Call me Kubota
That is my name. It is more my name than Jason is. Kubota tells about where my family is from, and where they have been. Kubota is who I am, where I'm from, where I've been and where I'm going. My name is also Blaine and Daniels before it is Jason. Before anything I am a member of my family.
I am wherever my family is, I have been wherever my family has been, and my family is wherever I am. In Japan, Wales, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, the US. I've pushed a handcart across the plains and worked in the factories.
I am also Bobby (my legal middle name). My dad's drinking buddy and cousin. I hitchhiked out of town one night when I was fifteen and got on board with what turned out to be a couple of drunks in a pickup. What was left of my body would be found sixteen months later at the bottom of a ravine. The truck tumbled and the truck burned.
Coming to this country for a better life and giving my children more American names like Benny, Richard, and Gary so that they would fit in and then spending three years in Camp Topaz during WWII. The United States government, caught up in the hysteria of war, forcibly rounded up its own citizens and locked them away in a desolate corner of Utah. Their crime was being of Japanese descent. It was an unforgivable act of racism right up there by slavery and the plight of the American Indian. Mistakes were made, but those responsible are long gone and I hold no ill will toward my Nation's government. I would go on to serve in all branches of the military and serve in five wars. Richard adopted my dad, Clark, and my uncles Kelly and John when they were young. Things were not perfect, but he treated them as his own, and they all called him 'Dad.'
When I was five my dad would die in an accident. Almost five years later my mom would marry Kevin, who adopted me in all ways but name and treated me as his own. Many people go without having even one good father. I have had two (good job mom). I proudly take his family name, Blaine, as my own.
I am not perfect, and neither is my family. My family isn't any better than anybody elses, but they are mine and I am theirs. I love most of them and hate a few. Collectively they have been both the victims and perpetrators of various crimes and abuses, some petty, some felonies.
Although we are not perfect we have an endless supply of loyalty and love. Everyone is always welcome, regardless of our mistakes. The Daniels' have welcomed the Kubota's and Blaine's, the Blaine's have welcomed the Daniels' and Kubota's, and the Kubota's have more than welcomed the Daniels' and Blaine's. That's just how it works. My future wife will be welcomed by my family just as I hope I would be welcomed by hers. If she has children from another man they will become my children, and if I had children from another woman they would become her children. I wouldn't have it any other way. Life is fickle, but if there is one thing I can guarantee my children it is family.
Friends are very important, but for the most part friends come and friends go from our lives. There are a select few of my friends that have become family (you know who you are) and I cherish them just as I do my family, but other than that friends are picked up and discarded like uno cards. Family is different. You can't mess with family.