For 56 years, Frank and Kay enjoyed their home in El Monte.  They raised their 4 children, worked hard, served their church faithfully, added rooms, expanded and beautified it. He was from Washington; she was from Oakland. Both were uprooted to camps in their early years. Yet, they were brought together through a whole series of Providential circumstances. In many ways, the Murakamis have lived the American dream.

Kay was familiar with Atherton and had even said this was the place she wanted to go if ever the need arose for skilled nursing.  However, when they saw the designs for The Courtyard,  Frank said to Kay,  “Let’s move in now. I like it there.”

The Courtyard at Atherton

So they followed the example of the Ishidas, their pastor, and his wife, who had already made the move. They were still very independent. Once the decision was made, everything seemed to fall quickly into place. Selling the house, downsizing, and moving all seemed to bring that same sense of Providence at work.  The Murakamis were among the first to move into The Courtyard. Who greeted them when they arrived? Kay’s former Sunday school teacher from the camps when she was a child; and other friends.

Now, Frank and Kay are grateful they didn’t wait until they needed skilled nursing to make the move.  “I’m glad we came when we did.” says Kay,  “There are so many amenities here and we have really bonded with the other residents.” Frank agrees: “We have met so many good people who have been through so much. This has made them into really cool people. Otherwise, it’s just a bunch of buildings.”

Asked what advice they would offer to those on the waiting list, Frank says it well: “Don’t wait until you can’t recognize anyone. Come now while you can still enjoy it.”