Paul Matsushima

Mom, Dad, I’m Proud of You

By Paul Matsushima | Published on September 24, 2020

I don’t say this nearly enough, but I am proud of my parents. Both were children of resilience, whose parents (my grandparents) had to rebuild their lives after the trauma of the Japanese American incarceration during WWII.


I don’t say this nearly enough, but I am proud of my parents. Both were children of resilience, whose parents (my grandparents) had to rebuild their lives after the trauma of the Japanese American incarceration during WWII. Both were students of activism, who lived their young adulthoods in an Asian American Christian commune serving the disenfranchised. And both were parents of ethics, who raised my sister and me with role models like St. Francis of Assisi, artist Stan Sakai, and figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi.

Most recently, my parents retired after long careers in the medical field, and I have witnessed in them profound transformations. In their first year of retirement, they went on a three-month mission trip to Madagascar to provide medical treatment to local people in need. Shortly after that, they went on another months-long mission trip to Japan to do coffee-shop evangelism to local college students. Upon returning to California, they shared testimonials about their trips to our church and spurred the congregation, especially those in similar life stages as themselves, to use their time sacrificially and in service to God and others. They’ve demonstrated this heart of service in their retirement by serving impoverished people through our church’s homeless food ministry; delivering culturally appropriate lunches to homebound seniors; honoring the legacy of their Japanese American elders by volunteering at funerals; and helping raise God-loving and justice-minded grandchildren. Mom, Dad, I’m proud of you both.

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