Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mom, Did You Enjoy It?

Mom came to visit and stayed with us over the last weekend. With worsened mental deterioration, she showed an odd bit of behavior from time to time, but most of it was very humorous as if she turned to be an infant, which made me laugh and smile a lot. I don't know what's going on in her brain, but she often took me as her sister or a friend of hers. She seemed to be happy and her innocent smile made us happy, too. We decorated Hina Dolls together, went to Kamuro Daishi Temple together. After all I really enjoyed having had her with us for 3 days.

It is said that holy water from the faucets, on both sides of Kukai heals any kind of diseases. We drank a cup of it. I wish her condition will be better or at least stay as it is now and never turns for the worse.


Lots of "Ema," or votive picture tablets. Some are for recovery from deseases, some for success in the entrance examination, some for a good match.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

May his spirit rest in peace

One's life expectancy is determined and limited. Once born one must die. I thought I fully understood the inevitable fact but...
Almost 3 weeks have passed since my father died. It was a bolt from the blue to my mother and us 4 children. Although he was 81 years old, he led a normal life until the day of his death, taking care of his wife with a slight mental deterioration. The cause was sudden heart failure. According to the doctor who examined the cause of his death, he died around 1 o'clock on the morning of Jan. 16. My mom found him dead around 8 o'clock, which means he had been dead for about 7 hours. That's just like his way of saying good-by to us, without any word to anybody.

My father was born in 1925 as an only son of my grandparents. He spent his youth during World War II, joined the navy and became a training pilot for an amphibious plane at the end of the war. If the war had been continued longer, he might have become a member of "Tokko," a special attack corps of suicide pilots called "Kamikaze." I'm glad the war ended before that. Otherwise I don't exist in this world. Neither does my daughter. I guess his memory of the war was not all bad. He has become fond of airplane and made a lot of good friends through the extraordinary experience. Those survivors from the war including my father has kept in touch with each other for a long time and enjoyed reunion once in a while. I put a wooden model zero fighter, he had put on the wall of the living room, into the coffin, hoping he would fly to heaven with it.

My daily life has dramatically changed since his death. I visit my mom 3 times a week and spend the whole day with her because her condition has turned for the worse. She seems to be very confused and isn't ready to accept the sudden death of her husband. Even to me, it is hard to face up to reality. However grief and loss will be healed with time. I learned it in the mid-summer of 1995 when my father-in-law passed away also of sudden heart failure.
The picture is ox tail soup in Korean style, which my father really liked. I don't know why but I happened to make it just the day before his death. Did I feel something by intuition? Anyway from now on I will think of my father whenever I make an ox tail soup.