Memories Of Japan by Judi Whidden

Judi Mathews grew up in the deep south of Jamaica. Her father was a well to do land owner and her mother, a domestic helper, raised the young judi and her two sisters and one brother as though they were her own children. Over the years Judi grew into an exceptionally caring, thoughtful young woman who took great pride in her role as a family caregiver. When Judi was only thirteen years old her mother died and within a short time she was preparing to start her own business as a domestic helper by helping out the elderly and the disabled.


At the age of sixteen, Judi’s world nearly collapsed. She went into a menial job at a factory that manufactured rubber and steel for construction purposes and even cleaned office suites for a small company. Her employer found out about Judi’s background and fired her on the spot for negligence.

This was the first in a series of events that would change the course of Judi’s life. Her mother began accompanying her daughter to and from school as her mother had always done, but when Judi refused to give her salary, her mother left the family. The following year, Judi’s mother was again unemployed and moved back home. This time, however, her mother was more than willing to help her daughter with the odd errand or two, but the circumstances of her unemployment made it difficult for her to keep on top of her debts.

Her mother continued to live with Judi and her siblings, but the financially stressful situation continued to get worse. Finally, her mother asked Judi to help her sister move in with her. This was easier said than done since her mother was still receiving odd jobs and making no progress financially. As time went by, the stress of Judi’s mother’s health problems became too much to bear and Judi decided to run away from home.

However, her mother would not allow her to leave, even to visit her sister. Finally, in desperation, Judi decided to sleep on the street and use the money that she had hidden to purchase a one-way bus ticket to New York. This was to be a brief stop before returning to her native Japan, but since she needed to pay for the bus fare, this was to be a respite that would last. Once she got back to New York, Judi’s mother finally gave in and arranged to have Judi marry Masane, the man of her dreams.

Unfortunately, the marriage did not last. After a short time, Judi’s mother died, leaving Judi and Masane to support themselves. The death of her mother left Judi heartbroken and without support, while Masane’s marriage to another man was quickly put on hold. This ended up being good for Judi, though, because she was able to discover her true calling and strength within herself. Once she did, though, there was no turning back, and she pursued her dream.