Around this time 8 years ago, I was heading to Sendai city where my mother was taken care of at a hospital. Possibly being stressed from loss of lifeline at a nursing facility, such as water supply, electricity or heat etc, by the big earhquake on Mar. 11 the same year, she might have become seriously ill. On the way there, the high way was bumpy all the way in Tohoku area, of course, due to the intense shake by the earthquake. My sister was on the side seat going there with me. Looking at the gentle mountains of Adatara on the left side, we have been talking of old memories of our childhood days.
Mother lying on the bed was smiling at us and could not stop asking me about our father who had passed away 6 years earlier. She also wanted to go back to our place where we all had spent peaceful days for years. Listening to my sister singing one of the hymns mother loved at the bed side, I was quietly leaving there. I could never forget that scene.
She passed away possibly due to fatal arrhythmia a few days later. The staff at the hospital told my brother it was like a small candle light going off quietly. Hopefully, it was not painful or agonizing to her. For almost 20 years, she has had the problem of dementia. Such a sharp lady enjoying witty conversation with people around her was gradually losing her capabilities. What a torment it was for her! I believe, however, it was to let us know how to accept own fortune as it is. She has given us such a precious lesson to us in the end of her life.
Today, I have served a frozen dried persimmon to the gardener whom we have asked to care for our garden for the past years. A really special treat. Elegantly sweet as if it was just made. It has also reminded me of mother again. She used to enjoy dried persimmon when she was active. In later hears, persimmons she dried under the overhang of the roof by herself have always been taken away by the other members of the family before they were matured, though. We were worrying about her diabetes which could be worsened by such a sweet thing.
Tomorrow, my brother and his wife will be here and will take dinner together with us. A lot of old stories might bring us back to the days when we were with our mother.