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Legacies




Yes&Know By Aline Yamashita  

For nine days, my mind drifted. My body was in command. It was surreal being in a hallway parade of gurneys at Guam Regional Medical City.


The medical attention was excellent. Long story short, adhesion from an appendectomy 52 years ago became unattached and blocked my lower intestines. Travelling clots were a concern. My kidneys shut down. The green vomiting was a sign; the myriad of tests and unsuccessful nasogastric tube pumping my tummy for four days stepped me up for surgery.


“Ryan?”  “Yes, mom.”  “Aunty Dee.” Minutes later, Ryan shared that she was on her way.


As Ryan was the ultimate in Yamashita Arriola no-nonsense-you-are-brave-let’s-get-this-done traits, he was also superb in the Leon Guerrero Perez calm-insistent-informative behavior moving forward.


That really got me thinking of grandma and grandad. They were pioneer teachers and principals. They were hard workers. They were quiet and steady. They were loving and caring. They made the best hot cocoa, French fries and hot cakes. They introduced us to Las Vegas. The Aladdin, baby!


Ryan & Eric would’ve loved them.


Jose S. and Vicenta S.A. Leon Guerrero had seven children. Those seven attracted great partners who fit well into the LG clan. They were administrators, teachers, tech pioneers, presidents and research gurus.


Little known fact: Uncle Les secured the property for the University of Guam’s marine lab, library and fine arts building.


Every Sunday, we were at grandma’s house after mass. It was a chaotic time full of laughter and yummy food.


Today, the LG legacy pulsates. Len keeps the government finances healthy. Nadine successfully steers tourism. Glenn, Duch, Lynn, Nikki, Rachel, Katrina and, previously, Dorothy, Dee posture UoG for greater promise. Kenny and Londa are in academia in Texas. Carl propels technology. Bob provides public health leadership. Mike is a research analyst. Walter and Annie focus on the environment. Amoretta and Mary are in the finance world. Fred is an auditor and Liz, a nurse, is my go-to person for guidance. Alysia helps with the most basic need of our people – housing. Vince & Dones run a law firm. Millie dives for documents. Gordy provides leadership at AK. Bren and Ray steer Lujan’s Towing.


The LG cousins are closeknit even from afar. Chelle, Robert, Cindy, Glenn, Kenny, Dede, Dennis, and Pachelle chime in. True to Grandma’s unconditional love, Uncle Frank’s kids, Jeff and Molly, keep in touch – even if they did not have the pleasure of knowing Uncle Frank as I did. 


When Jeff embraced Eric’s text forwarding, I told him that was exactly how his dad would have reacted – “Come on in.  How are you doing?”  Such acceptance.


During my hospital stay, Brett called Eric. Ryan shared how that call made a huge difference in reassuring Eric. Uncle Brett has always had that calm, happy connection with both sons. Thank you.


Our heavenly cousins, Donna and Gina, smile along., way too young to ascend. Donna gave her juvenile diabetes a run for its money and beat many odds. She lived longer than expected and had a precious son, Creighton.  Gina was smart as a whip as an ITE manager for Guam Switching Operations. She stood up to cancer as an LG warrior would.


We have soldier leadership. Rod, Brett and Phyliss went to battle. Fighting for democracy is a huge sacrifice and we give thanks to them and their families for their service. Rod retired as a brigadier general and was inducted into the Army ROTC Hall of Fame.


Back to GRMC. TV remote controls are kept at the nurses’ stations so Dee did what LG does: bought our own. She also brought in slippers, Depends, lozenges, hair stuff and incredible pallets of patience. I’m not an easy patient but I knew she’d know how and what. Thanks, Dee.


The cousin chat prayed for me. As the oldest gal cousin, Grandad named me Princess. When I read Pachelle’s text, “Thank you for taking care of our Princess,” I cried with gratitude.


Our roots run as deep as the Marianas Trench and brighten the universe with humor, smarts, joy, cheer, faith, hope, love. Grandma and Grandad are so pleased and proud. LGs, Carlsons, Carriveaus, Yamas Shine!

 

 Aline Yamashita is a mom, a teacher and former senator. She served in the 31st and 32nd Guam Legislatures. Send feedback to aline4families@gmail.com.




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