Tag Archives: Mom

If you can fully embrace the unpredictability of your death, you will truly live in the present and appreciate every moment before you now.

None of us can predict when and how we will die. If you can fully embrace the unpredictability of your death, you will truly live in the present and appreciate every moment before you now.

None of us can predict when and how we will die. If you can fully embrace the unpredictability of your death, you will truly live in the present and appreciate every moment before you now.

None of us can predict when and how we will die. If you can fully embrace the unpredictability of your death, you will truly live in the present and appreciate every moment before you now.
– +positive masters+, Jon Riki Karamatsu, 1/20/2020 –

On Thursday, January 17, 2020, my mom called my cell phone. Her voice was filled with elation and joy, “Mia got the job at Stanford University!” My younger sister Mia is a trauma care doctor, a partner of a group of medical doctors at California Pacific Medical Center at San Francisco, California.

“Oh man, I’m so happy! I’m so happy for her! This is awesome!” My voiced cracked with joyful laughter.

My mom continued, “Earlier, I heard dad cheer, ‘Wohoo!’ probably when Mia told him the good news!” My dad was talking with Mia on the phone before my mom. For those of you who know my dad, this type of celebratory action by him is extremely unusual. He’s normally stoic and logical, fitting for a former electrical engineer who helped build and fix nuclear submarines and warships at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Mia fulfilled a dream of my mom’s mom, my grandma Ellen Sakai. When my two sisters and I were little, she told us that we should become doctors. She emphasized how important doctors were. Grandma also told many of her other grandchildren this.

One Summer, while I attended Summer classes at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, majoring in political science, I was living with her and grandpa Tadao Sakai at their small home on Citron Street, in the heart of McCully, Honolulu, Hawaii. Grandma and I had another one of those talks about whether or not I would become a medical doctor.

“Grandma, I plan to go to law school.”

“Ah, lawyers are dime-a-dozen,” she answered.

“I’m not going to be a regular lawyer, I’m going to be President of the United States.”

I smiled as my grandma laughed away. “No one knows you,” she said while continuing to laugh, “You have to be like Jon Yoshimura (a Honolulu politician who became the Chairman of the Honolulu City Council and had a segment on the local news station called “Ask a Lawyer” where viewers got their legal questions answered.). Why don’t you become a doctor?”

Years later, when Mia participated in the white coat ceremony at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Grandma Sakai’s face was filled with pride and joy. So was the expression on my grandma Bessie Karamatsu’s face, my dad’s mom. There was immense pride among all of us, my dad, mom, baby sister Lara, and I. To serve others as a medical professional is a great calling. Every single one of us needs a doctor. We all get sick. We all will die. It’s our doctor who will help us when we face every illness and disease, and ultimately, our death. It’s not just the skills and knowledge that our doctor continuously develops, but the empathic and caring words that he/she says to us that will help comfort our suffering.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Just as my sister Mia was embarking on an exciting new path of medical care practice, public speaking, and research and development to create new healthcare services and products at Stanford University, I picked up the book “When Breath Becomes Air,” an incredible memoir by Paul Kalanithi, who at the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon and neuroscientist, was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Paul’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life?”

As I read “When Breath Becomes Air,” I felt a deep sadness on how Paul Kalanithi’s potential was cut short from cancer, which mixed with the happiness I felt for my sister Mia who will be heading to Stanford University, starting this Summer to expand her medical career as a practitioner and researcher. The connection, Stanford University, made Paul’s story and my sister’s story very real, on top of them being the same age. You see, Paul did amazing work for Stanford University before he died. In addition to his work in the operating room as a neurosurgeon, he was a neuroscientist in a lab at Stanford University, where he worked on neural prosthetic technology that would allow paralyzed people to mentally control a computer cursor or robot arm. I kept thinking on how Mia and many other doctors will continue on their trajectory, something Paul would have loved to do.

