Daily Dojo

Sad Departures

While I was on a blogging break, we had a couple of sad departures on both sides of the Naka-James family.

My Uncle Raymond passed away just near the end of March. Below is small part of his obituary.

Raymond Clare Brend
1952 – 2008
Raymond Brend, the son of Edward Raymond (E.R.) and Anne (Tasler) Brend, was born October 18, 1952 at his parent’s farm home and passed from this life March 28, 2008 at the same farm home. He lived his life to the age of 55 years, 5 months and 10 days.

Raymond loved animals, especially dogs and cats, and even named his livestock. He took a great interest in history, read and collected books on the Civil War and enjoyed science fiction.
Left to mourn his passing are his wife, Phylis, son, Shawn of Des Moines, daughter, Kathleen of Rockwell City, two sisters; Mary Jo Kerns and her husband, Kelly, of Casa Grande, Arizona and Marcella Brend of Lake View. Raymond was looking forward to his grandson that will be born in June to his daughter. Those who preceded him in death were his parents and a brother, Dick.

Funeral services were held Wednesday, April 2, 2008, at 10:30 A.M. from St. Columbkille Catholic Church in Churdan with Rev. Father Steven McLoud officiating. Interment was made in the St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery west of Churdan. A Rosary was prayed Tuesday evening at 7:00 P.M. from the Brown Funeral Home in Churdan.

Casket bearers were John Kavanaugh, Jeff Miller, Joe Minnehan, Dennis Hardy, Mike Wiederin and Rick Pearson.

I was able to see my Uncle Raymond and Aunt Phylis the last time I was in Iowa in 2003, and while we weren’t very close, I do know he was a doting father to his children - his first grandchild was born just a couple weeks ago, and I’m sure his spirit lives on in his grandson.

I also think it’s something special that he lived nearly his whole life in the farmhouse he was born in, many farmers have strong ties to their land and community, and many will miss him.

On the Naka side of the family, The Samurai Lady’s Grandmother on her mother’s side also passed away in March.

We called her Osaka Grandma (a title proudly inherited at Kai’s birth by The Samurai Lady’s mother) because that’s where she lived, and she was an energetic and humorous presence in her family. She was Kai’s great-grandmother and unfortunately they were not able to meet in person.

Every visit to Japan we spent much time with her. Often we would visit her apartment in Osaka along with the various children and cousins, sit down with snacks and chat away the afternoon while she bustled about and teased us.

She was in her mid-eighties and her health had been poor for quite sometime. It’s a sad loss for us and her entire family, they will miss her very much.

Here is a picture from the Buddhist ceremony for Osaka Grandma Kai and The Samurai Lady participated in when they were in Japan.

Grandma’s ceremony

Here is a picture of me and Osaka Grandma at her apartment. As you can see, she’s less than five foot tall but almost all of it is smile and good humor.
Osaka Grandma and Josh

Funny story about me and Osaka Grandma.

My wife and I were married in Japan. At our wedding reception, we posed for individual pictures with everyone from both sides of the family (most of whom I was meeting for the very first time) and while this was being done, The Samurai Lady’s brother Mas filmed the whole thing. There was many family there, so it took awhile.

When it was time for her picture with us, Osaka Grandma put her arm around me, much like she does in the above picture.

And while cameras flashed, she reached around and pinched me right in the tush.

On camera, you can see me visibly jump.

I leaned down to the Samurai Lady’s ear and whisper:

Josh: Your grandma just pinched me in the butt.

SL: Really?

We both glance down at Osaka Grandma. She looks up at me, grins and winks.

I can’t help it. I start laughing. My wife’s grandmother pinched my ass in front of the whole family and smiled when she did it.

It’s one of my fondest memories.

Rest In Peace.

2 Responses to “ Sad Departures”

  1. Carlo Conda Says:

    My condolences.

    At least you got some hot action from you Grandma-in-law before she went away. lol


  2. Joshua James Says:

    She was a real fun lady, even though I didn’t speak Japanese and she didn’t speak English, she always found a way to make me laugh.

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