Thank You: A Tribute to Parents of Honor and Good Character

Burying Mom in Saipan

We can't thank everyone enough for all your help, prayers, gifts, airline tickets, cards, meals, water, flowers, singing, discounts, donations, kind emails, support, encouragement, positive phone calls, and more. You know who you are![featured-image size="featured" single_newwindow="false"]May 2014. Tim helping bury Mom in Saipan.[/featured-image]

Thank you for grieving with us, calling us personally to say you hurt with us and were so thankful for us carrying Mom's wishes and helping us as we hurt losing an amazing woman!

Amazing Parents

I can't say enough wonderful things about both of my parents Frank & Anicia Tomokane! They are not perfect. No. But they are amazing!

Since I was a little girl random people were hateful towards us as a family or my parents. My parents were either physically hurt, lied to, falsely accused, scammed (from million dollar land deals Dad helped facilitate) or robbed (numerous times from a sibling) and Mom and Dad made it clear to me who they were or I witnessed it myself.

No matter what happened, not once did my parents tell us to do wrongly to these people (unfortunately most of them were relatives). Not once.

Forgiveness and Honor

Do you know why? Because my parents are people of forgiveness and honor, and they tell the truth. Mom and Dad are people of good moral character and most people in the CNMI during their time knew that.

My Dad

Is it any coincidence that Dad was elected as the President of the Saipan Teachers Association (without him interested in the position) when he happened to show up to the first meeting? The nominations were closed immediately after him being nominated and no one else was nominated nor anyone complained. It seemed like it was planned all along.

Dad ran for Municipal Council. That was the year that Mom ran for House of Representatives (Precinct 3).

Is it any surprise that Dad won the elections of being chosen for the 2nd Constitutional Convention? There was a total of about 24 delegates from Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. Elected at large from Saipan, Dad was one of them.

My amazing father Francisco (Frank) Tomokane is more than smart, he is also a person of good moral character. Yes, he is in a sense one of the Founding Fathers of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Dad and Mom are both in the first History of the Northern Mariana Islands book by historian Don A. Farrell. After knowing them all my life as their firstborn child, I am not surprised. They have made history indeed and have an amazing legacy as individuals.

Dad is extremely brilliant that he was highly sought after for political advice and was a special assistant for then Senator Jesus R. Sablan “Pepero" who later became Lt.Governor.

He’s not only a great chess player, mathematician, and educator but also a sacrificial husband and father.

My Mom

Mom’s accomplishments are as long as Dad’s. She received numerous letters of praise or appreciation and was even flown to Guam to get a woman’s award from then First Lady Madeleine Bordallo (now Congresswoman). Very recently she received a beautiful wooden plaque in honor of her being one of the founders of Saipan’s library Joeten-Kiyu Public Library.

She was famously known as being the Managing Director (appointed by theGovernor)for Marianas Visitors Bureau’s (now Marianas Visitors Authority) successful years as well as running for public office numerous times. She helped others produce countless books of different magnitudes from children’s books to herbal remedies and the Chamorro language. Mom spoke many languages herself.

Mom loved big projects and flew to Russia, Japan, and many other places around the world very often. She helped facilitate a lot of big promotional videos and commercials for the CNMI and one aired on CNN for a short while. One of the commercials she helped facilitate was with the famous Japanese actor Yutaka Takenouchi. He was later a lead actor and played Captain Oba in the movie Oba: The Last Samurai that premiered on Saipan.

Hospitality

Mom was always so hospitable enjoying making last-minute functions at our home or beach gatherings. Once when I told her some Naval Academy midshipmen were possibly docking in Saipan, she and Dad went to the ship to personally find out if there were any onboard. There were a few of them including ROTC midshipmen and Mom and Dad made a grand picnic with them right away with the assistance of any of our family members who wanted to help. They barbecued and spent most of their hard-earned money to feed them and make them feel welcomed. That’s how gracious they are as hosts.