I read this book in two sittings. His journey opened my eyes. I was in awe of the work neurosurgeons and neuroscientists do. It wrenched my heart as he struggled with his emotions and logic when faced with extremely difficult situations that brain trauma patients and loved ones of the patients face such as deciding whether to keep a patient alive knowing that the patient could risk losing knowledge of one’s self and everyone and everything around him/her. Without this function, a person loses his/her purpose. The innocence and excitement felt by Paul and his fellow medical classmates were replaced by fatigue, stress, and death after they ventured into their different residency programs at hospitals and medical centers across the country.

Paul’s writing brought me into his world as if I was with him through his every struggle. I loved it when things seemed to be getting better for him and his wife. I chuckled at his humor. When he cried, I cried. I had to pause from my reading numerous times as tears streamed down my cheeks. In fact, I cried as I wrote this article in a Starbucks coffee shop in Waikele, Hawaii packed with people. That’s how impactful Paul’s book has been on me. He wrote it as he was dying, racing against precious seconds. I felt every word of his as if he was talking to me.

In the past, I’ve written numerous times about death and how embracing it can motivate us to be appreciative of everything we have and make the most of our life. However, unless I face my own dying moments, I won’t fully understand what it’s like to be dying, whether it’s quick and instant or slow and gradual. Likewise, none of you will know until it’s your time. Well, Paul, through his writing shows us exactly what he was feeling as he moved towards his death. His experience became my experience. I could see myself in his life and by doing so, I felt myself experiencing death surrounding me. I will forever keep Paul’s book close to me, opening it every time I stress about challenges for my businesses or clients, financial hardship, public ridicule for my failures, and facing prison time for my driving under the influence case, all of which look so small in comparison to dying.

I’ve lost a lot of loved ones over my lifetime. Last year was especially hard with the passing of my aunty JoAnn Matsumoto (My mom’s cousin and a former elementary school teacher), family friend Eric Kanemoto (My soccer coach, Cub Scout Master, Intermediate School teacher for metal shop, and my dad’s close friend. He and my dad coached my soccer teams, led the cub scouting program I was in, volunteered in the parent and teacher association for my Pearl City High School, and worked together on many other projects. They enjoyed talking with each other and the simple pleasures of life), and uncle Glenn Karamatsu (My dad’s younger brother and co-founder of a civil engineering firm in Hawaii). Reading “When Breath Becomes Air” has helped me cope with the deaths of my loved ones.

I love life. I’m extremely grateful to have an opportunity to try many things while I’m alive. I’m super appreciative of my dad, mom, sisters, nieces, nephew, relatives, and friends. And I’m thankful to be able to speak to you. As I move closer towards my death, I hope I’ll be strong, vulnerable, joyful, sad, and loving. After all, I went through it with Paul and felt his breath become air.

Love your life and make the most of it.

Dr. Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon and neuroscientist, wearing his white coat.

Dr. Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon and neuroscientist, wearing his white coat.


I dedicate this article to Paul Kalanithi’s wife Lucy, daughter Cady, mom, dad, siblings, family, and friends.

Paul and Lucy Kalanithi at their wedding.

Paul and Lucy Kalanithi at their wedding.

Dr. Paul Kalinithi, Lucy Kalanithi, and their daughter Elizabeth Acadia.

Dr. Paul and Lucy Kalanithi with their daughter Elizabeth Acadia.

Dr. Paul Kalanithi, Lucy Kalanithi, and their daughter Elizabeth Acadia.

Dr. Paul Kalanithi, Lucy Kalanithi, and their daughter Elizabeth Acadia.


I also dedicate this article to my dad, mom, sisters, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephew, extended family, and friends.

To read Paul Kalanithi’s “When Breath Becomes Air,” click here: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi.

