Frances H. Kakugawa
Hawai‘i Herald Columnist

Omoiyari . . . Think of others first and good karma will return to you. — Frances H. Kakugawa

Dear Frances,

I just wanted to thank you for your inspiration. I have been keeping a journal, which has been extremely helpful to me since my husband had a major stroke in December and passed Jan 7. Thank you so much for your support.

Barbara Nance

Kona, Hawai‘i

Dear Barbara,

I’m sorry to hear that you lost your husband. Keep writing in your journal to explore your grief and, someday, you may find yourself preserving other memories of life with your husband.


Dear Frances

Thank you! The article on my mother was beautiful. She continues to feel independent, allowing her the freedom to be physically active.

When I think she’s stubborn or not listening . . . I say, “She’s forgetful.” We are growing in our own way.


Sandy Manual

Keauhou, Kona, Hawai‘i

Dear Sandy,

Yes, one word can make a difference in how we feel and view caregiving. Replacing “She’s stubborn” with “She’s trying so hard to retain her own dignity or the self that is disappearing” can make the difference we spoke about at the conference. I feel your joy.


Dear Frances,

Your haiku and caregiving help have been extremely informative to me, as well as to countless others. Just wanted to add to your many appreciative people who have had much calming help from your articles and books. I’ve read “To Hell and Back” (by Charles Pellegrino) and found it most interesting.


Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Thank you, Irene. Letters like yours inspire me to work harder and I will continue to recommend books. — Frances

Dear Frances,

Just received my February 3 Hawai‘i Herald and enjoyed your column. I’ve read of high school students, as a service project, being involved with nursing homes and befriending older citizens with health issues, thus opening their eyes to what it means to get old.

Thank God for your gift of writing and your deep concern for the elderly from your experiences with your mother so you can share your thoughts with the world.


New York

Dear Elsie,

Yes, most retirement homes and nursing facilities would welcome students from all grade levels. When my mother was in a nursing facility, a kindergarten class visited the residents every holiday, bringing along their artwork. Even the residents who could no longer speak smiled and expressed their gratitude.


P.S. Hey Elsie, because of you, I can say we are being read from New York to Hawai‘i! Thank you.

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Frances Kakugawa was her mother’s primary caregiver during her five-year journey with Alzheimer’s disease. A native of Kapoho on Hawai‘i island, she now lives in Sacramento. Frances has melded her professional training as a writer and educator and her personal caregiving experiences to write several books on caring for people with memory-related illnesses. She is a sought-after speaker, both in Hawai‘i and on the Mainland, sharing strategies for caregiving, as well as coping with the stresses of caregiving.


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