The story hard not to cover

In more than two years at The Garden Island, I’ve covered many events, but none quite like this past Friday’s happening at the Kaua‘i Community College Performing Arts Center.

I was also without ammunition and armor — no pen or note pad, and not the camera I’ve been used to utilizing at sporting events.

Plus I wasn’t getting paid for this.

But it still was a very special moment witnessing the person who was responsible for bringing me into this world graduate from college with an associate’s degree in early childhood education.

My mom, Cynthia Shimogawa, along with my father, made the greatest sacrifices for my sister Shantelle and I.

They selflessly gave up certain comforts in life to put the both of us through college.

And on Friday with the full moon shining, the brightest star in the sky wasn’t the celestial object, it was my mom, whose years of hard work paid off on Friday.

But it won’t end there.

“I’m not stopping just yet. I’m going for my bachelor’s,” the 52-year-old spark plug said after the ceremony.

Just a few years ago, the roles were reversed. My mom was the one watching my crowning moment in Washington (Central Washington University).

And even a few more years back, she witnessed my sister receiving her teaching degree at Chaminade University.

It was hard not seeing the flashbacks parading through my mind throughout the KCC ceremony.

When I walked into the auditorium, there were many familiar faces, including the likes of Dr. Joel Punzal, his cousin Mari Punzal who flew down from O‘ahu to see yet another Punzal graduate college, along with Bernard and Regina Carvalho, who were still smiling about the Warrior girls hoops team, who just won the KIF title a few nights ago.

They were all there for the same reason — to support a graduate in one of their most proudest moments in their lives.

For my mom, she glowed like the full moon that evening.

“It’s just something that no one can take away from you. For me, it was tough working a full-time job and taking classes part-time, but I’m so glad I did it,” she said.

Ironically, the graduation fell on Mother’s Day weekend, which made the event even more special.

It’s one thing seeing your mom at your graduation ceremony, but when you see her on the stage, it’s definitely something special, and with all the events I’ve covered in the past two years, this was definitely the most special one.

And not because it dealt with family, but instead the opportunity to see the end result of years of hard work by another individual, makes it all worthwhile to watch.

• Duane Shimogawa Jr., sports editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257) or


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