THROUGH THE FIRE: New Year and Things New

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By BILL WATANABE

Sometimes it’s good to examine how we look at things – and perhaps try to see things differently and with a more positive outlook.

I read a newspaper article a number of years ago, perhaps around the spring of 2011, about a man in Ft. Worth, Texas who received a new face – it was announced that this was the first total-face transplant in the country. The man had lost his face due to a terrible accident while working on a power line some years before that left him with a mass of flesh that no longer resembled a human face.

After a long and arduous transplant process and followed by a lengthy recovery period, he finally had a face that had eyes, a nose and mouth, and had facial muscle control. Even though the new face was a tremendous improvement over his previously marred and melted face, the photo of his new face looked to me to be grotesque and misshapen and only barely resembling a human being.

I remember looking at the picture of his transplanted face and feeling sad and sorry for his misfortune; even with the great advances in medical science related to transplants, the best that the doctors could do fell well short of a presentable human face.

As I kept reading the article, I learned that after a long stint in the hospital, the man had recovered enough so that his 3-year-old daughter could come and visit him. When his daughter saw her father and his new face for the first time, she ran up to him, jumped into his arms, and exclaimed, “Daddy, you look so handsome!”

I was moved to tears by the pure love and acceptance of a little girl for her daddy. This little girl had the eyes to see a new thing for all of its beauty.

2021 is a new year following at the heels of a most difficult year for most of us. My New Year’s wish for us all is: may God give us the eyes to appreciate beauty wherever it can be found in the world around us, and to cherish the things that may be hidden, and may our love for one another grow to help make each day a new blessing.

Best wishes everyone for a good and joyous 2021!

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Bill Watanabe writes from Silverlake near downtown Los Angeles and can be contacted at [email protected] Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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