The Story Continues…

So hope all is well with everyone and you’re ready for the continuing saga…

Mr. Tanaka did as Noguchi Sensei ordered and refrained from taking out his aggressions on the church or the daughter, but his constant grizzling and complaining was making life pretty tense at home, so Yukiko decided to find somewhere else to live.  Somewhere where she’d have less emotional stress as she finished up her degree.

She regretted leaving her little sister, Yukari, alone, as she was doing her best to excel in a music degree and needed the support, but she realized that to keep the peace at home, she would have to distance herself.  Besides, since Yukiko had become a Christian, she’d been tutoring young children and giving the money to Yukari so that she could afford better music tutors anyway, so that wouldn’t have to stop.

Yukari was paying attention thru all this, and was learning that becoming a Christian was certainly a dangerous life path. Instead, she chose to partner with some very nefarious people.  After a couple of years, she graduated with a prestigious music degree, but instead of stepping into her career, she messed around and ended up getting caught in a drug bust.

After a few days, Mrs. Tanaka showed up at the prison to see her. Yukari got ready to hear all the things she had already been thinking.  “What do you think you’re doing?”  or “How could you just throw away your life like that?” “We’re so ashamed.”

But instead, Mom just handed her a small book thru the bars and said, “This helped your sister; maybe you should read it.”  You guessed it.  It was a Bible.

Now if this were a movie, the scene would change and you’d read the words, “5 years later”. Yukiko was married (against all of our concerns), to the nice boy that she’d been attending the English classes with when we first met her.  It was a Christian English class, but Tak wasn’t a Christian; he was a scientist and frankly, thought that he knew more than God. Yukiko, however, was certain that he was ‘very very close’ to being a Christian, so Tony finally relinquished his “unequally yoked” rule and married them.

Yukiko was slated to wear my wedding dress, and some weeks before the wedding, my friend and I were downtown getting some material for alterations. Who  should we bump into but Mr. Tanaka himself!  I very much did not like or trust the man, but he insisted on giving us a lift home.

As my friend and I sat in the back seat of his big black car, I wondered if we were about to be taken to be dropped off a bridge.  But I’m an optimist, so instead of worrying,  I decided to venture into even more danger and take up the “Yukiko versus Daddy” thing.  I started by talking about how beautiful she would look in my dress and how we were looking forward to the wedding.  He nodded in reserved agreement.  (Of course he wasn’t pleased about the groom, but for other reasons than him being a non-Christian).  Then I made one of my (many) great blunders in the language when I said, “I just wish you’d stop this WAR with your daughter”.  What I meant to say was “Fight’ with your daughter, but somehow the word I meant to say, “Kenka” became the war word, “Senso”.  Sometimes I wonder if God lets us make mistakes on purpose, but that’s another subject.

Mr. Tanaka slammed on the brakes and turned around to face me.  “You’re right!”  he practically shouted. Then he stared off into the distance for a moment and then resumed driving us home mumbling under his breath, “Senso, Senso, Senso”.

At the wedding reception, I had thought no more about the language mistake until the ‘table speeches’ began and Mr. Tanaka stood to give the charge to the couple.  I’ll never forget what he said,

“A few weeks ago, Marsha said something interesting.” He nodded to me as every eye in the room, as well as the spotlight, focused on me.  I slunk down and shuddered for what might be coming.

“She told me to stop going to WAR with my daughter!”  There was a twitter of laughter at the stupid foreigner as he paused and then continued,

“…. Well, I’ve had time to think about that, and I want to apologize to you, my beautiful daughter, for waging war on you.  I love you and want the best for you and even if I don’t agree with everything,……..and now I think you’ve found the best.”

Another few years passed after the wedding and now Tak and Yukiko had a little boy. They named him ’Takayuki’ which is the compilation of their two names. Tak (Yukiko’s husband), had a PhD in science and a good job, so they were on a several year assignment at Corning Ware in the USA.  The whole family attended church.

Yukari, the little sister,  had come out of her short stay in prison and gone straight to Noguchi Sensei’s church and become a Christian.  She was also married and had a child.

This situation all continued for about 10 years when one night, there we were, minding our own business, kids in bed, dishes dried and settling in for a quiet evening, when we got a call from Mr. and Mrs. Tanaka.  I won’t say they were my favorite people, although the Mrs. seemed nice. They said they’d be dropping by.   We wondered what to think as we straightened up the living room.

“Gomen kudasai” we heard a cheery voice as the front door opened: “We’re here”…..

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