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  • By Aline Yamashita

Glimpses of goodness

It’s always uplifting when something makes your heart smile.

Many of us were at Pop’s Bakery in the lovely village of Agat. Rossi was moving trays of freshly baked rolls onto the shelves. They sold out instantly. The person helping Rossi moved at a good pace. While we waited, spontaneous conversation took place. None of us knew each other – but in good ole Guam style, friendly chatting started by listening to someone else’s conversation and then, adding our two cents.

Laughter erupted as we talked about the hot dogs, the buns and the various sizes. Guam humor is silly and fun all wrapped up in one.

It was a merry moment of happy feelings – shared by strangers.

Rossi shared that Pop’s Bakery will be expanding to the neighboring building – new stoves and more parking – with the pastry’s distinct reputation. If you’re unfamiliar with Pop’s Bakery, check it out. It’s before the turn to Truman Elementary and Southern High.

I was waiting at the Christmas in Hagatna Display area to help dismantle the work. A person greeted me. We chatted briefly. Then, he returned and offered to share a snack he had. Something so simple is so meaningful.

Melissa sent me a message. The company she works for wants to support Autism Community Together. Merrill Lynch is joining businesses that believe in inclusion and respect for those of us on the autism disorder spectrum. Thank you, Melissa! Thank you, Merrill Lynch!

Rosanna bounced in with her usual smile and a hand of manila bananas from her husband’s ranch. Harder and harder to find, the treat was delicious! As well, Rick, one of Eric’s co-workers shared papaya with us. Oh, my goodness! Sweet and nutritious! Guam has great potential in agriculture – we need to seriously support our farmers so that everyone can enjoy such treats and so that visitors can leave with a good taste of Guam. Let’s ask the 2018 teams how they would support agriculture and aquaculture on Guam and throughout the region.

Goodness can be as simple as signs. In front of the Department of Agriculture are signs posted in each parking slot in front of the building. Each signs says “Customer Parking Only.” Now, there’s true indication that customers come first.

At the noon mass in Hagatna, a steady 15 to 20 people gather. Father Mike provides a welcoming, reverent time of prayer that reflects God’s goodness. You leave with a soulful of faith, hope, love.

Ryan was home for Christmas. The brief visit refueled the loving relationship with his brother. Eric is having an extra difficult time with Ryan’s return to the West Coast. The other day, I found him sobbing. It was near his midnight but I took a chance and text Ryan asking if he was still awake. “Sure. What’s up?” “Your brother is really missing you.” In a split second, Ryan called and the two spent some face time on the phone.

Yes, growing up is the aim but we know family relationships will always anchor us. Guam’s goodness grows through her people. Thank you, God!

(Aline Yamashita is an educator and former senator. Send feedback to aline4families@

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