He had an ability to be awkward in family settings. He had “dad jokes” left and right. He was a philosopher. He was a Gandhian.
Despite all the quirks, he was a pillar for his wife. He was there whenever she needed him. He was there when the kids needed to be brought up and she was busy with her job. After all being an OB-GYN with a truckload of principles is not easy – you could get calls in the middle of the night for an impending delivery, or a surgery that must be done when it must be, etc.
He was there to pick up any of the many visitors coming to visit. He was there to drop off anyone at any time of the day or night, to any part of town. Despite his age.
He was the one who taught me defensive driving. He was the one who taught me how to drive fearlessly in the US. He was the one who made me aware of so many legal issues that plague a normal, law-abiding citizen in the US, and how to be wary of it and how to plan to handle it.
He was the one who taped curious news items (during those days where tapes were cool). He was the one who could always bring up a reference to some news or politics that related to the topic of conversation. He was the one who mined the local newspaper for tidbits to discuss at the breakfast table.
For all that he may have had to endure from extended family, he was probably one of the most taken-for-granted members of the family.
And now he is no more. Passed away in his sleep, just like he would probably plan it for himself. No pain, no trouble for family members to rush him to the hospital. No extended care. As usual, picked up his wife in the night from her job, went to bed reading a book like he always does, and (hopefully) painlessly moved on to a better place.
R.I.P. Masa. I will miss you.