Iraha Middle School
gNatsuki, could you give me a hand? I need some help washing the dishes.h What?! I thought, why does Mom need my help. I had just gotten home from school. I was tired from basketball practice and a long day of studying. I just wanted to get into the shower, sit down, eat dinner, watch some TV and go to bed. Why do I have to do housework? First, Mom is going to ask me to help with the dishes, then help with the cleaning, then with the laundry and who knows what else. Thatfs my Momfs job! Not mine!
One day I came home from school and I saw my mother cooking dinner at the stove. She looked at me and said, gHello, Natsuki. How was your day at school?h I was worried that she was going to ask me to help again, but thankfully she didnft. I sat down at the table and told Mom about this speech contest and I was thinking about what I wanted to write. She suggested that I write a speech about my life at school, club activities, my friends, or what I am planning to do in the future. I wasnft sure but I was happy to talk to her about it.
After we talked, Mom got up and went back to the stove to continue cooking dinner. I noticed that, when she grabbed the fry pan she was using to cook, it looked like something was bothering her - like something was wrong. She turned and looked at me with a small smile on her face and said, gNatsuki, you donft know do you? I never wanted you to worry about it and I am sorry that I didnft tell you sooner, but I have something to tell you.h
My Mom turned off the stove, came back to the table and sat down. She looked at me and said, gNatsuki, I have a connective tissue disease that makes it hard for me to do many of the things that I want to do. This disease gives me a lot of pain in my joints and muscles all through my body. Sometimes it is even hard for me to hold a fry pan in my hands or to get up from sitting in a chair. I first found out about this disease when you were a little baby. It bothers me a lot and I am so worried that someday, I wonft be able to walk.h
gNatsuki, you and your brother and sister have always worked so hard at school and with sports that I never wanted to bother any of you with my illness. I am sorry that you had to find out about it now.h
I couldnft believe what I was hearing. My Mom, sick! I was shocked and speechless. She had this ever since I was a baby and I never knew that there was anything wrong. My Mom told me more about her illness and as I listened, I started feeling so much regret and feeling so sorry for my Mom. She has been supporting me and my brother and sister, and I had no idea about her pain. I didnft know what to say, or what to think. But she said, gCheer up Natsuki. Youfll be ok!h
After talking to my mother I realized how self-centered I had been. I felt so sorry for being rude to her. It also made me stop and think about all the other people in my life that had been supporting me; helping me out and me not realizing it. My parents, grandparents, teachers, friends and so many others, and all I ever did was think about myself and what I wanted to do.
Thanks to my Mom I finally started to realize that there is more to my life than just me and I also realized that I want to be like my Mom, showing love and care for others and not just thinking about me and what I want. I hope that someday, I will be just like her.
(2-15 Speech in 61st Contest, 2009)
(C)JNSA FUND/the Yomiuri Shimbun
All of the speeches are copyrighted material of JNSA FUND and The Yomiuri Shimbun, and are protected by the Japanese copyright law.