Sasanqua and my mother

Sasanqua has come out quietly on the northern side of the house. I haven't noticed it until when I looked up at the mailbox beside the flower recently. It may not look gorgeous at all possibly due to paucity of sunray there. It also is too familiar as a scene of daily routine. That may be why I haven't noticed it.

Talking of Sasanqua, I have a memory unforgettable in my life. It is the flower I have seen at a service area of the high way to Tohoku area. I was going to see my mother at a nursing facility in Miyagi in Jan of 2010.
My mother, who had been with us for years since she came back from Tokyo in her sixties, turned 94 years of age in 2009. Dementia slowly but steadily progressed on her. While she maintained her personality, she had lost recent memory and could not do daily routines by herself at all. It was almost impossible for us to care for her while working at own practice in full time even with the help of some helpers. We decided to have her moved into a nursing facility near here. However, my younger brother, working as a psychiatrist in Sendai City in Miyagi Pref., wanted to care for her at their home and took her there in April of 2009. He loved her so much. Could we have resisted him to do so?
It was a peaceful spring day. My mother, without knowing it was the last moment at her house where she had spent years with my father and us, was cheerfully saying good bye to us as if she had gone for a trip to my brother's home like she had done for many times. I forgot taking a photo of her leaving here. I took this in a hurry when their car went out of our lot to the road. It was a too quick parting for us. I could not remember of the day without aching of my heart. 

Soon after my brother had taken her there, he knew it was still quite difficult for him and his wife to care for her at home. They have taken her to a nursing facility over there, some 20 or 30km south of Sendai City. I have visited her almost once a month. It was a real pleasure for me to see her smiling at me there.
On the way to the facility, I have taken this photo at a service area of the high way to Tohoku area. It was in Jan of 2010 as wrote above. This bright deep red flower has impressed me a lot. It looked like a sign of early spring to me even though it was still very chilly out there.
It was in Fukushima Pref where I took these photos at that time. The mountains looked grand with gentle foothills. Some snow covered the summits. I was light hearted anticipating meeting old mother.
Unfotunately, in the next year, that big earthquake and tsunami hit Tohoku area. The facility, that my mother was accomodated at that time, was not damaged so badly. But power outage and lack of heating might have injured this old being. She had to spend a few days without those infrastructure. At our last visit to her at a hospital, she was still smiling at us asking how we were doing. As she had done the same way for the past years due to recent memory disturbance, she also repeatedly asked about our father, who had already passed away a few years before. She was weepy as always whenever she wanted to come back here in Tochigi, her mother land. She has passed away quietly in a couple of days after our visit while no one was beside her. It was like a candle gone out, as they said. 
Sorry for my lengthy private story. Sasanqua has reminded me of those things.


  1. Shin,
    your sincerity and frankness make this a very touching story. Thank you for posting this.

    1. Thanks for the kind comment. i believe our times will pass away so soon. It is the way how things go. if there is a world with less fight and less poverty left after we go away, it will relieve me a bit. We are on a long lasting flow of life. We join it for a blink of time. Then we will drop after passing it to the next generation. The idea that this flow of life will go on will relive me a lot. It is just an abstract idea but may show me how to choose every choice in my life. i am afraid this flow of life confronts to a variety of menaces and risks, though. They sometimes make me feel helpless.

      Sorry for monologue.

      See you soon.