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A Eulogy for Margie (Matsushima) Miyoshi, Mom · 29 September 2021


Margie (Matsushima) Miyoshi
(May 31, 1942 – September 16, 2021)


Margie (Matsushima) Miyoshi was born on May 31, 1942 and went to meet her Lord Jesus on September 16, 2021. She was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. A loving and caring sister, aunt, and friend.


There are many traits that define a person, but the trait that stands out the most about my mom is hospitality. That might seem like an odd single word to describe a person, but it fits. After all, hospitality is a gift from God. And Mom was blessed with an abundance of hospitality and many other gifts.


When a person would get to know Mom, he or she would find that she was loving and giving. She was kind and gentle. She was caring and loyal. She was a momma bear when it came to her family. And she considered many people part of her family, not just those who shared biology with her.


Which is why I think hospitality is the word that describes my mom the best.


Mom truly believed that a stranger was just a friend she had not met yet. She would meet people, invite them to a meal, then invite them to church. They would not always accept either of the invitations, but they knew they had met somebody genuinely interested in them. They knew that this former stranger, Margie Miyoshi, was a friend they had just met.


When those new friends took her up on her invitations, Mom would take care of them. Of course, she treated them with dignity and respect, but it was much more than that. She would love them as her own family. She would give them what they needed, whether that was an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, or the shirt off her back. She was always there when people needed her.


Which is why so many people, especially those who are her children’s ages, call her their second mom. Many even address her and refer to her as Mom.


There are people all over the country and even in other parts of the world who consider Mom and Dad their second set of parents. Which means that I have many more siblings than my brothers and sister who grew up full-time in our house. We were glad to share our parents because they had so much love to give. They gave to the people in their home church. They gave to the people in their neighborhoods where they lived. They gave of themselves to everybody. And they gave what truly mattered most, their hearts.


Which is why I think hospitality is the perfect single word that describes my mom.



Mom would not just open the doors of her home to people, she opened the doors of her heart to people. She let herself be vulnerable. She let herself love people enough to be hurt by them. Not many of them did, but that vulnerability was what set her love and her hospitality apart.


Mom’s greatest love was her Lord Jesus, which is why she was so hospitable. She was a great servant leader and an important part of her church community, Highland Park United Methodist Church. She taught Sunday school, helped lead the youth group, and served tirelessly to keep the church functioning and the people growing. And of course, she invited new people all the time. She invited them to come to church and to follow Jesus.


For many people, their accomplishments are what they are most proud of. Mom had those too. She was a PTA president, a Girl Scout leader, and an elected school board member to name a few. She was commissioned by then Governor Booth Gardner and served as a member of the Advisory Council on Education Funding for the state of Washington.


Yes. She had accomplishments. But Mom was always most proud of the children she raised and the children she helped raise as a second mom. And of course, she was proud of the children of those children. She loved and adored those grandchildren just for who they are, and she was proud of all their accomplishments.


Many people will miss my mom now that she is gone to be with the Lord. But we will all treasure the time, energy, and love she gave us. We will all appreciate that Margie Miyoshi blessed all of us with her abundant hospitality and her love. Whether she was our mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, or friend.

© 2021 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Vaccination Segregation - Epilogue · 17 June 2021


Epilogue


Joe saw Garth a few weeks later as they were both preparing to enjoy the Saturday sunshine.


“Say. Did you hear the latest?”


Garth replied, “You mean the vaccination lottery? Oh yeah. I saw it in the newspaper this morning and on social media last night. I couldn’t believe my eyes.”


“I know what you mean. In fact, it gives guys like you more credibility.”


“Guys like me?” Garth feigned indignance. Then showed his pride. “You mean conspiracy theorists.”


“Yeah.” Joe paused to acknowledge Garth’s fake hurt and laughed at his pride. “Now, they’re going to pay people to get the newest vaccines? Crazy. It makes me think something is fishy.”


“You mean fishier.”


