.  Katelyn’s strongest events are the 200 and 500 free style and Kelsey’s strongest events are the 100 fly and 100 back stroke events.

Congratulations Kelsey and Katelyn!  I have been to one of your swim meets in the past and have enjoyed watching both of you compete!  I know that you will continue to excel!  I hope that one day I will get to see you swim competitively again!  Keep up the good work!  Your aunt is very proud of you both!


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