Enter the +positive masters+ universe at www.positivemasters.com for mindset practices, motivational writing, and apparel with inspirational mantras and designs to boost your happiness and counter any stress, anxiety, sadness or anger that you may be facing. ❤️




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Having a one-track mind can be good when you direct your obsession on improving your life!⁠

Having a one-track mind can be good when you direct your obsession on improving your life!⁠

Having a one-track mind can be good when you direct your obsession on improving your life!⁠

Having a one-track mind can be good when you direct your obsession on improving your life!⁠ 😃

As a young boy, I was one-track minded when I wanted something. When I directed my obsessive energy at bettering myself like my skills for soccer or my knowledge for school, I could do great things. However, when I obsessed over things I couldn’t control, it could hamper my mindset.⁠

Sometime during my time in 4th grade & 5th grade in elementary school, I wanted a G.I. Joe jet toy really badly. My mom said, “No, unless, I do well in school.” A year or two later, I achieved the grades needed to satisfy my mom in getting that toy. She taught me a huge lesson on the importance of bettering yourself & earning material goods the hard way. Honestly, many material things are just a bonus, most of which we can live without. When you work really hard for something, you really value it.⁠ 😊

Even now, I have a strong & long-lasting high off of improving myself instead of simply buying something to get that quick & short-lasting high. Things that I want are rewards for my hard work. By the way, I still have that G.I. Joe jet. It reminds me of the lesson my mom taught me. I love her so much.⁠ ❤️

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For pointers on how to live a happier life, discounts on our merchandise, & updates on our latest products & services, become a member of the +positive masters+ club by subscribing to our email list here at www.positivemasters.com.

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Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and two younger sisters!

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and two younger sisters! I love them so much. My mom taught me love, compassion, empathy, and gratitude, all the fundamentals of life. My sisters are amazing moms for their young children. I’m super lucky!

Every single mom, whether they’re with us physically or in spirit means so much. Often times, they bring balance to our lives and world because they truly want the best for us. They want to see us happy. Sending my love to all you moms out there!

With Warmest Aloha,

#mom #mother #mothersday #family #lovedones #mindful #mindfulness #gratitude #grateful #thankful #happy #love #compassion #empathy

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St. Louis Drive Inn in Honolulu, Hawaii after the 2018 Honolulu Marathon

I’m so thankful for my mom who has been waking up about 3 a.m. every year to drive me from the Westside of Oahu to the Honolulu Marathon’s starting line by Ala Moana Beach Park. Then she picks me up at about 10 a.m. at Kapiolani Park after I complete the run and receive my medal, shell lei, finisher shirt, malasada (Portuguese fried donut), banana, and Gatorade or water.

After finishing the Honolulu Marathon on Sunday December 9, 2018, my mom and I went to St. Louis Drive Inn for lunch. My mom had an apple turnover and coffee. I chose the fresh seafood plate, which includes sashimi, mahi mahi, shrimp tempura. Ono! (Delicious in Hawaiian language). If you haven’t tried St. Louis Drive Inn yet, or are a visitor wanting to eat what the locals in Hawaii eat, check the drive inn out at 3145 Waialae Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii.

#honolulumarathon #marathon #marathons #marathoner #run #running #runner #exercise #health #mom #lunch #driveinn #restaurant #restaurants #hawaiirestaurants #hawaiifood #travelfood #platelunch #seafood #ahi #sashimi #shrimptempura #tempura #mahimahi #mindful #mindfulness #gratitude #grateful #thankful #happy

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My Mom’s Birthday Dinner at MW

Celebrated my mom’s birthday tonight at MW with my dad, sister, and brother-in-law. The owner of MW is my mom’s high school friend’s daughter. It was a great night!

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Gratitude + Anything Is Possible

I learned gratitude from my mom. She has also encouraged me to try new things since I was a child. Anything is possible is what my mom instilled in me. I share with her and my dad every plan I have.

Here’s my mom and my baby niece at Pearl Ridge Center, Aiea, Hawaii on 8/2/2018.

