Sharing the Secrets to a Happy Marriage
On August 11th we had the honor of helping two Hale Makua residents celebrate their wedding anniversaries. Resident Kazumi Kawakami and his wife Alice celebrated 61 years of marriage, and resident Violet Motooka and husband Masao celebrated their 66th anniversary. Care partners on the North Neighborhood added to the festivities by making a congratulatory banner, and presenting the couples with flowers and a special cake.
Both Alice and Masao visit their spouses on the North Neighborhood daily from early in the morning until the late in the afternoon, continuously spending their days by their sides. It is a joy to share in both of these couples' lives and continued love story. In commemorating the Kawakami's and Motooka's, they share their wisdom for 60 plus years of successful marriage:
Masao Motooaka shares, “For us, I think opposites attract, my wife is perfect, me not so much. I think when you’re different, you work hard to find ways to connect with one another. You compromise, forgive and grow together. It’s been 66 years with Violet and each year I’ve gained a higher respect and deeper love. I guess I’d say forgiveness, that’s the key to a long marriage.”
Masao and Violet met growing up, he eventually left for the service and the couple started dating when he returned. They have five children and Masao credits their education and success in life fully to his wife, “Violet is the one who pushed our children to go to college and reach for their dreams. She found scholarships and really pushed them.”
Alice Kawakami shares,"My husband and I, we always did things together. Housework, dancing, traveling, you name it... we were always together. I think that’s what made our marriage successful. We always told our children, you can have all the money in the world, but if you don’t have love and stability in your home and family, you don’t have anything”.
Alice reminisces about the first time she met Kazumi, “For me, it was love at first sight. We worked at Maui Pine, I saw him from across the way one day and I knew I loved him, he didn’t even know I existed. There were plenty girls working there and never in a million years did I think he would notice me. But he did, and he came to my machine one afternoon, I was a Crusher, and he asked me for a date. I was so nervous, I told him no, but lucky thing he couldn’t hear me because the machines were so loud, so he thought I said 'yes' and the rest is history. I think the one thing at the end of the day that holds a good marriage together is love, and staying true to your vows. When you marry, most people say 'For better or worse, for rich or for poor, in sickness and in health…' that last one, that’s the one people don’t think about. Staying in love during sickness as we grow old… that is what’s really important”.
With completely different reasons for what makes a successful, long-lasting relationship, the constant is their compassion, love and respect. That’s something we can all aspire to. Congratulations to the Motookas and the Kawakamis, we wish you many more years together!