June 16th, 2022

Hi Phi, yet another post I neglected to publish.

How’s your June treating you? I hope you’re smiling, healthy & happy.

We can’t believe how mild Japan is. When we left Hong Kong it was hot and humid, very testing running 10km on the trails!

Today marks two weeks since I have been in Japan. We’ve been having a beautiful time, travelling, laughing & making the most of Japan’s amazing cuisine. C has even joined me running, five times!!!!!

So, I hope you’re well and receiving my messages. I’m not sure what is holding you back, especially as I thought we had a magical time together back in 2019.

You needn’t worry about me. I love my job (I have a new contract in Bangkok beginning July 24), love my wife, and love life. Of course I miss your presence in my life, but I have so many things to be grateful for – love, you, family, friends, fitness and health.

You have youth on your side, but I also hope someone close is guiding you. Perhaps it’s Yoko; I always felt that she respected our father-daughter relationship. It’s important to appreciate the simple things in life. We live but one life and it’s too short to lay blame at others for anything and everything. With a growth mindset life’s challenges can make us stronger, bolder and more empathetic to the feelings of others.

We both know that you were old enough to experience all the pain that your mother and I foolishly brought your way. I’m so sorry that I was a part of that. In some ways you were young enough not to grasp what was happening. I don’t seek to lay blame, nor undermine your mother’s love for you. I know she loves you very much, it’s just that love can be blind and suffocating.

When you’re ready, we are waiting with open arms. No one will judge you. No one will blame you. No one will question you.

We just want you to share in our happiness.

Love Dad… XoXo…

October 13th, 2021

Hi Phi, sorry, another post I neglected to publish.

Long time, no see. Long time, no hear. Long time, no hug. Long time. 

Friday is your birthday. 19 years ago, on October 15th our Ophelia Hirakawa-Morice was born into this world. What a gift you’ve proven to be. As Nandee & Pa’s first grandchild, you brought us so much joy. As the wise eldest cousin of Luca, Allie, Billie & Christo, your visits to Oz generated much delight and also much pride for your old man.  

Despite the hurdles, you’ve carried yourself with grace. 19 years… so what’s happened? Well, despite the obvious (your mum & dad not being able to keep their shite together), there’s been Barack, Jacinda & Greta, the Fab Three. In 2002, the year you were born, East Timor was granted independence from Indonesia. Two years later, in 2004, Facebook was formed (reckon we could do without FB). When you were 3, the Kyoto Protocol came into effect and in 2007 the first iPhone launched. In 2008 Barack Obama was elected and by 2010 Aung San Suu Kyi was finally released from detention. On March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake that registered 9 on the Richter Scale hit us both in Japan. In the same year, Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president (dictator) was ousted. In your lifetime.  

A year later, 2013, as Cc & Dad were preparing to head to Cairo for my new position with CAC, the then president, Mohamed Morsi (leader of the Muslim Brotherhood) was deposed in a military coup d’état. When we arrived in Cairo, we were greeted by tanks on the streets. By 2016, the Paris Agreement, signed by 195 nations to fight global warming formally went into effect. In 2019, Covid-19 reared its ugly head and the Chinese Communist Party used the pandemic to put their stranglehold on the people of Hong Kong… I would have loved to have marched shoulder-to-shoulder with you and the 2 million Hong Kongers who took it up to the CCP. All in your lifetime… 

Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp, LINE and Instagram were all set in motion as you grew, and grew, and grew. What a minefield to navigate… I’m sorry I haven’t been there for you. I hope we reconnect, SOON.  

This will be our final year in Hong Kong. My contract will finish in June 2022, after that, who knows… maybe Thailand, Singapore, or even a return to Japan. 

Happy Birthday, Ophelia… I miss you. 

Love Dad… XoXO… 

21st of December, 2022

G’day Phi,

It’s the 21st of December, 2022. I’m here in Tokyo with Cc. We’re having a ball. Jogging most mornings together, izakayas, nabe, sashimi, shoes from Camper, Xmas gifts for you from Agnes (we hope you like the black bag), and a trip to Kyoto/Nara to look forward to.

Happy Holidays!

I’m heading back to Bangkok on Saturday, December 7th. It would be grand to see you, especially as it’s been over three years since we smiled together. I’m sorry you haven’t been able to find the same strength that you bravely discovered when you reached out to me three years ago. Your fearless gesture brought your dad and your Aussie family such happiness. It was ever so courageous of you to seek me out alone, knowing your mother’s conflicting issues. I know her influence and control over you can’t be easy, but I’m calmed when I think of the kid you used to be. When you lived with me, you were ever so humble, gentle and kind. You were shy, but once you warmed to new people, you were polite, friendly and social. You showed appreciation for the simple things in life. You showed gratitude by thanking people. You recognized the importance of being thankful. I was ever so proud of you.

I also know there is a lot going on in your life, and you probably feel like you’re being pulled in many directions. When I think back to my time in the Family Court of Japan, you were old enough to experience the pain, but young enough not to grasp what was happening. It was an awkward period for you, occasionally visiting me when you were 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 years of age. You were young and vulnerable. I’m sure entire years and passages of time are blank, especially those first six years when you lived with me. I’m also hopeful other moments stir out of the shadows and have stuck to your soul. Easter egg hunts, cooking and laughing together, stories before bed, camping, singing, the big orange car, trips to Oz, making Christmas cards together… I miss the hugs you used to give me when I scooped you up in my arms. I miss your strong yet delicate arms around my neck as if you would drown without me. Your eyes didn’t lie. When you looked at me, you had that beautiful trust in your eyes like nothing could ever go wrong.

So, I’ll continue to wait, but Nandee & Pa won’t be able to wait forever. No one can change the past, but you know that now is your time. Now. Time to spend some time with your Nandee & Pa until they leave this life… your life. Your grandparents miss you more than you can possibly imagine. You are their first grandchild. Your smile, your laughter, your grace, and beautiful generosity brought them such happiness. Don’t be a stranger to their spirit…

Would love to hear from you. A simple “Konichi wa” would make my heart sing. I’m really hoping another blessing occurs this Christmas. After all, it’s love that works miracles, not jealousy, deceit or hatred. There’s no more powerful force on Earth more powerful than love. I love you, my daughter, more & more every day 💕Hoping to reconnect SOON. Talk to me or don’t, but I’ll always be here for you either way. My door is always open and there will always be a glass awaiting your presence.

Love Dad… XoXo…