Barbara M., 87, of Brookdale Cortona Park in Brentwood, CA, reminisces about her time in Japan where she and her husband, who both served in the Navy, were stationed in the 1960’s. At 87 years old, Barbara still thinks about her time living abroad. Her Wish of a Lifetime was to once again experience Asian culture by attending a performance of Shen Yun.
Before Japan, Barbara was devoted to her career as an occupational therapist. Then, she was recruited by the Navy, where she worked at a naval hospital during the latter part of the Korean War. So many soldiers were coming home needing therapy that she had as many as 150 to 200 patients at any given time. She worked hard using her past experience in occupational therapy to make treatments more effective.
During her time with the Navy, Barbara met her husband, who was a sailor. In 1960, they moved halfway across the globe when he was stationed at a base in Yokosuka, Japan. When they first moved to Japan, Barbara was six months pregnant at the time, but she did not let that stop her from exploring the beautiful culture she found herself surrounded by. Barbara is very fortunate about her transformative experience in Asia. She says she could still talk for days of her stories.
Each year, she sees colorful advertisements from Shen Yun. Although the performance is Chinese (not Japanese), these advertisements remind her of a time when she was immersed in an incredible culture that was so different than what she was used to. She was especially enamored by the beautiful Asian music and arts.
Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale were thrilled to be sending Barbara with her son, Brian, and daughter, Leslie, to see the Shen Yun performance in San Jose. About her wish, Barbara said, “The show was splendid. I can’t think up enough words to describe it. The dancing left me in wonderment. The colors were dazzling, the brightest yellow, pure pinks, dark greens, and more…. I was truly delighted and came away in awe. Especially important to me was the time my children and I spent together… I’m still a bit over awed, but very pleased and thankful for my wish granted.”
Photos by Jaden Zhao of Silicon Valley Jiaren Assocation