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Life stories




Yes&Know By Aline Yamashita

We are getting there, step by step. A sense of normalcy as we once knew is smiling upon us. People are out. People are talking with each other. People are smiling. People are happy to see others.


Many of us met for lunch. All born in March and April, we shared our opinions as we always do. Our thoughts were bold.


We listened and nodded. We provided tangents as required. And, of course, humor-laced every issue. Laughter erupted.


We were at California Pizza Kitchen in Hagatna, along with many other diners. It was an awesome snapshot of the benefits of living in an island where proximity has us knowing one another.


Now in our 60s, we have contributed to the history of education and social services. While we are all retired, every person still contributes through grant work or volunteer work.


Our experience and background give us a license to our bold, intuitive opinions. Been there, done that, remember it well. And we often wonder what happened to the progress within our grasp. We continue to have visionary dreams of where we should be and how we should get there.


Two of us have sons on the spectrum. We clearly know the gaps. We continue to know what would help. And we know the exhaustion of living this life.


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Throughout the 90-minute lunch, folks stopped by to say hi. It was really a great feeling to have the face-to-face interaction. So needed, so healthy, so necessary.


Sometimes, it is hard to grasp that we are in our 60s. I used to marvel at being 30. It is no exaggeration that life zips.


It will continue to speed along. At all ages, folks would really be doing themselves a favor if they stopped to ensure they are making responsible and sound memories.


Decisions should be made for the present – but they should also be made for the future. How will the decision impact your life in 10, 20, 30 years? If it is a good-feeling decision just for the moment, think twice.


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Sometimes, decisions are made for the past. Again, while the decision will help you remedy something in the past, how will it impact your future? Your future includes yourself, your parents and your children.


While you may not think a decision is significant, someone in the community will remember it. This could be positive or negative. But just know that decisions have memories.


Keep a journal. Reflection is essential to decision-making. Jot down your thoughts, describe decision-making trees, list people who influenced your decisions, describe outcomes, and share regrets. In the future, reading your journal will help you recall why you did what you did. It will also help you remember who helped you and who did not.


At some point, someone in your family will want to better understand why you did what you did. Writing your history in your words is pure truth. There is immense value to sharing your story. You are the author of your life. And, believe me, details fade with age.


There are many Guam champions who have contributed to where we are today. Their service is delivered.


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For example, I bumped into Larry Toves at a mass a couple of times. Retired from GEDA as the Real Property Division manager, this public servant provided the leadership for the Guam Museum and the Farmers’ Coop, to name a few stellar accomplishments.


While Families First! was in office, I always appreciated it when Larry was at the table. He was smart and diligent. He welcomed perspectives. His projects were challenging, and he worked tirelessly with a sense of joy. I always sensed he really cared about our community and the work he was doing for us. He was a pleasure to work with. We thank him for being a great Guam son and we wish him the best of health and happiness! Cheers, sir! God Bless You and your family.


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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