A few weeks ago, I did something really uncharacteristic of myself…I asked for prayers, good thoughts and whatever else people could spare – for my mom and my aunts.
I didn’t come out and say why for a while – mostly because it was pretty hard for me to comprehend – but so is life…and as you know, there is one certainty about life…that it GOES ON. So, thank you everyone for your prayers, good thoughts and happy karma – I think it really helped my family as they went through the process of commemorating my grandma’s (my mom’s mom) – passing.
It’s always hard to say goodbye to loved ones, but I think it hit me especially hard since I’ve been so far away from home for the past several years. The last time I was in Japan, I got the flu so I wasn’t able to visit with my grandma, since she was living in an assisted living center / hospital and I might have gotten her or the other patients sick.
When I was younger, our family spent a lot of time with my grandparents. I was born in Japan, but a few months later, we moved to South Korea – my grandparents lived in Japan, so we were still able to visit, via a pretty short flight. I loved seeing them – especially when it was a visit that me and my mom would make back to Japan – because that meant a trip to Tokyo Disneyland 🙂
From when I was very little, we called my grandma ‘Baba’ – it’s a Japanese term for grandmother (if you make the right syllable emphasis, of course).
Unfortunately, my grandpa passed when I was 10 years old, which was devastating for the family, and for my grandma, especially. When that happened, my grandma moved into the house behind ours. We were able to see her regularly, which was nice – many summers, she also came with us on vacations.
Our family was the only one that stayed in Japan through the years, as my cousins / aunts / uncles moved on to different places. My mom stayed really busy doing her best to take care of us, as well as my grandma. I know it wasn’t easy for anyone, but that’s what you do for family. As my grandma’s health deteriorated, she had to move into the hospital.
Without going into too many more details, it was definitely tougher as the years went on. As Baba passed this Spring, I know that she is with my Grandpa now, which helps ease the sad feelings…
I was so thankful for these wonderful pictures forwarded to me by my mom – it was definitely a way to remember that a life ending doesn’t have to be a sad thing – it’s a celebration of life, after all. I’ll be traveling to Hawaii at the end of June for her memorial services, where she will be laid to rest beside my grandpa at the Punchbowl National Cemetery.
Baba was a wonderful woman – she always knew how to make us smile – whether it was telling us a story, or singing us a song…cooking us something really yummy (she was a great cook!) or just telling us she was proud of us.
We’ll miss you, Baba.