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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mom was right when she said ...

    • Photo gallery: Moms

By Zenaida Serrano
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Carol T. Chun with her mother, May Satsuki Kitayama

Photos by the individual families

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Chun's mom always said, "Use your judgment."

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Rose Marie Nakoa with mom Rose Cabral Pires. After marrying, Nakoa was advised to "Save money now to buy a house."

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Hannah Healani Chenoweth with mom Edith Bernice Kawehioka-lani Anahu Olsen, who told her to "do it well!"

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Carol T. Chun's late mother lives on in many ways from family photographs and personal mementos, to maternal advice shared ages ago and treasured to this day.

May Satsuki Kitayama Ikuma, who died two years ago at age 96, was not a woman from whom advice and platitudes flowed, said her daughter, Chun, 62, of Hono- lulu.

" 'Use your judgment,' were her words of wisdom to me," Chun said. "She taught me that when you made a decision, you must learn to live with the consequences."

Chun recalled not having a curfew as a teenager. "One night I returned home in the early morning hours to find the door locked from the inside," Chun said. "I heard her voice in the darkness, 'Your judgment was poor tonight.' "

Chun can still clearly hear her mother's knowing voice in her head.

"And I'm glad for that," Chun said.

With Mother's Day approaching, The Advertiser asked readers to fill in the blank "Mom was right when she said ... "

We received dozens of submissions. From the practical: "Save money now to buy a house," Kailua resident Rose Marie Nakoa, 72, recalled her mother saying when Nakoa was a newlywed in 1955. "Once you have children and they start school, it'll be a lot harder. You'll be your own landlord."

To the profound: "Be the best you can be and life will be good to you," wrote Amber Martin, 39, of Honolulu.

And the funny, but oh, so true: "Never argue with a woman," quipped David D. Cook, 61, of Mililani.

Enjoy these motherly words of wisdom as we honor moms everywhere.


"Mom was right when she said ... ":

• " 'Be ye kind, one to another.' My mother was born in the South with a silver spoon in her mouth, but we were raised knowing people from all walks of life. She never ... thought more highly of herself than others."

Anne Beidleman, 62, Honolulu

• "Whatever you do, do it well!"

Hannah Healani Chenoweth, 86, Waialua

• " 'Take typing in high school!' I've earned millions in the computer industry because of my first job as a computer programmer in 1972 for which I was hired because I could type 75 wpm!"

Ma-Ma LaGrande Chung, 58, Honolulu

• " 'Empty vessels make the most noise,' which was her way of telling us that just because someone talked a lot did not mean they had a lot of wisdom or knowledge to impart."

Jenni Cooney, 48, Honolulu

• " 'Don't be a chimosa,' which in Spanish means gossip. ... One day I was being 'chimosa' with a friend of mine and as soon as I turned my head, I found (Mom) was standing behind me the entire time. I was extremely embarrassed and terrified about what she would say to me. She later forgave me, but since then, I've learned my lesson on gossipping."

Joanna Fagarang, 18, Mililani

• " 'Watch! When you have kids, they'll drive you just as nuts as you're driving me!' She was right. I have three beautiful but kolohe children, and although I love them with all my heart, there isn't a day that goes by without me losing something my hair, my mind, etc."

Skyy Kalahiki, 24, Mililani

• "Always treat others with compassion, because you never know what the other person may be going through."

Emi Chang Kaneshiro, 31, Mililani

• "If everything went right in the world, the crab wouldn't have to walk sideways."

Eric J. Kusunoki, 60, Honolulu

• " 'The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.' She empowered me and taught me that a woman is strong and capable of anything. A mother must recognize the influence she has and be the best example to her own children and the world village."

Courtney Larson, 37, Hawai'i National Park

• " 'Be humble.' Our mother, Aunty Lei Collins noted composer, entertainer and respected Hawaiian kupuna always advised her children and grandchildren when we were dealing with a problem or upset because of a wrong dealt us, Mother would always caution us that the best way to handle these issues was first to be humble and try to resolve the issue positively."

Ernesta H. Masagatani, 72, Kailua

• "Each to their own taste, said the old lady as she kissed her cow."

Sylvia Mitchell, 78, Honolulu

• "Be careful when you choose your friends because you will become like them."

Maata Pohahau Nye, 17, Honolulu

• " 'Don't forget courtesy, respect and gratitude.' (Mom) came to Hawai'i as a picture bride and worked on the sugar plantation. I still remember her three words of wisdom: 'Show courtesy when people ask for help. If you can do it, do it willingly. Show respect to 'sensei' teachers, doctors, ministers and elders with more education and experience. Show gratitude with 'arigato' thank you for goodness received."

Henry T. Omiya, 84, 'Aiea

• " 'Consider the source.' As a young teenager, I was naive and believed whatever people told me was the truth. However, I began to learn that some people gave false information. In seeking truth, I began to consider the source of facts given to me."

Marian S. Richardson, 62, Honolulu

• " 'If you are thinking something nice about someone, be sure and share it with them.' That sentiment has stayed with me forever. Usually we can be so consumed, with reacting to or judging someone, that we don't see how easy it can be to notice the good about them."

Linda Roberts, 68, Kāne'ohe

• "You should know and learn about cooking. ... You will have a family to cook for and all their grandchildren to feed."

Lee Roman, 68, Honolulu

• " 'There is absolutely no excuse for rudeness.' I have lived my life with that in mind, and although she has been gone now for nine years, I still believe what she said is truer today than ever."

Joan Ross, 74, Kāne'ohe

• "You'll miss me when I'm gone."

Sharon James, 65, Kāne'ohe

• "Children don't come with manuals. Being a good father is literally a lifetime work in progress. Not only do you need to be an unconditional loving parent, but also their best friend and mentor. Then pray to God for the best to happen."

Martin D. Schiller, 71, Honolulu

• "Women are special rosebuds and we are meant to naturally bloom into beautiful red roses. Never let any man peel your petals unwillingly, making you bloom faster than you should, because your special rose will never be the same."

Christina Tanimoto, 18, Wahiawā

• "The hardest job you will ever have is being a parent."

Bonnie Valdriz, 53, 'Ewa Beach

• "Every morning as I left for school, mom would kiss my cheek and say in her sweet and nurturing voice, 'Be kind and be brilliant.' Because of her five simple words, I am now a happy 24-year-old with a lot of good friends and a bachelor's degree. I love you, Mom!"

Danica Winters, 24, 'Ewa Beach