Toshiaki’s third brother (closest in age), Kazuhiro, is a carpenter. He lives in the home that Toshiaki grew up in after he built Toshiaki’s parents house, as well as his second brother’s house. he has also built and repaired many homes for friends and relatives in Yamada.
On March 11th, Kazuhiro was planning on fixing his aunt, Miya’s roof, however, the recent snowfall meant that he would need to get some help to remove the snow. He made arrangements and decided to go home for lunch and ended up staying at home. Aunt Miya ran out of the house with the first tsunami warning. the house and her son, Takehiko was washed away.
His youngest daughter, Maiko (22) and he apparently had “words” and Maiko decided to take a day off from working in town and took off to visit a friend in a neighboring town (more inland and out of reach of the tsunami) without telling her parents where she was going.
His oldest daughter, Akari (26) also took the day off to admit her 3 year old, Mana in pre-school on higher ground. Akari normally works at a pre-school in a neighboring town. That school was wiped out by the tsunami. Fortunately, Akari’s co-workers were able to get themselves and the children who had not been picked up yet to higher ground and safety. Tragically, many of the children that were picked up earlier by parents or relatives were caught in the tsunami.
Kazuhiro was safe at home. Maiko was safe with a friend (although parents did not know where she was for 2 days). Akari and Mana were safe on high ground and Miwako ( our sister-in-law), glad to have her family safe proceeded to hand-out blanets and warm clothing to the people that made their way up to higher ground.
Everyday we make speak words to each other and we make choices and move through life…never truly knowing what our next moment will bring.