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Merry Christmas to Everyone in the Dojo.....

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Merry Christmas to Everyone in the Dojo.....

Postby Steve Hubbell » Mon Dec 25, 2017 6:03 +0000

Merry Christmas with love and best wishes to everyone in the Usagi Yojimbo Dojo.

May 2018 be another great year for Usagi fans, and a much better year for everything else.......

A couple rough cuts for this year's Dojo Christmas card.......


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Re: Merry Christmas to Everyone in the Dojo.....

Postby Maka » Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:48 +0000

Dear UY Dojoers,

Last spring, I had lunch with my previous boss. At the end of our meal and conversations, I told her, "This has been the hardest year." To which she replied, "You always say that." We both laughed because that is true.

2017 started with me taking my dad out to Pasadena Rose Parade for his 80th birthday. I bought two tickets for the bleachers, and we braved the cold and enjoyed that experience together. At home, my wife and kids kept my mom, who has Alzheimer's, company. After the parade was over, I drove my dad home and all hell broke loose.

My mom, in her Alzheimer's confusion, fear, anger, sadness started to verbally attack my dad for being selfish. I tried to calm and reason with her. But my efforts just escalated and intensified her distress. It was awful. But I finally started to realize the level of my mom's suffering and my dad's struggle to meet her needs.

In 2017, my mom's Alzheimers progressed to the point that my dad could no longer take care of her on his own. My dad did an amazing job keeping her safe, happy, and well after her diagnosis in 2012. But that stress also took its toll on his body and mind. He suffered two minor strokes, wasn't sleeping and was overwhelmed.

My wife and I hired caretakers who specialize in working with elderly suffering from dementia. But my parents rejected the help three times. Everything came to a head in September when my mom was hospitalized. My dad found a care home with staff who treated their people with care, respect, and dignity. My dad started to sleep again. My mom is safe. My dad visits her every day.

For me, this has been an emotional journey of growth. I've learned to take better care of myself through therapy, meditation, prayer, and children caretaker of parents with Alzheimer's support groups. I visited my parents more weekends this year than all of my previous 47 years. I've called my dad almost every night this year to check in on his day and listen to him. I've gotten closer to my dad that I ever expected. It's been the hardest year ever and yet; it has been an incredible year of growth for my dad and me.

Christmas, for Christians, is the time we celebrate God becoming 100% human in Jesus. The idea is God can fully have compassion for our suffering because God was human, he suffered. Christians also believe we spread God's love in how we treat our fellow human beings: with kindness, dignity, compassion, and helping those who are suffering, in poverty, and are discriminated against and oppressed.

This UY Dojo is a great place of kindness, dignity, compassion, and help for me. And joy. The people I have interacted with here, in person or just in words has been the best of humanity. The internet is full of trolls and people who are quick to judge and put down others. We rarely see that here.

Stan, thanks for interacting with us here and making us feel special. I will always treasure the experience going down with Spam and Grusagi to visit your studio and share a meal you cooked for us. Thank you for praying for my mom.

Steve, thanks for keeping us informed on all things Stan Sakai and Usagi here and on facebook. Thanks for putting together that awesome dojo gift of the Japanese travel photobook for the Sakai's. And organizing the Dojo Christmas card each year. You are a very thoughtful man.

Kyle, thanks for organizing, storing, sending out (on your own $) the monthly UYD trivia prize packages. You go above and beyond. I appreciate how much you do for us fans.

And to all of you here: thank you for sharing your passion and fandom here. We have a special connection because of our love and geekness towards Stan Sakai/Usagi Yojimbo. I love coming here throughout the year. You have helped me by providing me little moments of joy as I have dealt with harder parts of life this year and every year. Many of you have messaged me and sent me gifts throughout the years. This is the best place on the internet, and I know, I always say that.

I look forward to seeing you here in 2018.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Peace, maka
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Daimyo <High-Ranking Lord>
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Re: Merry Christmas to Everyone in the Dojo.....

Postby maichan » Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:50 +0000

Not much I can add, other than I am grateful for our community here. Thank you to each and everyone one of you - from Stan and Julie, to Steve, Maka, Kyle and all the members here.

Lacking any Usagi related Christmas offering, I give you this...

2017-12-25_11-32-35 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr
Michael, a.k.a., Maichan

My Usagi Collection
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Hatamoto<Special Retainer>
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Re: Merry Christmas to Everyone in the Dojo.....

Postby jabba359 » Mon Dec 25, 2017 23:25 +0000

I hope everybody had a great Christmas! Mine was spent out of state, visiting my sisters and their families. I got to play Lego princesses with my nieces, so obviously I had a great time. :wink:
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Daimyo <High-Ranking Lord>
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Re: Merry Christmas to Everyone in the Dojo.....

Postby Slashuur » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:53 +0000

Feliz Navidad!! :D
⬛ Aldo
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Re: Merry Christmas to Everyone in the Dojo.....

Postby richarddragon » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:35 +0000

Beautifully written, Maka.

I hope you have all had a Merry Christmas. Mine was very good :)

Feliz Natal atrasado a todos!
Now would I cheat a friend?
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Re: Merry Christmas to Everyone in the Dojo.....

Postby Mayhem » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:48 +0000

Hope everyone is having a good festive season...!
With a breeze comes a storm, but then you'll all be washed away...
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Daimyo <High-Ranking Lord>
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Re: Merry Christmas to Everyone in the Dojo.....

Postby Krash01 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 17:10 +0000

Happy holidays to everyone.
Very well said Maka.
I completely empathize with you. My grandmother had dementia, with the exact same symptoms as your mother's. I've seen it from the begining to the end, when she was no longer able to speak or eat, and after 9 hard years, she passed away this march. My grandfather took care of her -literarly- till his last breath. Both of them were good people, I love them.
Beside cancer, this disease is humanity's greatest threat, I hope that we managed to find a cure soon...

I'm also happy to be part of this community, I've met so many great people and found friends as well.
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Re: Merry Christmas to Everyone in the Dojo.....

Postby Angilasman » Sun Dec 31, 2017 20:26 +0000

Oh, forgot to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

- luckily, still have a few hours to wish everyone a happy New Year!
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