Kathleen Birkenshaw, Cherry Blossom, Hickey discussed on Asian America: The Ken Fong Podcast


It. And then it goes and then it turns itself off. And You know we've been using this now for live in Jersey and now for like three or four times of watering. And I literally have forgotten that I did that but. Why is like magic? It doesn't require me remember it just turns itself off, and so I'm thinking Oh. My Gosh, you know how come I didn't think of this sooner and easy to yourself up, but it's like For less than twenty bucks. You know we. Are I, get control of this thing that has to happen watering the vegetable garden. And it's it's not gonNA. See our water bills like skyrocket because of me forgetting in spite of my best intentions. So I don't know if there's anything like that in your life where. You persist in doing it the same way you've done a long time but. Even though maybe you did it. Okay. Fine in the past for whatever reason it's not working out. Fine. Sometimes it's better to think about find another solution that will actually. Remove the problem eliminate it and. You know sometimes, it is simple as as finding little timer Doo. Hickey that you stick between the Faucet in your hose. Other Times it's it's much more complicated, but you know it's easy to get stuck in our ways and even an especially when some of those old ways are causing problems now and again We shouldn't just keep doing it the same old way. Always I. Don't think so and and off to be honest with you I mean part part of me was feeling very prideful. It's like, no, I'm not I'm not losing it. You know I I don't need to have any gadget I I should be able to do this, and now that I've got this gadget a man like how come I didn't do this sooner. So. Anyway this this should be the this next water bills should be the last gigantic one. and. From this earth from this point forward. s just something I don't have to worry about anymore just remember to turn on the time her because they won't turn on itself. I, didn't I didn't WanNA spend the money for one that would turn on itself. I just needed the turn itself off. And I am so grateful to be married to someone. me. For my mistakes. That's that's worth. More than anything money or otherwise and You know just just really really grateful that she has that kind of temperate. Well. It's a time for us to. Get into this conversation that I had recently with Kathleen Birkenshaw. Talk About having to deal with real problems. It's not about water bills. About your whole world. Blowing up and catching on fire. So I. I know you really enjoy this conversation. Oh. It is. The seventy fifth and I hate using this word anniversary of the first week of August of the dropping of two atomic bombs at the end of the war against Japan in world. War. Two and I was contacted recently by one of our podcast listeners who actually wrote a book called the last Cherry Blossom, which is all about it's kind of a fictionalized historical account. If I understand this correctly of of your mother's own experience of being one of the Hibachi, one of the survivors of the atomic bomb but I just want to welcome you Kathleen. Burke Shaw to Birkenshaw gives me to to our podcast because This is a subject that I think we need to talk about just so that this never happens again. So welcome so much to the podcast Paul. Thank you so much Kenneth. Thank you for having me on I'm really excited to talk with you after listening to your podcasts. It's very nice to meet you this way. Well, you know we encourage a very non-asian thing very non-japanese thing which is ask for people to actually take initiative and promote themselves and the things that they do so. Long been paying attention to you know what happened there? Now seventy five years ago and I've even gone to a lecturer of another Hibakusha years ago, but I'm just really fascinated to talk to you about your mom's own experience. So. When are you kind of tell us? In a way of introducing yourself how you came to write this book. kind of finding out about your mom's own story. Sure sure. Well, the book journey really started about ten years ago when my own daughter was in seventh grade and she had come home from school very upset she had said that they just finished the World War Two section an-and she overheard some kids talking about that really cool mushroom cloud picture and she asked if I would go in and talk to them about the people who were under that cloud like her grandmother and I remember going to call my mom because I. needed to ask permission I had never spoken publicly about what she went through. The interesting thing is too is that I didn't even know she was from until I was eleven years old who really Yeah. She always said she was from Tokyo and the only reason I think I found out that years because it was the beginning of August and she had horrible nightmares and she always wake up screaming and I remember that the summer before it was around the same time and I kept asking why was that in? That's when she finally said that she was actually born in the Shema but she lost her family and her home in. At the atomic bombing and she said I can't really talk about it. It's too painful and then she said, please don't tell anyone so. So nothing was said for a long time I remember she still didn't talk about it until I was in high school and I read the book by John Hersey you Shema and that was the first time. I got any inkling of what she might have lived through and I remember just being horrified in in coming out of my room when I was reading it and asking her you know is this what it was like and she just said that it was hell she didn't WanNa talk about it in don't tell your teacher because I really I'm not able to talk about it to the class. So. She really didn't express too much of what happened until I was around thirty I got very ill and I was in the hospital for over a month and so when I came home I needed help take care of myself taking care of my daughter who was four then while my husband worked during the day. So my parents came and my mom would talk a lot about her childhood but then she slowly started to talk about what happened on August six and the days that followed and that was really the first time that she shared that with me. I don't think she may have shared that with me had I not gone ill. I had been diagnosed fire neurological disease, which is Kinda based from some of the radiation exposure that she had for being in the bombing was wondering. If there was a yeah. Yes. Yes. Sadly..

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