Much of Maki’s childhood and early adulthood were painted with many adventurous and colorful memories. During her high school and college years, Maki and her older brother formed a band alongside one of their good friends, their influence and style closely inspired by the musical genre of American folk trio “Peter, Paul and Mary”. At the age of 21, Maki and her best friend moved to Guam, a tropical and remote melting pot of beautifully blended cultures with a special knack for tourism. There, Maki found herself working for a high-end leather goods retail store, as well as a dinner cruise and rental car company. During that time, Maki saved up enough money to travel across Europe, visiting Italy, England, and France along the way.
Living In Prime Color
The Japanese floral arrangements made with personal dedication by Maki and her business partner captivated many, driving a booming business that allowed Maki to own and operate three separate floral shops at different times, as well as a fourth location in Bali, Indonesia. Maki’s son, Sean, recalls one of his many memories of his mother growing up as bringing her coffee and donuts to the shop on Valentine’s Day after successfully completing one of the busiest seasons of the year.
In addition to seeing the devotion and passion his mother demonstrated for her business, Sean also describes his mother as being very strong-minded in wanting him and his sister to be raised as a man and woman of independence, self-sufficiency, kindness, and respect. Taking care of others was always a cornerstone in their upbringing, recognizing the difficulties and challenges that often come with the caregiver role, but also the importance of finding compassion and love in these situations. Above all, Sean remarks Maki’s life as being one of laughter and joy, always being quick to crack jokes and having a good time.
The Role Of Caregiving
Oftentimes, Alzheimer’s leaves seniors and families feeling isolated and defeated, but a new season of hope has arrived for Maki and her family since joining Oakwood Creative Care. Sean and Kristen have both witnessed a new wave of positivity in Maki’s spirits, as each day she excitedly asks, “When do I get to go back to the Club?” In their roles as caregivers, Sean and Kristen both feel a sense of hope and reprieve in knowing the joy being a Member at Oakwood gives Maki. They always see the happiness the club gives her, remarking how important it is to have something to look forward to, both from Maki’s perspective and theirs. There’s no problem anymore with getting Maki out the door to go to Oakwood, as she is already excited and motivated to see what new experiences and adventures a day at the Club will bring.
Finding Hope In Light Of A Diagnosis
In reflection of her time at Oakwood, Maki was asked what her favorite part of the day is, to which she replied: The joy, community, and purpose it gives her. “Maki is a people-person,” Sean and Kristen say, so having somewhere for her to go to be with people is important. Maki’s life embodies a recognition for the importance of servitude, as she still desires and loves giving things to others. To be able to support and contribute to a community is something that speaks a million words to Maki and her family, the very thing that gives them hope in light of her diagnosis.