Upon arriving at the Suzuki family home I discovered it to be very quiet. I heard a television on in a side room and upon knocking and investigation it turned out that my father-in-law was there sleeping. It seems that my middle daughter Lauren had returned from school and was upstairs either playing very quietly or (more likely) having a nap. Suzuki Akiyoshi (her grandfather) upon waking him had no idea that she was even there. What is wrong with these people that a six year old is left to fend for herself in the company of an ill old man who is unaware of her presence. Children walk the streets alone here in Japan. They are raised by schools and ostensibly must raise themselves much of the time. My father-in-law had no idea where his wife was, no clue where my eldest daughter Rion was, no information at all. Unbelievable and sad.
It was my beautiful daughter Lauren. She will be seven years old on January 2nd, 2012. I spoke to her and asked her if she wanted to come and give her daddy a hug this time? She turned her head and stopped looking at me. I removed my shoes and entered, approaching and standing next to her as she was seated, eating some warm, sweet breads. I told her that I loved her. I asked her if her mother had told her not to look at me or talk to me? I gently touched her shoulder as I told her that it was okay for her to look at and talk to daddy, that daddy loves her and she has no reason to fear anything. I stroked her hair gently. I said that I was going to give her a little kiss on the head. (She understands English still!!!). She was uncomfortable. The 2+ years of alienation and, I'm quite certain, disparaging of her father by her mother and family has taken it's toll. She is under the spell of parental alienation. Poor little darling. Torn apart by feelings of wanting to interact with daddy, no doubt, and her instructions not to do so in any way, shape or form.
I am so disappointed in my ex-wife for what she has done to this lovely child.
Nonetheless, it is the first time I have touched Lauren in 27 months. For people who have not had their children abducted and alienated against them I know it sounds ridiculous but just to touch her shoulder and stroke her head was a joy that I cannot describe. Even now as I write about it my eyes have welled with tears of joy tinged by sadness. Lauren then left the room and I respected her boundaries and said I love you Lauren and let her go. It was then that we left. The entire interaction was no more than 90 seconds.
I am resolute. I will continue to work to rebuild the relationship between Lauren and I. I will continue to visit my children. I will NEVER GIVE UP. I will NEVER GIVE IN.
A special thanks to Alex and Matt for accompanying me to Fukushima. They are great men and great fathers also.