“Yeah. Fishier. It makes me wonder whether I was mistaken to get all those vaccines in the first place.”


“You should have held out for more money. Maybe you can still hold out for more money. You throw away all your cards, so they won’t know. Oh wait. They’re tracking your every move. They know you’re vaccinated even though none of your friends do.” Garth smiled. “Maybe you can hold out on the next round. Maybe eventually, they will just pay everybody to get vaccinated. Wouldn’t that be something!”


“I suppose. But they couldn’t pay you enough money to get vaccinated.”


Garth nodded. “No way. They don’t have enough money.” Garth paused, then posited, “Then again, maybe I should get paid before they start going house to house to force people to take the vaccines.”


“You think?!” Joe was thoughtful for a moment. “Either way. It makes me wonder what’s wrong with the new vaccines. Or what nefarious plot is going on behind the scenes. And it makes me wonder whether any of the people in the know actually got real vaccines or not.”


“Ah the beauty of a conspiracy theory. Nobody really knows who is behind the conspiracy or what the real conspiracy is. And it’s nice when the plot fits so nicely into the theory.”


“Makes you wonder if everything really is some conspiracy.”


“Bingo!”


“You mean lotto.”


They both laughed.

© 2021 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Vaccination Segregation - Part 2 · 21 May 2021


Part 2: Conspiracy Theorist


Garth was out on his hammock by the fence when Joe walked out onto his back patio. Their small yards had barely enough room to house their respective humble outdoor furnishings. Joe could sit on his outdoor couch and sip his beer and talk to Garth without either of them having to raise their voices.


“I thought you were going out to celebrate some milestone at work tonight.”


Joe grumbled. “I was. But they were going to send us to the back of the bus, so I left.”


“Ah the vaccination card segregation. I told you…”


Joe interrupted his neighbor. “I know. It’s all a conspiracy to keep people down.”


“Right.”


They both sat in silence for a while. Long enough that Joe thought he heard Garth starting to snore, so he started to think out loud.


“I do wonder who they are trying to keep down.”


“Huh? What’d ya say?”


“Oh nothing. I was just thinking to myself.”


“Oh… It just sounded like you asked who they were trying to keep down.”


Joe was a bit flustered. “Well, I was just thinking out loud. I thought you fell asleep.”


“Oh, I might have dozed off for a second, but I kept a listening ear out. Always do, you know.”


Joe knew. It seemed that whenever anybody mentioned anything that might be controversial, Garth was right there giving his theory about some conspiracy or cover up.


Joe asked his neighbor, “You go out a fair amount, right?”


“Sure.”


“And you don’t have any of the vaccines, right?”


“I have a vaccination card.”


“But you don’t have any vaccines.”


“I have a vaccination card.”


The conversation was going nowhere. Joe had a thought that seemed to be forming in his mind, but he needed somebody to talk to about it. His wife thought him a fool for not taking his card with him wherever he went. His neighbor thought him a fool for getting the vaccines in the first place.


Joe pressed on, “So who’s the man trying to keep down this time?”


Garth got up from his hammock and stood at the short fence. He was grinning ear to ear. “I am so glad you asked.”


Joe smiled too. He nodded to the other beer on the small table in front of him. Garth’s smile got bigger. It was not long before Joe heard both gates open and close. Garth sat down and picked up the beer bottle. He took a swig.


“Ahhh. Nothing like a beer to go with conspiracy theory talk.”


“Cheers.”


“The thing about vaccines is that it is not really about vaccines.”


“Of course not. There is always something behind it all.”


“Right. It’s just a way to keep people in line. Or a way to show that people are staying in line. Show your card and you get to keep your mask off outside. Show your card and you can keep your mask off on the bus. Show your card and you can sit in the better half of restaurants and bars. I know there are memes out on the internet comparing immunization to civil rights. You know. Instead of signs with ‘whites’ and ‘colored’ on drinking fountains and the like, the signs say ‘vaccinated’ and ‘unvaccinated.’”


“I’ve seen them.”


