Hubby was away, traveling in Texas with family to celebrate a significant accomplishment for his niece. Lil’ K and I kept each other company and snuggled in bed together. She laid her head on my chest and said, “Mama! I hear Baba dancing in your heart!”
My Mom loved dancing, but never danced herself. One of my fondest memories of my toddlerhood was when Mom, then a housewife, would play her LPs on the record player for me. Anything from traditional Okinawan music, Hawaiian music, to patriotic marching tunes would keep me occupied for a while, dancing and twirling in the living room.
She saw my love for music and dancing early on and enrolled me in Okinawan dancing at age 5 and hula lessons several years later. She was always my biggest fan, whenever I got onstage, whether it was for a recital or just a spontaneous round of kachaashii. Whenever I dance, onstage, around the yagura during obon, or in the livingroom with Lil’ K, I think of Mom and her profound influence on me. And how much I miss her.
But now, she is dancing in heaven. And, forever in my heart. It is so wonderful that Lil’ K can hear her footfalls in my heartbeat.