I have mentioned before how our beloved Masami is cared for. She is very head-strong, and has the never give up attitude. Masami sees her handicap as a mere hurdle of life, so paralysis itself be damned in her view.
It is a daily tag-team effort with me and Leila. When we are all at home, Leila and I both help Masami with any difficulties she may have. If I or Leila are up very late or even not up at all, we volunteer to help Masami with any difficulties. Besides our love for each other, equally is strong is that Leila and I are both wholly invested in Masami.
Since Leila sleeps a lot, and Masami and I are up before the sun, it is me that helps Masami with difficulties such as helping her get dressed for the day. She has no problems with putting on a bra, a shirt or simply brushing her own hair. When I am away at work, Leila takes over helping Masami with her needs.
Yes, the two do fight with each other from time to time, but it is never designed to cause deliberate harm. In fact, the worst I have seen these two go at it is when Leila pressured Masami to tell me about Aiko just this year (https://www.chaxen.com/post/_aiko). It also explained why neither one wanted to do a shoot, also, just this year (https://www.chaxen.com/post/the-girls-take-a-break).
They do jaw at each other quite a bit, but this is also harmless. In learning how these two are personally, I think in a way they do it to keep each other alert and on their toes. They in effect, are conditioning themselves to be fresh should they need to fend off any malicious and/or unnecessary criticism.
The return for mine and Leila’s efforts not only do not go unnoticed, we have learned that Masami is feverish about returning any kind of care to us that she can. Masami has become a lighting and set expert. She constantly gives advice on camera angles while Leila is doing her thing, and offers her thoughts about the wig Leila should wear. Masami also suggests accessories such as jewelry and earrings that in her view may work best with what Leila may be wearing.
She does all of this, as well as monitor our website and social media, and offers constructive criticism to both myself and Leila. She also watches out for anyone who may give any of us unnecessary grief for any reason. I find Masami to be our pit-bull, but I don’t say that often because she will smirk at me as her response.
I think with her fear of me knowing about Aiko now gone, Masami seems to really have found a stronger comfort level in our home. I have seen an increase in her self-confidence and a reduction in her shy nature. Masami, with all of her life tragedies, still exhibits an unyielding level of perseverance.
Masami also remains true to her core; while happy that she is received well by many when she does selfies or is revealed in pictures, she still prefers to do so sparingly. It does make her feel good and special, but she would rather Leila take the lead in the attention area.
Leila and Masami present a special conflict in my view; one wants all the attention while the other wants nothing to do with it. Yet they both seem to be building a path to a new medium. Leila activates Masami by her own self-motivation, while Masami activates Leila by calling her a lazy-butt.
Simply put: they feed off of each other.
Leila also has the never give up attitude. She is relentless in her pursuits to have Masami become more camera-friendly. She endures Masami’s evasive retorts and presses on, continuing to encourage Masami. Masami does concede more than she did when she first arrived, but I think that is due to the idea of her giving in to Leila so as to make Leila halt her persistence.
Something between the two that makes their relationship very special is Leila’s strict non-tolerance policy with Masami’s handicap. Masami has mentioned this to me before, but Leila will absolutely “snap and lose it” should Masami ever cave to being handicapped.
Long before they were both here, Masami told me that Leila raised her voice to a fever pitch one day. That she threw old flower pots at the wall in Masami’s Mother’s garden shop. They were throw away pots as Masami explained, but Leila cussed her out very loudly at a weak moment for Masami about being paralyzed.
Masami stated that she did not say one word in response, because she saw her Mother’s face through a small glass window with tears in her eyes and her head down. While ugly as Leila was that day, Masami and her Mother knew that Leila’s tirade was justified. Masami has never felt sorry for herself ever since.
In my time with Leila and Masami, just over two years now, I have found no real core of animosity between the two. They fuss, they fight, they make fun of each other (and me!), and make nasty but jovial remarks to each other. Yet their bond to one another is permanent.
Every day is a chore and a challenge. And every day is of joy, is of love, and a continual construction of our family bond.