#mom #niece #baby #family #influencer #pearlridge #pearlridgemall #aiea #hawaii #mindfulness #gratitude #anythingispossible

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My Mom Is My Greatest Teacher!

My mom is my teacher of mindfulness, gratitude, empathy, and compassion. Throughout my life, I’ve met and befriended powerful masters, healers, individuals with different spiritual powers, and religious leaders of different faiths, however, my greatest teacher has been with me all along. My mom is truly a master on the positive side. I learn from her by observing how she lives. I love her so much! On Monday March 12, 2018, I had breakfast with her at Big City Diner in Waipio, Oahu, Hawaii.
#mom #mother #teacher #master #influencer #family #mindfulness #gratitude #empathy #compassion #love #positivity #positiveliving #peace #innerpeace #joy #happiness #bigcitydiner #waipio #oahu #hawaii

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Turkey Jook From My Mom

Yesterday, my mom dropped off turkey jook (turkey and rice soup) at my home. I’m super grateful for the thoughtfulness of my mom. I love her! Today, my energy is low, and I’m feeling mentally down even though I received good news early this morning on one of my projects, got a nice email from a new friend and potential business partner, and glad for a couple of decisions I made on two stocks. Yet, I feel down. Strange how we can have these mixed emotions. Thus, my mom’s soup really gave me some comfort today. I will attempt to do some work tonight to lift my spirit! May peace be with you, and cheers to all of your moms for all they do for you!


#turkeyjook #turkeysoup #soup #mom #mother #family #love #business #entrepreneurship #law #mindfulness #gratitude #honolulu #hawaii

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“Just try!” Got it mom!

Sports, activities,

law, politics, business, love.

“Just try!” Got it mom!

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, Haiku Poem #82, 11/16/2017 –

( I dedicate this Haiku poem to my mom whose birthday is today, November 16, 2017.  Since I was a little kid, my mom got me and my two younger sisters to try so many activities and experiences.  Since I was a child I’ve been telling her my plans, like “Hey mom, hey mom, this the plan!!!  As a middle-aged adult, I still do this, and she has the same answer, “Just try.”  My mom is my greatest support.  I love her so much!)

#haiku #haikupoem #haikupoems #haikupoetry #poem #poems #poetry #creativewriting #writing #mom

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I Love My Mom

When I was a baby, my mom would talk and read to me.

As a toddler, she made me do math and English workbooks by rewarding me with a penny for every page I accomplished.

As a kid, my mom drove me to soccer, baseball, Aikido, cub scouts, and many other activities until my dad could meet us after he finished work.

My mom and dad attended all my soccer games and watched me progress from an average player to one of the State’s highest scorers.

While I struggled to find out who I was during my teenage years, my mom helped me through it.

On the day I graduated from high school, my mom and dad that was there.

When I broke up with my first girlfriend and saw my college grade point average drop, my mom comforted me.

When I made my college comeback by raising my GPA and graduated from the University of Hawaii with a B.A. in Political Science my mom and dad was there.

My mom and dad flew to Washington State to see me graduate from Gonzaga University School of Law, and later that year they saw me sworn in as a lawyer under the Hawaii State Bar Association in the Hawaii State Senate.

A year later, my mom and dad witnessed me get sworn into the Hawaii State House of Representatives.

When I was in jail for DUI, my mom and dad was there to be bail me out.

When I got attacked by the media, political opponents, and haters, my mom and dad stood by me.

Every time I was feeling down from angry people, power hungry politicians, tyrant and tantrum-filled judges, and selfish business persons, my mom was there to listen.

With every plan and goal I came up with for my business and political endeavors, my mom always told me to give it a try.

Even now, my mom is alway there to cheer me on. Through her I’ve learned that when we strive for what we want, anything is possible, and that having empathy and compassion is the best way to live.

I dedicate this song “Be As You Are” by Mike Posner and remixed by Jordan XL to my mom and to all of you mothers out there.

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