“Well, they are not exactly right, but they are close. The people getting the vaccines are the ones with power and prestige. They are the ones who have money.”


“So it’s the powerful preying on the weak. Like always.”


“No. It is the other way around this time. The weak have figured out a way to strike back. Some poor person made it. The diseases. He created all these not so lethal highly infectious diseases in a test tube somewhere. People got all panicked about them and started creating ‘vaccines’ for them.” Garth actually used air quotes around the word vaccines. At least the first time he used the word. “Those vaccines were not what they seemed. They were just placebos.”


“They are not receptors for some crazy new bug that will kill all those who are vaccinated? Some binary biological weapon just sitting there waiting for the second part of the killing machine?”


“No. No. They are just there so people can have the card. And so that drug companies can make money.”


“Wait a minute. You always have these conspiracy theories worked out. You almost make sense with most of them. But here you are saying on the one hand that a poor person is striking back at the rich by making not very lethal pandemics. And on the other hand, you are saying that big drug companies are making a mint off the governments by making so called vaccines which are in reality just placeboes.”


Garth scratched his head and smiled wanly. “Yeah. Not my best theory. But the moon landings are still fake.”


They both smiled.


“Let me get this straight. Your mom called you a redneck for not getting the first vaccine. Then, you decided to make your own vaccination card. Which appeased her. Then, you made ones for your wife and kids too. None of you have not gotten sick, even though you don’t wear masks and go around like you are immune to everything. And you think that the vaccination cards are a way to keep good people down somehow, but you don’t really know how.”


Garth scratched his head again. “Yep. That’s about the long and the short of it. I really don’t know what the conspiracy is, but I just know one is out there.”


Garth smiled and continued. “As much as you wonder about me though, I wonder more about you.” It was a wry smile. “You get vaccinated with each vaccine. What is it, five now? Anyway. You get vaccinated, but you never carry your card. You wear a mask as if you have never been vaccinated. Your wife thinks you’re crazy to not carry your card. She and your kids carry theirs and go about their lives like real people, while you get shunned because people assume you have not gotten any of the shots.”


“That’s about it.”


“And you think I’m crazy.”


Joe shrugged his shoulders. “We are quite the pair.”


The two sat in silence for quite a while, both seemingly deep in thought.


Joe spoke again. “Personally, I like your tracking device implanted upon vaccination theory.”


“Yeah. I like that one too. But your kid is too smart. He said that we all already have tracking devices. And listening devices too. Those smart phones will be the death of us yet.”


They both laughed.


“Well Garth. Let me know when you have a viable conspiracy theory for all these vaccinations and vaccination cards. I still don’t know how they are going to keep good people down.”


Garth scratched his head again. “I don’t know either. And this might come as a surprise to you to hear me say it, but maybe there is no conspiracy in the vaccine thing.” He held up his hand to keep Joe from interrupting. “But there is one thing that I keep wondering about the vaccines and the cards. If we are such an enlightened people and accept each other without regard to race, creed, color, gender, orientation, culture, religion, or anything else, why have we made a new way to separate people? Why did we make a new way for people to look down on one another? Why are we now vaccinated and not vaccinated?”


“You know buddy, I wonder the same thing. Which is probably why I don’t take my card anywhere and I wear my mask everywhere. And I know you think I’m crazy, but I like to point out that segregation whenever I can.”


“You pointed it out with your work buddies at the restaurant? That’s why you’re here with me instead of with them?”


Joe nodded conspiratorially. The two laughed and clinked their beer bottles.


“You know Joe. Conspiracy or no conspiracy, for my money, I would rather be on the inside looking out than the outside looking in. Even though I am not sure which is the inside or the outside. But I do know that your little stunts with the vaccination cards, or lack thereof, will not change the world.”


“I know. But I think it’s funny. You’re lecturing me even though you have a fake vaccination card.”


“I will lecture you even though I allegedly have a fake vaccination card.”


They both laughed.

© 2021 Michael T. Miyoshi

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