It was their way of saying “Thank you!” to all the many families who housed me and took care of me when I was a midshipman candidate at the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) in Rhode Island and then the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. They continued to do things like that to random military members and families who get in touch with them. Even if they barely have gas money, what little they do have they’ll try to take members of the military on a personal sightseeing tour. Dad even in his older age would personally climb up coconut trees so they could have fresh coconut juice to drink.

Mom and Dad's hospitality extended to so many people of all walks of life no matter who they were or whether they were rich or poor. If someone was poor we would share our food or give whatever extra we had even though sometimes to us we didn’t have much. But we always ate well so we could afford to give. We were thankful our parents were helpful that way!

Their hospitality even included having the Japanese actor Takuya Kimura (famously known as Kimutaku) eat and sing in our former childhood Capitol Hill home.

Our family even took out one of the HRH Princesses of Bhutan. We played in the sand together and folded coconut fronds.

At the time, only a limited number of visitors could be approved to visit Bhutan. The Princess of Bhutan told us that if Mom or Dad or anyone of their children wanted to visit Bhutan that we would be her special guests.

We couldn’t believe the honor she gave us! We never could afford the tickets to take her up on that offer.

My parents also loved being hospitable to Fumiko Haga and her children. Her husband is the famous media personality Takayuki Haga (known as Tokoro George). They employed my Chef de Cuisine brother Zenn Tomokane (who was young and a dishwasher at the time) to work at their Salt and Pepper Restaurant at Saipan’s La Fiesta Mall. It was beautiful!

Fumiko was so generous and kind to our family that she hosted a special four-course meal at Hyatt Regency Saipan. I remember Mom said, “Fumiko wants to have dinner with us and she wants to talk to you. She wants to ask you some questions.”

Fumiko’s kindness surprised me so much because she asked if I would like to visit Japan. I smiled and said, “Yes.” I always like visiting Japan. Then she started talking to my Mom in Japanese with me unaware of the planning that was taking place on my behalf.

Then they announced to me that for my high school graduation present Fumiko wanted to fly me and Mom to see many parts of Japan. We stayed in amazing hotels in Kobe, Kyoto, and Osaka. One was an expensive place called the Tawaraya Ryokan that Japanese celebrities would visit and booked far in advance. Fumiko also took us to their beautiful home that she and Tokoro George were building in Tokyo. During one of our meals in Japan her husband Tokoro George joined and welcomed us. It was very special.

I thank my parents for their generosity and teaching us so many valuable lessons. Because they were loving to others people in turn have blessed us. We have God to thank for that!

It is unfortunate that even in the light of Mom’s death lies and hateful words are being spread about my parents especially my father. But such is life. Where there is success and love, there unfortunately is hate, gossip, and lies. I’ve had to deal with that myself since I was a little girl.

Stop and Listen

My advice to all of you is to stop and listen. Is what you are thinking true and lovely? Do you know the full story? What is the character and background of the person who you are listening to? What is the background of the person you have something against?

Even if my parents were not born-again Christians or knew the Bible when we were growing up, they followed great Scripture on love from the chapters 1 Corinthians 13 and Philippians 4 from the Bible.

For those of you who have hateful things to say or think and speak lies, we forgive you. We feel sorry for you. Really, you need some love in your life but first you have to give love and have a heart of gratefulness and not hate.

That’s one huge reason why my parents Frank and Anicia Tomokane were extremely loved was because they had a heart of gratefulness and love and not hate.

It doesn’t mean we’ll be close to you but we forgive you. Mom would remind us that we could ignore hateful people until they were able to be nice. She would encourage us to move on and invest in the lives of those who appreciated our time and our love.

We will move on like we always do and always have and continue to honor the Lord with our lives.

There Is One Way

If you need help with your thoughts and want to learn how God wants us to love, cry out to Jesus. Visit need god.com or livingwaters.com as a start and start reading a good Bible if you don’t have one. It’s our favorite book — the Book of life.

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