I paid a visit to my surrogate father, the wandering minstrel, my Yoshi-Papa, one day in Mor Dhona. He was in tears and could not perform for a bit. "Ah, Kahori, my child, you are a welcome relief," he said. "Come."
"Dad, what happened, what's going on?" I asked Papa, hugging him. "Don't cry, Dad, I am here, I am here. What happened, tell me?"
"Your surrogate uncle, Uncle Soken...was diagnosed with cancer last year and battled hard and the cancer was in remission, so he is still here with us."
"Uncle Soken? Uncle Masa? Him? Cancer? Oh my goodness...And he told you and the others just now?"
"Yes, Kahori, he did. I really thought, as I was making the stories for you to experience, you were going to lose the person that makes the music for your time with me and everyone you are with. I don't know what I would do if he was gone...he is like a brother to me, and we need him with us."
I could see Papa was visibly upset at the thought and was weeping uncontrollably. I was, too. In the background, the strains of his theme song, "To The Edge," was playing.
"Dad, it's okay, he's not going away any time soon," I said to him. "You have to be strong, Dad. You always wanted me to experience stories, adventures, life, and I don't want you to give up just because someone like Uncle Soken is no longer with us! Come on, Dad!"
"I'm sorry, Kahori, I never get this emotional but...it pains me to see him in such a state. And I could never imagine a future without him. It was...just too much for me to stomach. It hurts, Kahori, it hurts."
I gave my dad a warm embrace to make him feel better. "One day, we'll all be gone from this world, but we have to keep fighting, to hold on and to be strong. You told me that nothing can be taken for granted and you need to seize the day. I remembered what you told me. I still miss my real father, dad. I told you this four years ago, didn't I?"
"And then I adopted you and gave you the journey of your life," said Yoshi-Papa as he wiped back tears, smiling. "Uncle Soken has had a great journey, too."
"An Unending Journey, dad," I said. "And you tell my stories and adventures in song, sometimes sending out the sampo as a messenger. His music resonates in me, you, everyone here...this star is powered by his music. He is the Master Bard, and he will continue to be with us. We have to believe it, dad. So don't cry, please. I'll do my best to make you happy. I am ready to live the next story that you all have for me. To hear, feel, and think."
"Kahori...Kahori!!!" Yoshi-Papa gave me a bear hug, laughing. "You bring joy to my life every time we talk, every time I see you. I know that when you're here, I am happy, we are happy, and Uncle Soken is happy. Thank you, Kahori."
"No, thank you, Yoshi-Papa," I said to him. "My real father would be proud of you. In fact, I want to confess, he lives in you. So please take care of me, you, Uncle Soken, and everyone. My life is in your hands."
And Yoshi-Papa had the biggest, most glowing smile I ever saw. "I will do that, Kahori Harukawa. I will do that."https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_q0xLf3zyyE