June 15, 2009


My mom passed away on June 14, 2009, at 8:11pm.

Both my father and I were at her side, holding her hand during her final moments with us. Isaac was not far away and joined us, as well as Alicia soon after. Emma and Sophia are with Alicia’s parents.

My mom’s final moments were peaceful and she was able to squeeze my hand, tightly, at the end; a moment that I will never forget.

So many family members and friends have extended their love, prayers and support to my mom over the past few weeks, either here by her side, from far away or through this blog. It gives me great comfort to know that my mom was so loved by so many, and that during the last weeks of her life, she was never alone.

The feeling here in the house right now has not changed. It feels like home. We are a family. She is still with us and always will be.

In lieu of flowers, we ask that you send any remembrances to Exceptional Parents Unlimited. Working at EPU gave my mom much happiness for over 15 years. Even after her diagnosis, it provided great satisfcation for her to be able to continue her work for as long as she could.



4440 North First Street

Fresno, California 93726

 On behalf of the Jackson family, thank you.


12 Responses to “Always”

  1. Debby Jo Wagner Says:

    Dear Howard and family and all of Chole’s dear ones, I join you in your sense of loss, and of gratitude for having Chole touch my life. Thank you for taking such good care of her and of each other through this difficult time. Reading these comments it is clear that Chole was generous with her gifts, her laughter, love and wisdom. Along with dedication to her work at EPU, Chole was very firm about taking a break and we all remember her sitting in that chair by the window. She told me cancer had taught her a lesson about slowing down, and stopping to talk with her there always helped me to slow down, too. She helped me to remember we have to LET the magic happen, rather than trying to MAKE it happen. I am now facing my own battle with cancer and that image of Chole calmly sitting in her chair, smiling, reading and chatting with passers-by is very comforting and strengthening. Together with you all, I weep, then smile through my tears because, well, the thought of Chole just makes me smile in spite of the sorrow. Hugs, Debby Jo

  2. David & Janice Englebright Says:

    Dear Howard and family,

    We have you in our thoughts and prayers.

    We always enjoyed the Tsutsui birthday parties you and Chole hosted for our nieces. We have fond memories of Chole making our exchange students feel so welcome. And we are so happy to have one of Chole’s prints and think of her each time we look at it.

    God blessed us with Chole and now she rests in peace.

    Janice & David

  3. Sandy Puentes-Beck Says:

    I will remember Chole for her kindness, smile and wonderful laugh. She had this huge heart and was so giving. I enjoyed watching her sit in her favorite chair in the hallway at EPU, listening to music or reading a book. It still brings a smile to my face…Thanks for the memory Chole, God bless you. You will be missed.

  4. DaiDai, Keiko and Fred Shiralian Says:

    Chole was one of the most caring and kind person I had ever met. I feel blessed to have met her even though for a brief time at EPU. She used to always give me hugs whenever she saw me in the hallway at EPU. While my mom was visiting us from Japan, Chole gave her some greeting cards that she made with her art work. My mom will always treasure them. Chole often mentioned about her son who worked in Japan as she was thinking about him and was so proud of him. Thank you for touching our hearts. May you rest in peace, Chole. God bless her family.

  5. Erin Smith Says:

    I know in my heart that Chole touched each and every one of us in different but special ways. She had that special touch and new how to connect with each person. I definitely know from experience……Your mom is and will always be a special friend to us all. God Bless!

  6. cheyenne Says:

    I just wanted to express my condolences and resect for such a wonderful women who has impacted so many, and has been a true inspiration of love and dedication to all those who were blessed to know her.

  7. Benoit & Mari Says:

    Allow us to share our deepest sympathy with you all as this last of Chole’s journeys has come to an end. The artist has put her work to rest–and what a beautiful, comforting, and lasting quilt she has left behind! It has been made utterly evident through this blog, even to us remote participants, that her life’s work of love will remain: to be appreciated, to inspire, to be remembered and handed down. Thank you so much for letting us witness, and learn from you, how such a close-knit family succeeds in making love and life triumph. Your mutual caring and sharing through these hard times has been reassuring.

  8. Bobbie Coulbourne Says:

    Howard and Family,
    I have not been able to think of anything except Chole since hearing the news this morning. I am so glad that I have so many wonderful memories of the times Chole and I shared. I hope you remain comforted in the knowledge of how much she was loved and valued by so many. She had the unique gift of knowing how and when people needed her support and guidance. Many times we sat and talked about “things” and I will always cherish those times. My most poignant memory is the time a few years ago, after receiving the news that cancer was back in her life. She told me at the time that she wanted to live long enough that her precious granddaughters would remember her. She accomplished that goal and I am sure Sophia and Emma will always love their memories of their Abu and know that she is their very special guadian angel. My love and prayers are with all of you during this time of loss. My daughter Crystal and grandson Nick share their condolances as they truly loved Chole also.

  9. Jill Harkness Says:

    Dear Jackson Family,
    I am thinking of your family in your time of loss and I send my condolences. Chole had this other family here at EPU and we are missing her tremendously also. There are a lot of tears here today. Chole was a lot of things to many people and will be missed so much. Many people have mentioned that Chole was their mentor. I remember when I started here eight years ago Chole was one of the first people to reach out to me and even share her latest book with me. And we shared many laughs. Chole’s spirit lives on in the hallways of EPU. She will always live on in our hearts.
    Love, Jill Harkness

  10. Reva Guimont Says:

    Howard and Family,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. I have thought about some of the memories I’ve had with Chole. She was the first Early Interventionist that walked into my office and brought me a family to support. A family with a newly diagnosed child. I was new at EPU and I felt trusted by her and I learned right away that Chole understood the support Parents needed during this time.

    I appreciated how long she was able to continue to work at EPU after diagnosis. I will always value the work she did here at EPU and our friendship.

    Howard you have reached into another part of our family with your friendship and guidance to Tash. She values what you have to offer and you have opened up her world. She is challenging for so many and her father and I are grateful for your part in her life. Natasha knows of your loss of Chole and you are in her thoughts.

    Let me know of anything you need during this time.

    Our lives have been better with knowing and working with Chole. I will miss her. Reva

  11. Dana and Sue Marble Says:

    Howard, Howard, Issac and family–What a wonderful gift you gave to Chole with all your loving care. And a gift, too, to all of us who were standing by, with the beautiful blog. Our prayers and thoughts are with you all. Sue

  12. Larry and Julie Tsutsui Says:

    We love you and we’ll miss you Chole. Rest in peace.


    The Tsutsui Family

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