Finding “Yoyu” [Excerpt 17]

Have you ever had to tell someone they stink?

When I was in high school, my mother ran a boarding house for people in transition. Most of the boarders were adults though I remember at least one teenager.

Our oldest boarder was a gentleman in his 80s. He had an infectious sense of humor, and I loved listening to him talk.

Unfortunately, sometimes it was difficult to spend time with him because he smelled bad. With my mom’s encouragement, I finally raised the issue with him and suggested he wash his clothes and take a shower.

The issue was solved instantly and the gentleman thanked me profusely.

I’m forever grateful to my mother for gently nudging me to take action. Telling someone they smell bad isn’t easy. However, having done so previously gave me the courage to help my father-in-law in the same way.

Otosan had horrible breath. It smelled like something had died in his mouth and we couldn’t stand it any longer.

Listen to the latest excerpt above to find out why Otosan had rotten breath and what we had to do to help him solve it.

If you missed any of the previous excerpts, you can find the playlist here.

About the book:

A few years ago, we moved my husband’s parents from a rural part of Japan to live with us in Tokyo in our tiny 800 square foot (73 square-meter) condo. My book, Finding “Yoyu,” is about what it took to decide to move them. It’s also about navigating the Japanese health care system and finding an appropriate nursing home for my mother-in-law while helping my father-in-law transition from a lifetime of farming to retirement in the big city. It’s about how we discovered he had Alzheimer’s and my husband had stage 3 colon cancer. It’s about how I managed to support these two men and keep (or find!) my yoyu all while going through a career change.

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About the Author:

Hi! I'm Marci. When I'm not writing, building websites, or coaching clients, I love walking the streets of Japan and discovering spirit in all shapes and forms. Here on the blog, you'll also get a peek into what it is like to live with and care for my Japanese father-in-law who has Alzheimer’s. Enjoy!


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