Dear Friends - Yes - it has been eons since I added to this blog.
Again - thank you again for taking time to catch up with me.
I am heartbroken to hear of the passing of Dr. Mineo Kawasaki.
Dr. Kawasaki was both the smallest and quietest attendees to the Air Medical Transport Conference and the reason many years ago I reached out to him at the event, coordinating introductions and party invites...as my style is to always look out for the little guy, and thus an amazing international friendship grew. Perhaps his English may have been strained; but his communication and love to our US community was evident in every visit to this annual event, and as I have recently learned, other unique US communities as well.
When a gap in communication occurred after the major Earthquake in Japan in 2011, I was worried...but a brief email reply re-assured me he was ok. Public speaking in English was prohibitive for him, so I decided to take matters into my own hands - I asked him to write a small report about the tsunami, with a few photos that I could print out. I took the initiative at the 2011 AMTC in St. Louis, by commandeering a bulletin board actually reserved for scientific posters, and I proceeded to thumbtack his post tsunami story and his medical care initiatives for his community, all with his accompanying photos. (again, my appologies to the Scientific Committee) This continued to build our friendship, annually re-affirmed at the AMTC, which also lead to cookies and a unique gift arriving every Christmas to Canada.
The last time I saw Mineo, was at the Ft Worth AMTC. Looking a bit frail, but still radiating friendship and positivity, we managed to sit down one morning in the lobby of his hotel prior to taking a day trip with some Ft. Worth friends - who also like a few other Americans - have their own stories about Mineo as well. We spoke about many nice things, and my wish that I could some how visit him in Japan and take a few photos of him at work. Sadly, as I learned news of his passing earlier this month, this will not happen, nor will the AMTC be graced with his quiet yet loving presence.
Rest in Peace Mineo. Big Sigh. I miss You my Dear Friend. :( M