Noriko and I met almost 40 years ago when she opened a Japanese food store in Huntington, NY.
I would go in and roam her shelves for tempura mix and sushi nori (seaweed). When the store became a restaurant I became a "regular" sitting at the sushi bar delighted by the freshest fish, perfect vegetables and lovely presentation - and the sake - perfect for chilly evenings.
Noriko's friendship over the years has been a treasure. When I called her one day to say that I couldn't join her that day (on one of our excursions) because I was sick she replied "OK, coming right away."
Although Noriko's English is perfect, I thought she misunderstood me. So I repeated that I was sick and I got the same reply, "Coming now."
And she did come - and took over my kitchen and made me food filled with love so that I would feel better.
When Noriko had a stroke, her family surrounded her. It was an amazing thing to see. (We should all be so lucky.) She was fed and watched and cocooned with love. She's healed amazingly well, despite expectation that she wouldn't come this far. But she has worked for it. I don't think I have known anyone who has worked so hard and with all her heart at everything she does.
And now, she's painting angels. To me, it seems fitting, since she is one.
So click on her and print her out and put her some place where she will catch your eye and remind you that miracles are possible, friendship is a blessing and that you are loved.